• Super Cars

    Audi-Porsche Le Mans Rivalry Heats Up With Cocky “Welcome Back” Video

    The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans is already looking like one for the history books, thanks to new rules, the expanded use of hybrid technology, and a major sibling rivalry.

    Porsche will return to top-tier competition at Le Mans this year after a 16-year absence, and face off against corporate sibling Audi, the reigning champion. It’s unusual to see two divisions of the same company–in this case, Volkswagen–competing against each other, but Audi made its intentions clear in a new video.

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    After a (likely computer-generated) journey from Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt, past a vintage Porsche tractor and its waving driver, to Porsche’s hometown of Zuffenhausen, an Audi R18 e-tron quattro and its driver leave a very special “welcome back” message. Nothing says “bring it on” like doing donuts in your rival’s parking lot.


    Once the smack talk is over, it will be interesting to see how the Audi-Porsche rivalry plays out. Both carmakers will field hybrids, but each powertrain is markedly different. Audi will stick with its battle-tested TDI turbodiesel V-6 and ERS-K (Energy Recovery System-Kinetic) flywheel energy-storage system, which provides electric power to the front wheels for temporary all-wheel drive.

    The Porsche 919 Hybrid will use a gasoline V-4, teamed with two forms of energy recovery. One recovers thermal energy from the exhaust, while a second system similar to the one used in the road-going 918 Spyder employs a front-axle mounted generator to recover kinetic energy during braking.


    Porsche has the most overall wins at Le Mans of any manufacturer, but Audi has been the most dominant marque of the modern era. It’s about time these two faced off.

    Of course, there’s also the possibility the Toyota TS040 Hybrid prototype will spoil the German rivalry. The 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans kicks off June 14. More the latest updates, check out our dedicated hub.

    via Motor Authority

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  • Videos

    Porsche Unveils Mind-Blowing Details Of The Le Mans 919 Hybrid Racer (VIDEO)


    As the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race draws ever closer—now just three weekends away—Porsche has revealed even more details of its 919 Hybrid endurance racer. Not only is the car aiming for success at the famous French endurance race, but Porsche sees it as a test-bed for future series production models—so this year could prove pivotal in future Porsche road cars.

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    Unlike rivals Audi and Toyota with their own hybrid racers, Porsche has no useful data to fall back on during this year’s event. Combined with the car’s complexity and its entirely in-house design—rather than relying on external suppliers—Porsche knows the race will be tough. The company is sure it’s designed a competitive racer though, with impressive levels of efficiency—a central tenet of endurance racing.


    Firstly, energy recuperation from the hybrid system is very high. Le Mans rules split electrical energy use into four levels, ranging from 2 to 8 megajoules per lap. The 919 sits in the 6 megajoule category, giving it 1.67 kilowatt-hours of energy to use over the course of an 8.47-mile lap of La Sarthe. It must also recuperate this amount of energy each lap, ready for another electrical boost the next lap. Over the course of a race—last year’s event winner covered 348 laps—the Porsche would use (and generate) 581.2 kilowatt-hours of juice.


    For some perspective, that’s enough energy to charge the batteries of nearly seven 85 kWh Tesla Model S electric cars from empty—on brake energy recuperation alone. Or, says Porsche, you could use it to power a Volkswagen e-Golf electric car from New York to Los Angeles. Actually, not all of that energy comes from braking. While Porsche uses such a system (familiar to road-going electric cars and hybrids) on the front axle, it harvests the rest from thermodynamic energy from the car’s exhaust gases. A turbine generator replaces the car’s wastegate—normally used to vent excess pressure—allowing Porsche to generate energy from excess exhaust gases.

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    It doesn’t stop there. Positioning itself in the 6 megajoule energy class means further regulations, restricting the amount of fuel use. Since Porsche’s 919 also produces more than 500 horsepower, that measurement is 4.78 liters per lap—1.26 gallons. Interestingly, this allows us to work out the car’s permissible fuel consumption—8.47 miles divided by 1.26 gallons means a stunning 6.72 mpg maximum at race pace. Okay, that’s pretty terrible, but it’s not bad for a car spending 70 percent of each lap at full-throttle (often over 200 mph). It’s even better considering the 30 percent improvement economy improvement over last year’s rules.


    While this year’s race is sure to be far from trouble-free, Porsche’s racer brings new, innovative technology and a new name to a series already bristling with exciting entrants. If it helps develop better road-going Porsches in future, that’s even better.

    via Motor Authority

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