Porsche Provides a Glimpse Into the Future - Hybrid Sporting Performance
Porsche Provides a Glimpse Into the Future - Hybrid Sporting Performance
Porsche surprised car enthusiasts and automotive journalists around the world recently by unveiling not one but three new hybrids – one for the road, one for the race track, and one that is a genuine Porsche supercar – and clearly showed the path to Porsche’s performance future. These innovative new Porsches – the Cayenne S Hybrid, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Spyder – were developed according to the Porsche Intelligent Performance philosophy -- more power on less fuel, increased efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
With three different designs, hybrid pioneer Porsche is emphasizing the broad range of this new drive technology. The Cayenne S Hybrid features a parallel full hybrid system, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car has electric front-wheel drive and a flywheel mass battery, and the 918 Spyder has a plug-in hybrid system that enables the battery to be charged from the regular electrical network.
The 2011 Cayenne S Hybrid, based on the all-new Cayenne model line that makes its North American debut at the 2010 New York Auto Show, is Porsche’s first production hybrid. Featuring a highly sophisticated parallel full hybrid system, it has a combined power output of 380 horsepower from the supercharged V6 combustion engine and an electric motor, the Cayenne S Hybrid combines the performance of a V8 with the economy of a V6.
Through continuous interaction between the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 and electric motor, the Cayenne S Hybrid focuses on maximum efficiency. Depending on driving conditions, either drive unit can operate independently or together. The 47-horsepower (34 kW) electric motor is the ideal partner for the 333-horsepower engine, which produces high torque at low engine speeds, with peak torque at 428 lb-ft at just 1,000 rpm.
Its electric motor and its supercharged V6 are connected to one another by a decoupling clutch, which ensures that the Cayenne S Hybrid may be driven either by the electric motor or the combustion engine alone, or by both drive units together. The Hybrid Manager constantly coordinates their complex interaction, and intelligent management of the clutch makes the transition among various driving modes seamless and comfortable.
Using the decoupling clutch, the Cayenne S Hybrid also has the potential to further enhance fuel economy at high speeds. Christened by the Weissach engineers as ‘sailing’ – or coasting – mode, when the Cayenne S Hybrid does not need drive power and the driver lifts off the accelerator at speeds up to 97 mph, the gasoline engine can be completely switched off and disengaged from the drivetrain, enabling the vehicle to move along without combustion or electric power.
This means a significant reduction of fuel consumption at steady highway speeds, with engine drag forces and their braking effect being eliminated to reduce driving resistance. As soon as the driver presses the accelerator in the sailing mode, to pass another vehicle for example, the gasoline engine smoothly starts within fractions of a second and engine rpms are increased to match the current vehicle speed. Thanks to the Hybrid Manager, the Cayenne S Hybrid is able to accelerate dynamically in gears at higher speeds much like a conventional gasoline-powered Cayenne.
Like many hybrids, the Cayenne S Hybrid can cover short distances on electric power alone, free of emissions and noise up to 60 km/h or almost 40 mph. For aggressive acceleration, the motor provides an extra ‘boost’ to the gasoline engine.
Finally, the hybrid system uses a 288-volt nickel metal-hydride (NiMh) battery fitted beneath the luggage compartment and regenerative braking, the process of storing electricity regained from applying the brakes and driving under normal conditions. This energy is then available for boosting and electric drive, again saving fuel in the process.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid and the 918 Sypder– the race car and the dream car of hybrids
110 years after Ferdinand Porsche developed the world’s first hybrid, the Lohner-Porsche, Porsche engineers are now expanding this visionary drive concept with a production-based GT race car. Over the past 45 years, Porsche 911 race cars have recorded more than 20,000 victories and the 911 GT3 R Hybrid opens a new chapter in Porsche’s racing history.
This innovative hybrid technology has been developed especially for racing, differentiating itself from conventional hybrid systems by way of its configuration and components. In this case the front axle features two electric motors, each developing 60 kW and supplementing the 480 horsepower, naturally aspirated four-liter flat-six that drives the rear wheels. Instead of the heavy batteries usually found in a hybrid road car, an electrical flywheel power generator resides next to the driver to deliver energy to the electric motors.
The flywheel generator is also an electric motor, with its rotor spinning at speeds of up to 40,000 rpm while mechanically storing energy. The flywheel generator is charged whenever the driver applies the brakes, as the two front axle electric motors reverse their role and act as generators. Then, when accelerating out of a curve or while passing, the driver can use the extra energy from the charged flywheel generator, sending up to 120 kW of stored kinetic energy to the motors. This additional power is available after each charge for approximately six to eight seconds.
Energy previously converted into heat upon each brake application, and therefore wasted, is now converted into additional drive power in a very efficient manner.
In addition to increasing available drive power, depending on racing conditions, the hybrid drive can also be called upon to save fuel. By increasing the 911 GT3 R Hybrid’s efficiency and, accordingly, its performance, the fuel tank’s weight can be reduced the car can make fewer pit stops, for example.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid will be tested in long-distance races on the Nürburgring. The highlight of this test program will be the 24 Hours on the Nordschleife of Nürburgring, May 15-16, 2010. The focus is not on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid winning the race, but rather spearheading technology as a “racing lab.” The intent is to provide hands-on knowledge for the subsequent use of hybrid technology in road-going sports cars.
As Porsche showed in Geneva earlier in March, the sports car of the future has a new and fascinating face. With the 918 Spyder high-performance mid-engine concept sports car, Porsche is displaying its expertise in the field of highly efficient and low-emission drive technology.
The 918 Spyder prototype with plug-in hybrid technology combines high-tech racing features with electric mobility to produce a fascinating range of qualities. On the one hand it has an ultra-compact car’s emission levels of 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer and consumes just three liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, yet on the other hand it has the driving characteristics of a super sports car with acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in just under 3.2 seconds and a top speed exceeding 198 mph. This concept’s declared objective is ambitious: The 918 Spyder is designed to achieve a lap time of under 7:30 minutes on the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring. This would outperform even the Porsche Carrera GT. It’s hard to get more dynamic.
This open two-seater is powered by a high-speed V8 engine with over 500 horsepower and an impressive maximum engine speed of 9,200 rpm, as well as by electric motors on the front and rear axles with an overall mechanical output of 218 horsepower. This V8 is a further development of the successful 3.4-liter engine from the RS Spyder race car. For optimum balance and superior performance, it is place in a mid-engine position in front of the rear axle. Power is transmitted by a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) double-clutch gearbox that also serves to apply energy from the electric drive to the rear axle. The front electric motor drives the wheels via a fixed transmission ratio.
When the brakes are applied, the 918 Spyder’s kinetic energy is converted into electric energy and fed into the battery for additional available power when accelerating. To store the energy, Porsche uses a fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery located behind the passenger cell. The big advantage of a plug-in hybrid is that the battery can be charged on the regular electrical network. Drivers can select from among four different driving modes by pressing a button on the steering wheel. E-Drive mode enables the car to run on electric power alone for a distance of up to 15.5 miles or 25 kilometers. In Hybrid mode, the 918 Spyder uses both the electric motors and the combustion engine depending on the specific driving situation. The Sport Hybrid mode uses both drive systems although with a performance-oriented emphasis. And Race Hybrid mode focuses the drive systems on the highest performance demands of the race track. With a press of the button, supplemental electric energy can be released to provide a boost for maneuvers such as passing.
Racing genes are also immediately evident in the 918 Spyder’s lightweight design. A monocoque bodyshell made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) and targeted use of magnesium and aluminum ensure a low weight of under 3,285 lbs or 1,490 kg and unparalleled driving precision.
Provenance points the way forward: Evoking emotions at first glance, the 918 Spyder’s design concept is based on successful race cars such as the Porsche 917 and the RS Spyder. Whether in technology, performance, innovation or design — the 918 Spyder evokes pure Porsche DNA.
About Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga., is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles for the United States. It is a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of Dr. Ing.h.c. F. Porsche AG. PCNA employs approximately 180 people who provide Porsche vehicles, parts, service, marketing and training for its 200 dealers. The dealers, in turn, provide Porsche owners with best-in-class service. Throughout its 61-year history, Porsche has developed numerous technologies that have advanced vehicle performance, improved safety and spurred environmental innovations within the automotive industry. The company continues to celebrate its heritage by adding to its long list of motorsports victories dating back to its first 24 Hours of Le Mans class win in 1951. Today, with more than 28,000 victories, Porsche is recognized as the world's most successful brand in sports car racing. PCNA, which imports the iconic 911 series, the highly acclaimed Boxster and Cayman mid-engine sports cars, high-end Cayenne sport utility vehicles and the four-passenger Panamera Gran Turismos, strives to maintain a standard of excellence, commitment and distinction synonymous with its brand.
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Note: Photos of the new Cayenne are available to accredited journalists on the Porsche Press Database at http://press.porsche.com/, and video footage is available at http://thenewsmarket.com.
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