Everything you need to know about the Porsche 919 Evo

Everything you need to know about the Porsche 919 Evo

So when Porsche gave its people the chance to break free and show what their machines can do, they overdelivered.

Porsche has revealed its 919 Hybrid Evo, an upgraded version of its Le Mans winning hybrid sports prototype, which just lapped the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit faster than a Formula One vehicle.

In addition to a complete overhaul of its design, which boasts futuristic and aggressive lines, Formula E's Gen2 will enjoy a significant increase in battery capacity, a change that will finally enable drivers to run a full distance of a race without swapping cars.

Porsche's engineers tweaked the aerodynamics of the 919 Evo with a new and larger front diffuser that balances the new and large rear wing, with of which have actively controlled drag reduction systems.

The clue to that is in the 1:41.770 just set by works driver Neel Jani around the 7km Spa circuit - nearly eight tenths of a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton's outright lap record of 1:42.553 set in August 2017 in the Mercedes-AMG F1 W07. The Evo lapped the course in 1:41.77 minutes, 12 seconds faster than the race-legal 919. In a sport estimated by millisecond, that is a fabulous improvement. It even beat the all-time track record, set by Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, by 0.783 seconds.

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The Porsche 919 Hybrid's competitive career came to a close when the chequered flag dropped in Bahrain in November 2017 - but its dominance of the motorsport world hasn't ended just yet, setting a new lap record at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. He further added that it is definitely the fastest vehicle he ever drove and the grip level is at a fully new dimension for him which he could not imagine beforehand.

"The entire hardware of the powertrain remains untouched", says Porsche, but now it's binned the WEC-mandated fuel-flow meter that effectively limited the 919 to 500bhp, power from the 2.0-litre turbocharged V4 internal combustion engine has leapt up to 720hp.

It turns out as if, when the rules which govern the World Endurance Championship are ignored, there is a lot that could be done to go faster. Still, the team wasn't quite finished with the vehicle. They even tweaked the outer aerodynamics, generating around 53 percent more downforce, the all-crucial thing which keeps the auto fixed to the pavement when it is clocking the jumbo jet takeoff speeds. Furthermore, the power steering was adapted for the higher loads and stronger suspension wishbones (front and rear) were implemented. The amount of energy the 919's hybrid system could scrape from braking and feed to the front-mounted electric motor was upped from 6.37 megajoules to 8.49 megajoules, giving the front axle a performance bump from 298kW to 328kW. Without imposed limits, that motor now adds another 440 horsepower (as much as the total power of a BMW M3), up 10 percent. Porsche is literally pulling out of the World Endurance Championship so it could focus on the electric Formula E racing.

"The race engineers did a great job setting up the auto and the Michelin tyres are sensational". Then it's on to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and the Festival of Porsche at Brands Hatch, in the United Kingdom, before coming to California's Laguna Seca in California.

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