Porsche didn’t build their impressive racing resume by resting on their past accomplishments, and that’s certainly the case with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid racecar. Introduced at the 2010 Geneva Motor show, the car first saw action at a Nürburgring race on March 27, 2010. It was later run in such events as the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans. As good as the car proved to be, Porsche realized that improvement was necessary to make it a truly competitive endurance racer. For the 2011 season, the new and improved 911 GT3 R Hybrid gets more powerful electric motors, improved aerodynamics and a weight savings of some 110 pounds.
Porsche’s goal for the new car wasn’t to build a faster racer, but rather a more fuel efficient one. The new car’s bodywork features a lower coefficient of drag, which will improve both fuel economy and top speed. The lighter weight will also help in both areas, and Porsche has made safety improvements to the car as well. The flywheel energy accumulator, which spins at up to 50,000 RPM, is now shielded in a carbon fiber safety shell to protect the driver and others in the event of a crash. Even the high voltage circuitry was updated for better efficiency, and new resides in the same safety cell as the flywheel.
Like an F1 car equipped with a KERS system, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid can only use the supplemental power from the electric motors in shorts bursts of a few seconds at a time. The motors give the car up to 670 combined horsepower, compared to 470 horsepower from the flat six engine alone. Look for the new 911 GT3 R Hybrid to debut at this year’s Nürburgring 24 hour race.