Mark Webber’s new steed and Porsche’s Le Mans comeback hero has officially been christened the 919 hybrid. It may not roll off your tongue as well as the 917 or 918, but it sure beats “Porsche LMP1,” doesn’t it? It’s set to take on the full Sports Car World Endurance Championship (WEC) next year, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
To refresh your memory, the Porsche 919 hybrid race car will run a direct-injection four-cylinder engine (certain sources suggest a 2.0 litre capacity) with two energy recuperation systems that run a large electric motor. Its two main rivals, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro and Toyota TS030 Hybrid, depend on turbodiesel V6 and petrol V8 engines respectively.
Also announced is the full driver line-up. Joining Porsche’s existing works pilots Mark Lieb (who drove the 918 Spyder’s record-breaking ‘Ring lap), Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Mark Webber is new signing Brendon Hartley, a 24-year old New Zealander. Webber is still tied to Red Bull until the year’s end, which is why he’s not wearing the team kit in the group picture below just yet.
So that’s it then – we now know the name, powertrain package and drivers of the two cars that will contest fellow VW Group-stablemate Audi for the endurance racing crown. Who will come out on top, or will 2014 finally be Toyota’s year to shine?