• Mar 2nd 2010 at 2:30PM
  • 22
2010 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

During Porsche's press conference here at the Geneva Motor Show, most of our attention was understandably on the 918 Spyder Concept, but the German automaker had several other significant debuts. One was the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche's first racecar to feature electric power sourced from a duo of motors that send power to a generator attached the flywheel. Like many hybrid production cars, the motors are charged whenever the brakes are applied, and the driver can use the extra power for 6-8 seconds for overtaking.

Porsche plans to do extensive testing with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid after jetting from Geneva, including a trial-by-fire at the Nürburgring 24 Hour race from May 15-16. Porsche claims that it has no intention of winning the race, but we can't imagine that they won't be at least competitive. You can get more details on the car in the press release after the jump, or browse through the high-res gallery of live shots below.

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
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Exactly 110 years after Ferdinand Porsche developed the world's first car with hybrid drive, the Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is once again taking up this visionary drive concept in production-based GT racing: During the Geneva Motor Show, a Porsche 911 GT3 R with innovative hybrid drive is making its debut, opening up a new chapter in the history of Porsche with more than 20,000 wins in 45 years scored by the extremely successful Porsche 911 in racing trim.

The innovative hybrid technology featured in the car has been developed especially for racing, standing out significantly in its configuration and components from conventional hybrid systems. In this case, electrical front axle drive with two electric motors developing 60 kW each supplements the 480-bhp four-litre flat-six at the rear of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. A further significant point is that instead of the usual batteries in a hybrid road car, an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the interior next to the driver delivers energy to the electric motors.

The flywheel generator itself is an electric motor with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm, storing energy mechanically as rotation energy. The flywheel generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, with the two electric motors reversing their function on the front axle and acting themselves as generators. Then, whenever necessary, that is when accelerating out of a bend or when overtaking, the driver is able to call up extra energy from the charged flywheel generator, the flywheel being slowed down electromagnetically in the generator mode and thus supplying up to 120 kW to the two electric motors at the front from its kinetic energy. This additional power is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately 6 - 8 seconds.

Energy formerly converted – and thus wasted – into heat upon every application of the brakes, is now highly efficiently converted into additional drive power.

Depending on racing conditions, hybrid drive is used in this case not only for extra power, but also to save fuel. This again increases the efficiency and, accordingly, the performance of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, for example by reducing the weight of the tank or making pitstops less frequent.

After its debut in Geneva the 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races on the Nürburgring. The highlight of this test programme will be the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring on May 15th and 16th. The focus is not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race, but rather serving as a spearhead in technology and a "racing laboratory" providing know-how on the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going sports cars.

The 911 GT3 R Hybrid is a perfect example of the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy, a principle to be found in every Porsche: More power on less fuel, more efficiency and lower CO2 emissions – on the track and on the road.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The first time one of these hybrids wins a race, there will be a stampede to the new technology. And I sure wouldn't bet against Porsche being the first one to get it right.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Porsche claims that it has no intention of winning the race"

      Well.. I'm sure they'll place in the top 20 or 10 and not 70th+ :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      6-8 seconds of electric power and they call it a hybrid? So when I'm going down a hill am I using Gravity Hybrid power? Or when there's a strong tailwind am I using Wind Hybrid power?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You might think it's misleading to call the car a hybrid, but technically it is correct, as it has two sources to power the car. Being a hybrid doesn't necessarily mean it must be for the benefit of the environment.

        As for your mentioned examples, that would probably not be correct as the energy supplied comes from outside the car, depending on the conditions of the surroundings (i.e. a steep downward grade or a strong tailwind).
        • 5 Years Ago
        if a car is nuclear powered and uses hamster powered KERS for emergencies then it's a hybrid too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the only way hybrids will eventually appeal to me is if they race the things. there are many ideas for how to capture the energy that is normally lost to the brakes and the only way to whittle those down to the few good ideas is to race.

      i dont understand why up until now, hybrids have focused on bigger and higher capacity batteries. all you need is enough capacity to absorb the energy you get from slowing from 200 mph to 50 mph. seems like hundreds of pounds of batteries is the wrong way to go.

      • 5 Years Ago
      sounding more and more like the "turbo" button from old school video games.
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this hybrid hate is a little unreasonable, I think. They have the same (or better) performance, they look the same, but they get significantly better mileage than their petroleum siblings. If the technology exists for performance and economy to coexist, its ridiculous to only take one or the other. 6-8 seconds of overtaking can really do a lot of good, especially with that extra electric-motor torque. Diesel is great--don't get me wrong, I love them--but I wouldn't be surprised if this came around and beat them, and I certainly have no problem with their technology experimentation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like Obama's bluff worked - Porsche is pumping hybrids like there's no tomorrow.

      Of course, without hybrids to bump the CAFE, it's true there won't be a tomorrow for Porsche...
      • 5 Years Ago
      "A hybrid vehicle is a vehicle that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle. The term most commonly refers to hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), which combine an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors."

      It doesn't necessarily means it will save the environment, and it also doesn't mean it has to be a boring vehicle. For some reason, people have associated the word "Hybrid" with "Green", and that not always the case.

      People should stop bitching about "Hybrids" and embrace the new technology that is here to help us whether to reduce fuel consumption or to serve as power assist. There is a car for all of us out there. All you need to do is to pick one that will fulfill your desires. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't have a problem with hybrid vehicles, but I have a problem with the term itself and the fact that Joe Consumer can't understand the difference between a strong hybrid vehicle that can go an appreciable distance/speed with either power source and a weak hybrid with only a heavy duty starter and a few laptop batteries which can only give a couple horsepower boost for a few seconds. So called mild hybrids, for truth in labeling, shouldn't be called hybrids at all. Call them alternate energy boosted or something. Only strong hybrids should be entitled to the hybrid label. Both types have their purposes, but they should never be confused as similar vehicles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'll take the standard GT3, thank you. Or even the GT3 RSR. As long as there is no hybrid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        But how could you possibly get over the interior? it might have an extra button you don't like. GASP!
        • 5 Years Ago
        26. You?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uhh... I'm not.

        You're just very transparent in why you're going through the effort.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It was a bad analogy. You only like it because you wrote it.

        Your best insult is to call me by my funny screen name? Don't you think that was the point of my funny screen name?

        *rolls eyes*
        • 5 Years Ago
        He asks because you act like you're 14.

        26 and criticising stable jobs and mortgages?

        We're all shocked you're 26 with such pathetic demonstrations of maturity and reasoning ability.

        Frankly, its worse than if you had said you were 14.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Picking on me about design tastes on every post is a cheap shot. I could pick on IdreamAudi about his/her comments on a car that's non-Audi by saying "Oh what's the matter? You don't like it because its not an Audi? Aww poor baby!" I could say that based on his affinity for Audi's and his avatar...and his name. But that would be dumb. IdreamAudi should be able to comment on whatever car he/she wants. But apparently, he/she doesn't appreciated that privilege or want anyone else to have it. Pity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay, granted that what IdreamAudi said might actually be a jab at you, but I was of the opinion that we're just being playful here, despite how others may have responded to you in other threads. I'm sorry if I offended you; the gist of my response was basically just "chill out". But have you thought that responding to almost every post with how a certain car doesn't agree with your design tastes might irk some, if not a lot of the readers here? I'm not saying you're not allowed to comment and express your opinions here; that's what a blog is for. But it would go a long way to improving everyone's experience here at Autoblog if some restraint could be exercised when you call out hybrids and cars with nav screens. Many of us understand your tastes; it's just when you repeat them over and over ad infinitum that it grows irritating and makes it seem to us like you're trolling. I'm sorry if I've said anything wrong, and will gladly rescind any false accusations.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So you think the interior has too many buttons?
        • 5 Years Ago

        You act as if you are 10 because you can't understand an analogy. In no way do I criticize anyone with a stable job. Again big.dumb.face. Nuff said
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