Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Porsche Hybrid Cars Past and Present, A Brief Guide

By Gregory Greene

The Porsche luxury sports car manufacturer has always been one of the leaders in sports innovation, technology and in the competition sports car racing world. Many of the race tracks and courses around the world have not only been a proving ground for the famous sports car Marque, but also as laboratory to race test many of their innovations, thus to strive to constantly improve the technology used by the famous sports car manufacturer.

As an innovator from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century Dr. Ferdinand Porsche is credited for the design and development of the Lohner Porsche in 1898, the first hybrid motor vehicle (petrol-electric). The vehicle was developed and produced by Dr. Porsche while he worked for Jakob Lohner & Co, where he was a leading technical engineer.

The Lohner Porsche Semper Vivus ("Mixte Hybrid"), as it was known, was partially powered by two electronic motorised wheel hubs on one axle and a petrol motor which powered on the remaining axle. The car also featured an electric generator to sustain the battery charge. This vehicle was also offered as a fully electrical version with four hub powered motors, instead of two.

So if you now skip forward to the present, it's no surprise to see Porsche excelling in the world of hybrid sports car technology. The Porsche 911 GT3 R was launched recently at the Geneva Motor Show and has had some rave reviews for its own design and innovations using Porsche Intelligent Performance (or PIP) through unique hybrid technology. This clever hybrid technology has been developed to make racing cars even more efficient, but this technology will ultimately filter down into road going production cars eventually.

The Porsche 911 GT3 R uses a mixture of clever hybrid technology which has been specifically developed for racing, but differs from the technology found in other hybrid cars. As the 911 GT3 R powered configuration is what makes this car unique from conventional hybrid systems, because the front axle is driven by a two electric motors, which develop 60 kW each. In turn these electric motors supplement the rear driven 480-bhp four-litre flat-six petrol rear engine and driven-train.

Another significant point is the "electrical flywheel power generator" fitted in the interior next to the driver delivers energy to the electric motors, as this replaces the usual batteries in a hybrid road car. The flywheel generator can rotate up to 40,000 rpm, this energy can then be stored mechanically. Then when required the driver can access this generated energy to supply an extra 120kw to the electric motors in the form of kinetic energy, which can be used for additional power when over taking or pulling away from a corner. So to coin a phrase "the car in front is probably a Porsche."

Gregory Greene is writing on behalf of Bramleys in Surrey, the best choice for a Porsche Dealer or when choosing a specialist garage for Classic Car Restoration to bring back your car to its former glory.

Article Source: Porsche Hybrid Cars Past and Present, A Brief Guide

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