The first official images of the new 919 Hybrid from Porsche have been released as the company tried to return to the winner’s circle in upcoming events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship. The new 919 Hybrid will be featured at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show and represents the latest in gasoline-electric hybrid powered racers that is constructed to LMP1-class regulations.

Certainly one of the most complex racing machines Porsche has ever created, the 919 Hybrid features a 2.0L turbocharged direct-injection engine that actually creates a load-bearing function within the chassis itself. Porsche has claimed it can generate up to 9,000 rpm to the engine that drives the rear wheels.

The combustion engine has the support of an electric motor that is located within the front axle, complete with a lithium-ion battery as well. This electric motor supplies the drive to the front wheels which gives the 919 Hybrid an all-wheel drive capacity.

The 919 Hybrid is expected to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, 2014 and features brake-energy recuperation as well as a unique thermal energy recovery system as well. Both of these systems are found within the exhaust unit of the vehicle. With the 8 mega-joule per lap energy recovery systems in place, which are the maximum permitted according to the latest LMP1 rules, this means that the 1.2 gallon fuel allowance per lap at Le Mans should be kept as well.

With over 2,000 hours of wind tunnel testing, including that at the new facility in Weissach along with another at the University of Stuttgart located in Germany, Porsche certainly feels that this particular vehicle has undergone the maximum amount of modifications based on the intense testing that has been performed on the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

The green philosophy that drives this particular Porsche vehicle is evident in the unique style of the car itself. From above, the theme of the style is evident as it reads in part, “Porsche Intelligent Performance” which is an indication of the emphasis on the green aspects of this racer along with the unique drive-train that has been put in place as well. In addition, there is little in the way of sponsorship notifications as often found on other entries.

The is no doubt that carbon fiber plays a role in the construction of the vehicle as potentially the bumpers, grille, hood, spoilers and trunk along with other body parts. Carbon fibre represents the lightest, strongest material used in custom mods like this to enhance performance. Carbon fiber auto parts are also used on virtually every vehicle in this particular race.

The #20 919 Hybrid model will be driven by Mark Webber, the former Red Bull Racing Formula One driver. The 37 year old Webber from Australia will be helped by his 24 year old counterpart Brendon Hartley from New Zealand and German Timo, a 33 year old from Germany. While the #14 919 Hybrid will be piloted by Neel Jani, the 30 year old Swiss vet along with Marc Leib, a 33 year old from Germany and Romain Dumas, a 36 year old from France.

The 2014 World Endurance Championship begins with a six hour race at the UK’s Silverstone Circuit on April 20th.

Photo credit: Porsche Motorsports