Porsche says it’s going to reveal a 911 GT3 hybrid racer at the Geneva Auto show in March, and it’s not anything like a Prius. Instead of using batteries, the car will use an F1-derived mechanical flywheel system to power two electric motors at the front wheels. Porsche plans to take the car to the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.
The system uses a standard wickedly tuned flat six out back and boosts power with two electric motors up front. A mechanical flywheel power generator will ride shotgun to the driver. Its heavy flywheel is connected to a generator. When the car slows under braking, the flywheel stores the energy of deceleration. The car also has regenerative breaking, which uses the two front motors as generators when the car slows down.
The flywheel and regenerative breaking will deliver six to eight seconds of power to the dual front motors, giving the driver extra juice out of the corners.
Porsche doesn’t expect the car to be competitive in the 24-hour race, but says it’ll be a great testing ground for the technology. Personally, I think it’s far too complicated to be feasible. If you really want a fast, long-distance hybrid, a microturbine coupled to a generator seems like a much better way to go.