2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid Adds Black and Red LeMans Liveries in 917K Salute

Porsche is extremely eager to show how fast and reliable its 2015 919 Hybrid is in the marquee endurance race of the year: LeMans.

Just 18 days from now, a trio of Porsche 919s will battle a mad pack of Audi R19 racecars, the secretive 2015 Toyota LMP1 update, and an all-new contender: the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo. This front-drive Nissan is a real wildcard in the tech blueprint adopted by the other big three: rear-mid-engine with electric front-axle AWD.

The Porsche 919 Hybrid looks extremely similar to last year’s car, but features dramatic updates under the skin. The core 400+ HP of the turbo V4 engine is maintained – despite the 2014 919’s experiencing significant engine blowouts that may have cost them the race.

Why a V4? Packaging, primarily. Keeping the engine compartment tiny with a highly centralized mass is believed to improve the 919’s dynamics. Think of it as the next level of weight distribution: not just front/rear, and not just left/right sides of the car. This is about the weight’s polarity and effect on the moving mass. Porsche believes that keeping the mass narrow as well as low is the optimal solution.

Weight is claimed to be down versus last year, while strength is up for core components (that they declined to identify….)

But what about some big changes outside to announce the new 919’s arrival!?

COLORS! (But not these colors)

Just white 919s in LeMans so far, so the introduction of red and black racers is fairly big news. Porsche notes an homage to the 917K in its bright red livery, but there are practical reasons for multiple colors for the racers. The first is simple race management simplicity.

As confused as spectators can be seeing the same racecar color/shape/sound pass by multiple times per lap — the pit crews can face some confusion as well. In the heat of an all-night battle, simplifying the cars should improve race monitoring from the banks of supercomputers in the Porsche compound.

Second theory on the red and black cars? These new paintjobs may be disguising special aero experiments.

We are always rooting for Porsche over Audi, but also strongly hope the Japanese brands can trump the smug Germans at the world’s greatest motor race.

2014 919 Hybrid vs 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid

But will they win? That is all up for grabs until the final hour of the race. The 2014 919’s delivered scorching laptimes before mechanical trouble in the engine bays gave Audi and Toyota better final standings. Will Porsche engines explode out again this year?

Get ready for LeMans and the full FIA WEC race season to find out!

The new 919 in bright 917K red will be unmissable!

Post Script:

Please find the 919 in a few digitally-rendered colors directly below, plus the real 2015 model from 55 angles down toward the bottom of this page.

2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid


Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015 Le Mans colors


The colours of the 919 Hybrid

The official Pre-test will see the world debut of the 2015 Porsche Le Mans race cars in their individual colours: The three Porsche 919 Hybrids will appear for the first time in their base colours of red, black and white.

For the high point of the WEC season – the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 13–14, 2015 – the Porsche team will send a white, a black and a red Porsche 919 Hybrid onto the circuit. An overview:


The red prototype with starting number 17 will be driven by Timo Bernhard (34, Germany), Brendon Hartley (25, New Zealand), and Mark Webber (38, Australia). Its car number and colour are a tribute to the Porsche that in 1970 took the first of what are now a total of 16 overall victories for the brand in Le Mans. No other brand has claimed so many victories in what is believed to be the world’s most demanding endurance race. The base colour of the Porsche 917 KH (“short-tail”) in “Salzburg Design” that won the race 45 years ago on June 14, 1970 was also red. The winning drivers then were Hans Herrmann from Germany, who is now 87, and Richard Attwood from the UK, who is 75 today.


The black LMP1 with starting number 18 is a symbol of the close technical relationship between the Porsche 919 Hybrid racing car and the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports car, which is also equipped with a hybrid drive. It was also a black 918 that on September 4, 2013 set a new record for a street-legal production sports car by completing a lap of more than 20 kilometres on the North Loop of the Nürburgring in six minutes and 57 seconds. The record-breaking driver there was Marc Lieb, 34, from Germany. Lieb will also drive the black 919 in Le Mans this year – together with Romain Dumas (37, France) and Neel Jani (31, Switzerland).

A Return

The team’s third car – the white 919 Hybrid with starting number 19 – will be competing in Le Mans in the colour Porsche chose for its return to top-notch racing after a 16-year absence. White, which is a traditional colour for racing cars from Germany, will also be used with the two Porsche 911 RSR factory cars that will race in the GTE Pro Class. In Le Mans the third 919 will be driven by Earl Bamber (24, New Zealand), Formula One driver Nico Hülkenberg (27, Germany), and Nick Tandy (30, Great Britain).

Despite their individual colours, the liveries of the three Porsche 919 Hybrids and the two Porsche 911 RSRs share the same philosophy. All the chassis are covered in the words “Porsche Intelligent Performance”. Those three words summarise the brand’s core ambition for maximised sportiness and highest efficiency.

Style icons and a provocative livery in Le Mans

The livery of a race car is a science in itself. It should highlight design and proportions, cover design secrets and it must look good when the car runs at high speeds. In the old days cars were painted, nowadays they are covered in ultra-thin material. Often the colours and looks are influenced by sponsors and partners like the never forgotten Porsche Le Mans race cars in the colours of Gulf, Martini, Mobil1, Rothmans or Shell. Also still famous are the extravagant creations by Anatole Lapine. The Latvian Porsche chief designer was responsible for the 1970 psychedelic purple-green Porsche 917 long tail, which was quickly given the nickname “Hippie”.

One year later Lapine let a ‘pig’ run. The pink 917 is known as the “Sau” which translates into sow, which, of course, is a female pig. It is said it is the most photographed Le Mans race car ever. Lapine even put a schematic drawing on it with red lines separating and naming the various parts of the body – just like those displays you’ll find in a butcher’s shop. Internally this was provocative, externally it was a sensation. Without this livery the 917 would have been long forgotten after its retirement in the race. Instead it is still the favourite car of the children visiting the Porsche Museum in Zuffenhausen.

Twenty years earlier the first race car entered by Porsche in Le Mans had no such issues. The class winning 356 SL 1100 from 1951 had a bare aluminium body. It was a pioneer in terms of light-weight construction and aerodynamic efficiency.


Technical Specs – 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid


The vehicle

Vehicle type Le Mans Prototype class LMP1
Monocoque Composite fibre construction made of carbon fibres with a honeycomb aluminium core.
On-board system battery Lithium-ion battery


Engine V4 engine with turbocharging
Engine management Bosch MS5.6
Engine lubrication Dry-sump lubrication
Displacement 2.000 cm³
Power > 370 kW (> 500 hp)

Hybrid system

Accumulator type Lithium-ion battery
Engine Generator Unit (EGU) EGU on front axle, Power > 400 hp

Drive/power transmission

Drive type Rear wheel drive, all-wheel drive via KERS on the front axle.
Clutch CFRP clutch
Transmission Sequential, hydraulically activated 7-speed sequential racing transmission
Differential Rear differential lock
Transmission housing Hybrid construction in CFRP with titanium inserts and cast aluminium housing
Drive shafts Constant-velocity sliding tripod universal joints


Chassis Front and rear multi-link pushrod independent wheel suspension with adjustable shock absorbers
Steering Hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering
Brakes Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system, light-alloy monobloc brake callipers, internally ventilated carbon fibre rear and front brake discs
Rims Forged magnesium wheels
Tyres Michelin Radial, front and rear: 310/710-18


Minimum weight 870 kg
Tank capacity 68,5 l


Height 1,050 mm
Width 1,900 mm
Length 4,650 mm

2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid

Header Drafts

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.

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