• Apr 26th 2010 at 2:58PM
  • 11
Nico Hülkenberg drives the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid – Click above to watch video after the jump

Nico Hülkenberg introduced the Porsche GT3 R Hybrid to a few of his friends past week, one named "baptism," the other named "fire." The Williams Formula 1 pilot got behind the wheel of the orange-and-white racer to get it ready for the Nülkenberg 24-hour race next month. How did that pairing come together? Nico's employer, Williams, makes the flywheel generator used on the race car.

Have a look at the high-res gallery below for some frozen moments, or follow the jump for the press release and excellent scenes of the GT3 R Hybrid jostling over the 'Ring's mid-corner bumps.

[Sources: Porsche, YouTube]

Show full PR text
Formula 1 pilot Nico Hülkenberg makes successful Nordschleife debut

Stuttgart/Atlanta – April 23, 2010 -- The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid has passed its most unusual task by now with flying colors in preparation for the Nürburgring 24 hour race on May 15–16.

AT&T Williams Formula 1 pilot Nico Hülkenberg tested the orange-and-white liveried racing 911 on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in the lead up to the third round of the VLN Long Distance Championship and was enthusiastic on multiple fronts.

"Great car, fascinating technology and an incomparable track," concluded Hülkenberg. The Formula 1 pilot turned three laps at his Nordschleife debut in a race car and was able to get an idea of the perfect interplay of all the hybrid system components.

"This test was great fun. I'm impressed with how well the hybrid system works in the Porsche," said Hülkenberg.

One of the components of the hybrid system, the flywheel generator installed inside the cockpit, was designed and manufactured by Williams Hybrid Power following Porsche's specifications.

"This circuit is unique – you can't compare it to any other track in the world. This is certainly not the last time I'll drive here," said Hülkenberg, who has driven only single-seaters on the race circuit.

"Surprisingly, in the slow corners, the 911 is not far off a Formula 1 car. The mechanical grip is impressive."

In the 911 GT3 Hybrid, two electric motors at the front axle developing 60 kW (82 hp) each supplement the 353 kilowatt (480 hp) four-litre flat-six at the rear. Instead of the batteries used in hybrid road cars, an electrical flywheel power generator fitted in the cockpit beside the driver delivers energy to the electric motors. Compared to a battery, the flywheel generator has the advantage of storing and delivering high amounts of energy considerably quicker.

Thanks to its sophisticated electronic control, the innovative hybrid drive of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid automatically provides optimal efficiency at racing speed. The combination of the combustion engine and electric motors fulfills a simple objective: Less fuel consumption without compromising performance. When overtaking or accelerating out of a bend, the driver can manually override the controls by pressing the boost paddle on the steering wheel and sending energy from the charged flywheel generator to the front axle. This additional power of 120 kilowatts is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately six to eight seconds.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is the best looking GT3 ever, i'm gonna turn my 911 to look like that !

      the flywheel KERS sounds really good , Hülkenberg said he used it 20 times in one lap. can't wait to see the street legal version of this car.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear autoblog...

      you report about a test drive at the northloop but you do not report that in the last 4h VLN race at the northloop a race driver was killed....
      Last sunday was the last preperation race for the 2010 24h northloop race... in lap 22 Leo Löwenstein racing a Aston Martin wanted to pass a Lexus and a BMW in the Bergwerk section, he touched one of the other cars and his aston Martin went airborn landing on top of the crash barrier putting down 80m of a wire mesh securty fence behind it and caught fire, Leo Löwenstein could not escape the badly damaged wreck by himself, track marschals tryed to rescue him but Leo Löwenstein died of smoke poisining next to his race car. The race was red flaged and ended...
      Leo Löwenstein was married and father of four kids, the 43yo was a northloop expert and raced many races there...


      He is the 7. driver killed during a VLN race and the 141. driver killed during a officel race on the northloop... not added to that number the many killed during testing and free driving..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Nulkenberg 24? Sometimes I think you guys are typing these articles with just a couples hours of sleep.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The sports car coverage on this site is painful to read at times, I don't think you guys could butcher this story any worse if you actually tried.

      If you're going to attempt to cover GT racing can you at least hire someone that follows racing? How did this car have it's first shake down at the Ring this weekend with Hülkenberg if it raced there in the past two VLN races?

      Remember this post? http://www.autoblog.com/2010/04/11/porsche-911-gt3-hybrid-makes-it-to-the-podium-in-second-outing/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Typo: Competes or Completes?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sorry to bust your bubble but this car has already completed a race, It finished third. Nico's run was hardly a baptism by fire.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Someone needs to spell check that article (Nülkenberg 24-hour race) that must be the Nico Hulkenburg Nürburgring 24 hour special race
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm not sure what kind of editing you can do if you forgot to take the caps off Jaartsgroup.

        haha I keed.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I'm available to edit for a pittance, Autoblog.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Why do all the race cars in this (and similar classes) have those ugly yellow headlights?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's to differentiate the classes. If you're driving a GT class car at night and you look in the mirror, you want to know if the car behind you is racing you for position, or it's a prototype fixing to lap you.