Road to Race: Porsche RS Spyder gets direct injection

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Porsche has already introduced direct injection on the Cayenne and 911 Carrera, and the Turbo, GT2 and GT3 all stand to benefit from the technology next year. While it's normal for most automakers to take the lessons learned from motorsports and apply them to their road cars, Porsche is doing it the other way around.

The 3.4-liter V8 in the Porsche RS Spyder campaigning in the ALMS LMP2 class will be fitted with direct injection, bringing power levels up while reducing fuel consumption. While the old mill put out 476 hp at 10,000 RPM and 273 lb.-ft. of torque beginning at 7,500 RPM, the new engine gets a 27 hp bump, to bring levels up to 503 hp at 10k RPM and 284 lb.-ft. of twist at 8,500 rpm. That, combined with the decreased in fuel consumption should make the Spyder even more competitive in a class it's continuing to dominate.

Full details are posted in the press release below the fold.

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Porsche RS Spyder: Direct Fuel Injection lowers consumption and increases performance

Stuttgart. After the road-going Porsche Cayenne and 911, now the sports prototype RS Spyder profits from direct fuel injection technology (DFI). The new engine, with which Porsche underlines its role as technology leader in energy efficiency, celebrated its race premiere with a victory in the American Le Mans Series: On the demanding Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) won the LMP2 class.

The power output of the successful 2006 and 2007 championship winning Porsche, which has so far claimed victory from four of the six races run in this year's ALMS, increased with the new engine from 476 to 503 hp (370 kW) at 10,000 revs per minute. Maximum torque rose from 370 Nm at 7,500 revs to 385 Nm at 8,500 revs.

The most compelling feature of the DFI version of the successful Porsche 3.4-litre V8 motor is its improved energy efficiency – an important element in endurance racing. Despite an improved power output, fuel consumption was significantly reduced.

"After reaching a very high level with the previous engine we raced, we had to put considerable efforts into the development of the direct fuel injection unit in order to significantly improve performance and efficiency," says Thomas Laudenbach, Head of Motorsport Development/Power Train. "In order to achieve revs of up to 11,000 with DFI technology it meant stepping into totally new territory."

During the design and development of the engine, synergies of standard areas and motorsport departments were utilised to a large extent. "Right from the beginning there was a lively exchange," reminisces Thomas Laudenbach. "We had already recognised the advantages of this technology at the start of the RS Spyder project and adapted them to the very special requirements of motorsport, always in close consultation with our colleagues in the standard development department. The methods and insights we obtained from our co-operation are of considerable value for future development projects involving DFI technology." Normally an increased engine output is in conjunction with a rise in fuel consumption. This is not the case here. Thomas Laudenbach: "Thanks to the substantial increase of energy efficiency there's no rise in the absolute fuel consumption despite the significant hike in performance. On the contrary – we're even a bit lower."

Another advantage of the new DFI engine: At partial load – for example during the many caution phases of long distance races - the engine can be run extremely lean. This further reduces fuel consumption and was not possible with the intake manifold fuel injection which was raced previously. Moreover, new options open up for the controlling of highly dynamic processes like, for example, gear shifting at full throttle. Such options were not fully utilised before.

After the successful premiere in Mid-Ohio, the new DFI motor will power the two Penske Racing RS Spyder cars at the next round in Elkhart Lake (9 August). With this, Porsche intends to strengthen its top position in the American Le Mans Series. "Competition in the LMP2 class is at an extremely high level and it gets tougher race by race," says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Motorsport at Porsche. "Therefore now is exactly the right time to race the new engine."

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