Every Porsche has a strong connection to the brand’s motorsports history, even if not all have been used in competition. The advances Porsche makes in motorsports frequently make their way to the brand’s road cars, and often quickly. The racing variant of the 356 introduced a fully synchronized gearbox in 1951, and the technology appeared in the road car within a year. Intercooling came to road cars thanks to the 917 Can-Am car. We’ve discussed the technological connection between Porsche between Porsche road and racing cars before. In Porsche’s latest Top 5 video Walter Röhrl breaks down the connection between the street and the racetrack.
While many of the technologies presented were covered in our earlier feature, hybrid technology in Porsche road cars has broadened in scope quite a bit in the last two years. When we published our last piece in 2015, Porsche was a little over two weeks away from their first hybrid-powered Le Mans win, and the GT3 hybrid was Porsche’s most successful racing hybrid to date. The Panamera E-Hybrid wasn’t yet a 686 horsepower monster. Today, just under two years later, Porsche’s hybrid concept has been validated in the crucible of motorsport.
This episode of Top 5 is hosted by one Walter Röhrl, who understands this connection better than most thanks to his role as Porsche’s senior test driver. This video features the 911 GT3 RS, 911 GT1, 917, 962, 919 Hybrid, and curiously the 918 Spyder presented as a racing car.