The rolling race laboratory, as the automaker prefers to call it, ran the 2011 season in second-generation trim. That version used a 470 horsepower gasoline-powered 4.0-liter flat-six to drive the rear wheels and 202 horsepower worth of electric motors to drive the front wheels – with electricity generated by a 36,000 rpm flywheel mounted on the passenger side of the cabin. With a curb weight of just 2,866 pounds and total system power of 672 horsepower, the all-wheel-drive Porsche GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 accelerated to 60 mph in about 2.5 seconds.
We drove Porsche's 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 at the famed Estoril race circuit outside of Lisbon, Portugal, just last month. Despite the second-generation model being the answer to all of our enthusiast prayers, we assume Porsche will reduce the overall weight of the system, increase the duration of the boost and reduce the deafening noise level in the cabin. There's always room for improvement.
While we don't expect the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 3.0 to be there, Porsche's factory-supported teams kick off the 2012 season in 911 GT3 Cup cars at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January.
Stuttgart. Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG continues to invest in the development of innovative drive technologies in motorsport. A further developed version of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid will return to race tracks in 2012. With the rolling race laboratory, Porsche aims to gain extra practical experience under racing conditions and make the hybrid drive even more efficient.
"There is no way around the hybrid technology in motorsport," stressed Wolfgang Hatz, Board Member for Research and Development, on Saturday on the occasion of the end of year Porsche 'Night of Champions' celebrations. "With the 911 GT3 R Hybrid project, we have shown how you can test important future technologies on the race track and pave the way for motorsport success in the future. We will continue to determinedly blaze this trail and further develop the hybrid technology."
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for the 2012 season celebrated its world debut in front of invited team bosses, race drivers and series organisers. The GT race car, which is now five centimetres wider at the rear and with almost an extra 15 centimetres on the front fenders, will be fielded by Porsche customer teams in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the American Le Mans Series, the Le Mans Series, the International GT Open as well as the Le Mans 24 Hours. In the USA alone, four new vehicles will be fielded by three different teams.
Like in previous years, Porsche supports its most successful customer teams in 2012 with works drivers. The line up of pilots stays the same with Jörg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Wolf Henzler, Marco Holzer, Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz, Patrick Long and Patrick Pilet. "To win races you have to have the right race drivers. And there's no doubt that we have them," stated Matthias Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board at Porsche AG.
Most of the Porsche factory pilots kick off the season at the Daytona 24 hour race on 28 January. Jörg Bergmeister and Patrick Long race a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for Flying Lizard Motorsports. Marco Holzer supports the Alex Job squad, with Wolf Henzler and Patrick Pilet driving for the TRG team. Marc Lieb competes for the accomplished Brumos Racing crew, with Richard Lietz teaming up with Magnus Racing. The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Rookie of the Year winner also competes at Daytona. Kévin Estre takes the wheel of a TRG-911.
In 2012, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland heads into its 23rd season and will continue to run as support to the DTM. The contract with the series organisers was recently extended for another three years. Taking over the helm of the long established Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland is Andrea Hagenbach, who has worked in the organisation of the series for the last 13 years. She takes over from Helmut Greiner who is retiring.