Porsche officially took the wraps off its new LMP1 contender Tuesday in Geneva, in preparation for the start of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The Porsche 919 Hybrid, the first top-level factory prototype to come from the German manufacturer in 16 years, features a 2.0-liter V4 turbo engine coupled with two energy recovery systems, per the new-for-2014 regulations.
Both a battery-based system on the front axle and a thermal energy unit powered by exhaust gases, combines with the conventional gasoline powerplant, which is estimated to produce 500 horsepower. The hybrid systems utilize the series’ maximum allowance of 8 MJ.
The car began on-track testing last June, with development having continued through the last nine months at circuits around the world, including recent endurance tests in Bahrain and Monza, among other locations.
“Within two and one half years we built the infrastructure, assembled our team and put this highly complex race car on wheels,” said Fritz Enzinger, Head of LMP1.
“We have the greatest respect for the lead our competitors have in racing experience. Our objective in the first year is simple: to finish races and be competitive.”
As previously announced, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb will share driving duties of the No. 14 car in the entire eight-round championship, with F1 star Mark Webber being joined by Timo Bernhard and Brendon Hartley in the No. 20 machine for the season.
It’s understood the 919 Hybrid will make its U.S. testing debut this week at Sebring, alongside LMP1 rival Audi and a handful of other FIA WEC teams.
The car’s public debut will come later this month at the FIA WEC “Prologue” test at Paul Ricard on March 28-29, ahead of the season-opening Six Hours of Silverstone on April 20.