Porsche 919 – Mission Goodbye and Destroy
You become an icon after completing the monumental tasks placed upon you. You become a legend when you smash lap records on your farewell tour. That’s what the Porsche 919 Hybrid will be remembered for in years to come.
Porsche wanted to win at the highest level of competition and it did just that with its hybrid-powered LMP1 sensation. 33 races, 17 wins, three constructors’ championships, three drivers’ titles and three outright victories at 24 Hours of Le Mans—it was a beast.
The carmaker says goodbye and smashes lap records in the process.
Now called the 919 Hybrid Evo, it has been unshackled from all racing rules and it’s just not prancing around the world and showing off to fans—it’s hunting for new records to break. Assisted by new engine management software, power has been bumped on the internal combustion engine from 500hp (373kW) to 720hp (537kW).
Last Sunday, Neel Jani blitzed the 4.4-mile (7km) track in 1 minute 41.770 seconds, a bewildering 12 seconds faster than the 919 Hybrid’s previous best time at the track.
Driver Neel Jani and team, showing the new overall lap record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.
Faster than last year’s F1 lap record by Lewis Hamilton during qualifying, by 0.783 seconds. That IS pick-your-jaw-from-the-floor pace!
“The 919 is brutally impressive,” said Jani. “It is definitely the fastest car I ever drove, the grip level is at a fully new dimension for me, I couldn’t imagine this amount beforehand.”
With 8.48MJ now coming out of the battery, the hybrid system is 10 percent stronger, at 440hp (328kW). It has the same two-litre, turbocharged V4 engine as the Le Mans-winning car, minus the fuel flow meter that limits how much petrol can go in.
There’s a new front diffuser and a much larger rear wing; both are active, which means it can change profile to minimize drag on straights and maximize downforce in the corners. There are also stronger suspension wishbones and new power steering to cope with demands of increased power.
Lap records waiting to be slayed are Nürburgring (including a demo lap on the fearsome Nordschleife) on May 12, followed by Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 12 to 15) and the Festival of Porsche at Brands Hatch (September 2), both in the UK. The final outing for this legend will be at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca in California (September 27 to 30). The kind of retirement plan we like.
Images – www.arstechnica.com