Porsche 917 Concept Revealed — Celebrating 50 Years Of The Le Mans Dominance Instigator

German sportscar firm Porsche has revealed a brand new 917 concept car. The new concept pays tribute to one of the most well-known race cars Porsche made - 917 - as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The 917 Concept will be showcased at the '50 Years of the 917' exhibit in May at the Porsche museum. However, unlike the Porsche 935, which made production as a limited-run track car, the 917 will remain a conceptual study with its red and white livery. At the 50 years of 917 exhibition in March, the new concept 917 will be among 14 exhibits — including ten 917 models — which produce an earth-shattering combined power output of 7,688bhp. Porsche, however, has not revealed any details about the new 917's powerplant.

The Porsche 917 is one of the best-known sports prototype cars that the German sports car firm ever built. The racing car was initially powered by a 4.5-litre flat-12 engine. The new 917 racecar's powerplant was built by combining two of Porsche 2.25-litre flat-six engines that the firm had used to race before. In its initial guise, the 4.5-litre flat-12 cranked out around 520bhp.

The engine was enlarged to 4.9-litres and then 5.0-litres which produced 600bhp and 630bhp respectively. When the 917 was raced in the Can-Am Series, Porsche introduced turbocharging, with the new forced induction system driving power north of the 1,000bhp mark. Porsche also tested a 6.6-litre flat-16 engine in the 1969 917 Porsche-Audi race car for the Can-Am championship. However, the 917 PA was longer and heavier than the regular car which compromised its handling characteristics. Due to this, Porsche never raced the flat-16 engine.

The 917 was an instant success story on the track for Porsche winning its very first year of competing in the 1,000-kilometre race at Zeltweg, Austria, the Porsche 917 took the overall win. A year later, the new 917 had taken Porsche to the top step at the podium of the most prestigious endurance race of them all - the 24 hours of Le Mans — for the very first time. The 917's turbocharged versions which won the Can-Am racing series two years in a row in 1972 and 73 also saw a trickle-down transfer of tech to Porsche's road-going cars, with the 1974 911 Turbo the first road car from the German carmaker to benefit from forced induction.

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Article Published On: Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 15:57 [IST]
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