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Hybrid racer
Hybrid racer
Hybrid technology, which uses electric motors to add power to a gasoline engine, is one way Porsche will boost the efficiency of its sports cars.

One hybrid strategy is displayed in the Porsche GT3R Hybrid racecar that Porsche recently began campaigning on European tracks.

Instead of batteries, the GT3R Hybrid stores power in an electrically-driven flywheel. When the brakes generate electricity, that power is used to spin the flywheel. The driver can tap into that power -- up to about 160 additional horsepower -- using a button on the steering wheel.

The advantage of a flywheel is that it can store and release power quickly and repeatedly with little wear, making it ideal for racing. With computer controls substituting for the driver's thumb, this technology along with batteries could be available in Porsche cars in the future, said Porsche development driver Marc Lieb.

NEXT: 918 Hybrid

Last updated April 08 2010: 7:20 AM ET
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