You saw the incredible Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid right? Awesome huh? As we reported in that article, the company is also working on two others -- a Cayenne Turbo hybrid, and the bonkers-as-baby-vomit Porsche 911 GT3-R hybrid.
Unlike the 918 Spyder, the GT3-R hybrid doesn't use a battery. Instead, it uses a flywheel that spins at up to 40,000rpm while the car is decelerating. The kinetic energy created by the spinning disc is harvested by a generator, which in turn powers a pair of 60kW electric motors attached to the front wheels. The rear wheels are powered by the standard GT3 R's 450hp 4.0-litre engine. Okay, maybe standard is the wrong word -- it's brutal.
The electric motors can reduce the car's fuel consumption figures, but the big news here is that they can also be used to boost performance -- just like the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) seen in McLaren and Ferrari's 2009's Formula 1 cars. When the driver needs an extra burst of speed, he or she activates the motors via a switch. These can provide an extra 80hp each for 6 to 8 seconds at a time -- perfect for overtaking on a long straight, or accelerating hard from a standstill.
Porsche is treating the GT3-R hybrid as more of a test vehicle than a pie-in-the-sky concept. Word is, the company will enter the car in this May's Nurburgring 24-hour race, where it should require fewer pit stops than its rivals and give its drivers an advantage over non-hybrid cars on the straights.
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The GT3-R hybrid is a serious piece of kit. Pull up to your local halal chicken shop in one of these and you'll get serious props.
A look through the rear window reveals a roll cage and -- on the right, where the passenger seat should be, the flywheel.
Here's a close-up of that flywheel, which is used in place of batteries. This spins whenever the vehicle brakes, charging a generator. The generator then powers the two electric motors at the front.
Here's the Bosch engine-management system. It's essentially a programmable computer that tells the car what to do once you put your foot down. This one's been tuned to take into account the fact there's a flywheel inside the car in order to eke out the best possible race performance.