Mike Stevens | Dec 22, 2011

Porsche has taken another step towards offering a hybrid version of its 911 sports car, with news this week that it will continue fine-tuning its GT3 R Hybrid race car.

The hybrid-powered racer features an electric motor that recovers kinetic energy from the brakes and converts it into 120kW worth of six to eight-second power bursts.

Spinning upwards of 40,000rpm, the flywheel-based electric motor sits where you'd normally find a passenger seat, sending its built-up energy to motors in the front wheels at the press of a steering-mounted button.

According to Porsche, the key benefit of the electric system is faster exit speed out of corners and in overtaking.

Porsche research and development chief Wolfgang Hatz said that hybrid and electric technology will become more prominent in racing in the coming years.

“There is no way around the hybrid technology in motorsport. With the 911 GT3 R Hybrid project we have shown you how we can test important future technologies on the race track and pave the way for motorsport success in the future," Hatz said.

"We will continue to determinedly blaze this trail and further develop the hybrid technology.”

While the carmaker has yet to confirm plans for a hybrid-powered 911 production car, CEO Matthias Muller said at September's Frankfurt Motor Show that it is "under discussion".

For now, fans of Porsche's performance-focused offerings can look forward to the upcoming 918 Spyder Hybrid, which will combine a 160kW pair of axle-mounted electric motors with a conventional combustion engine.

The Cayenne SUV and Panamera sports saloon are also available in hybrid form, both pairing a 35kW electric motor with a 250kW supercharged V6 petrol engine.


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