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Porsche Moves Up to 8 MJ Hybrid Subclass

All-new Porsche 919 Hybrids to compete in 8 MJ hybrid subclass…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Porsche’s all-new 919 Hybrid will step up to the 8 MJ hybrid subclass, the maximum allowed in this year’s FIA World Endurance Championship.

The German manufacturer confirmed the technical details of its 2015-spec car Thursday during the formal presentation of the LMP1 contender at Paul Ricard, site of this weekend’s two-day Prologue pre-season official test.

The liveries for the three-car effort at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (above) were also revealed. The cars, however, will run in the traditional white and black design, seen on the No. 19 car, for all remaining FIA WEC races.

Following a promising 2014 FIA WEC debut, highlighted by a win in the season-ending Six Hours of Sao Paulo, the second-generation Porsche sees a complete rework from its predecessor, including significant weight reduction.

According to technical director Alex Hitzinger, the 2015-spec 919 Hybrid now runs at the 870 kg minimum weight, despite the increased weight that’s resulted with the move from the 6 to 8 MJ hybrid category.

Hitzinger said last year’s car was running up to 30 kg over the minimum weight.

“That’s why we’ve touched every component , basically,” Hitzinger told Sportscar365. “If you go up in the hybrid class, you have to recuperate more energy, which obviously means more power. And more power on a hybrid system is more weight, it’s as simple as that.

“You have to overcompensate that through making the power density of the hybrid system better but also saving weight everywhere else.”

Weight savings measures were made to virtually every component, including a brand-new monocoque, rear crash structure, suspension and aerodynamics.

The car, however, still features the same 2-liter V4 turbo engine as well as the KERS and exhaust gas-based hybrid recovery systems from 2014.

Hitzinger said the decision to move to the highest hybrid subclass was made about three weeks ago, following an extensive five-day test at Motorland Aragon. Porsche has also tested the new 919 Hybrid at Yas Marina Circuit and Bahrain.

The ERS configurations for three of the four LMP1 manufacturers have now been revealed, with Audi confirming last week its move to the 4 MJ division and Toyota’s decision to remain with 6 MJ, as announced today.

Nissan, which has delayed the debut of its GT-R LM NISMO until the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has yet to indicate which category it will compete in.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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