In an interesting about-face, Porsche has revealed the first images and details on its new racer, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
Based on the rear-drive 911 GT3 R that's set to take to the track in privateer hands later this year, the GT3 R Hybrid utilizes a rear-mounted, 480-hp 4.0-liter flat-six in conjunction with two electric motors that drive the front wheels. Residing in the space normally reserved for the passenger seat sits a flywheel, which harnesses kinetic energy under braking and can spin upwards of 40,000 rpm. Once enough energy is stored, the system lets loose up to 120 kilowatts – approximately 160 horsepower – to the front wheels in six to eight second bursts that are controlled by a steering wheel-mounted button.
Porsche apparently hasn't released official performance specs, but the GT3 R Hybrid's world debut will take place at the Geneva Motor Show before it hits the track for its motorsports debut at the Nürburgring 24 Hours on May 15. Devised as a rolling "racing laboratory," after the Hybrid takes to the Green Hell this year, Porsche plans to assault the 24 Hours of LeMans in a refined version in 2012, just as the sanctioning body begins to favor hybrids. Now about that "no hybrids" thing...