Porsche claimed its 17th victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last weekend after its No. 19 and No. 20 919 Hybrids raced to an exciting 1-2 finish, but the automaker is still hungry for more wins. According to a new report from Sportscar 365, the Stuttgart-based company is already busy working on updated 919 Hybrids for the 2016 and 2017 WEC LMP1 seasons.
While this year’s 919 Hybrid was a totally new car for 2015, Porsche has no plans to roll out another new version of the car for 2016 and 2017. Instead, it will apply more restrained updates to the car in order to keep it within the regulations and to stay competitive.
“It will not be as dramatic a change for next year,” Porsche technical director technical director Alex Hitzinger told Sportscar365 in an interview. “We are already working on the 2017 car as well.”
The current 919 Hybrid will benefit from improvements and updates as well, Porsche says. There’s still some gains to be made in fuel efficiency with the 2015 car, which could come from improving the aerodynamic properties or making the engine, gearbox or hybrid system more efficient. As a result, Porsche currently has a 2015, 2016 and 2017 919 Hybrid in development.
Visually the 919 Hybrid will stay much the same, however some major changes wil happen under the skin of the car in time for 2017. The FIA has implemented different rules for the 2017 season that will require Porsche to use an entirely different monocoque for the 919. The engine and hybrid system rules are expected to stay the same, however Porsche says getting the car ready in time for 2017 is “a big step up there.”