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Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid
Hybrid just kicked in yo!

Say the word “hybrid” and most drivers will think of smaller, odd-looking cars along the lines of the Prius or Insight which are aimed at saving fuel and reducing emissions. The benefits of a hybrid design in a performance car have some appeal as well, but hybrid and performance aren't usually said in the same sentence.

Porsche is certainly one of the most famed marquees in sports cars and the firm is no stranger to hybrid technology. Porsche is currently putting the finishing touches on the Cayenne Hybrid SUV that uses a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 coupled with an electric motor producing an extra 50HP.

Porsche is also looking at hybrid technology for the racetrack as well with the announcement that a 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show. Porsche is using hybrid technology in its all-wheel-drive racing car for a few reasons. The car is currently being prepped for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where vehicles race stopping for fuel and to switch drivers (along with any requisite repairs). The hybrid system used in the GT3 R Hybrid provides some fuel economy improvements, but Porsche is not saying exactly how much fuel it saves.

The hybrid system in the GT3 R Hybrid uses a flywheel system that harnesses kinetic energy under braking to power a pair of electric motors mounted in a single assembly. The electric motors and flywheel assembly sit where the passenger seat of a street 911 would normally reside. Power gathered by the flywheel system is sent to the front wheels and when fully charged the hybrid system can provide a 6-8 second burst of power for passing and exiting corners activated by a button on the steering wheel. The flywheel in the hybrid system will reportedly spin as fast as 40,000 rpm.

The pair of electric motors provides an additional 161 horsepower to the front wheels supplementing the 4.0-liter flat-6 that produces 480hp and sends its power to the rear wheels. Porsche is mum on performance claims for the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, but the car will appear on May 15 at the Nurburgring 24 Hours endurance race.

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Great for zombie killing when you crash
By Dribble on 2/11/2010 12:52:35 PM , Rating: 2
So there's a heavy lump of metal spinning at 40,000rpm in the passenger seat. If something stops it spinning perfectly (e.g. you crash) that's a lot of stored energy to contain in one place ...

By Spuke on 2/11/2010 2:10:53 PM , Rating: 5
Racing is a dangerous sport.

There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.
- E. Hemingway

RE: Great for zombie killing when you crash
By Hare on 2/11/2010 2:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how they handle the gyroscope effect. Having a big lump of metal spinning generates interesting forces that could severely impact cornering etc.

Anyway. This isn't exactly new tech

By porkpie on 2/11/2010 2:38:55 PM , Rating: 1
I imagine they just have it on gimbals..probably a single-axis gimbal, which is not only simpler, but also would allow easier extraction of the mechanical energy. The car after all only needs to rotate about one axis. And who knows, constraining rotation in the other two axes might actually slightly help to prevent the car from flipping.

RE: Great for zombie killing when you crash
By joeinwap on 2/12/2010 4:04:00 AM , Rating: 2
a heavy lump of metal spinning at 40,000rpm in the passenger seat

It is a cylinder of composite (fiber) material, which is a lot easier to contain that a lump of metal. Not in the passenger seat, but down on the floorboard, below where the passenger seat would have been.

I wonder how they handle the gyroscope effect

Car races of this type do not involve any pitch (uphill or downhill), do not involve any roll (left side being lower than the right or vice versa); they just involve yaw (turning left or right on a flat surface). This is no problem for a gyroscope with a vertical axis, as shown in the photograph.

By BigLan on 2/12/2010 10:32:04 AM , Rating: 2
It is a cylinder of composite (fiber) material, which is a lot easier to contain that a lump of metal. Not in the passenger seat, but down on the floorboard, below where the passenger seat would have been.

Yeah, from what I remember hearing about the Williams system it's more like a roll of tape (or a roll of lots of pieces of tape) that disintegrates, rather than a solid lump to ricochet all over the place. I probably wouldn't want to be right next to one if it goes *poof* but don't think it's any more dangerous than an engine revving at 10,000+ rpm.

By alanore on 2/13/2010 10:44:51 AM , Rating: 3
This being run at Nurburgring, it has steep banked corners and hills. They are going to need to have a gimbel or have it spun down for sections.

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