Unlike with the development of the 917/30, for the Evo version of the 919 the hardware in the drivetrain remained untouched. The V4 turbo, whose capacity is only 2.0 litres, continues to drive the rear axle – without, however, the fuel consumption restriction to which it was subject when competing in the WEC. Thanks to this freedom and some software support, the Evo’s combustion engine attains 720 hp instead of previously 500 hp.
The two energy recovery systems provide massive support by collecting brake energy on the front axle and – by means of an additional turbine – energy in the exhaust tract and storing it temporarily in a lithium-ion battery. Where the WEC regulations limited the deployable quantity of energy from these systems, the technology in the Evo could use their full potential for the record attempts. The e-motor that drives the front axle – and which makes the 919 temporarily all-wheel-drive – now contributed 440 hp, ten per cent more than in the WEC. The result is a system output of 1,160 hp at a vehicle weight that has been reduced from 888 kilograms (including the driver ballast) to 849 kg.
The upgrade for chasing records also included a brake-by-wire system for all wheels, stronger suspensions and specially developed Michelin tyres to withstand higher aerodynamic forces. The larger front diffusor and the big time rear wing are also equipped with active aerodynamics. Similarly to Formula One, drag reduction systems are used to sat the wing elements flat in order to reduce air resistance on straight stretches. Together with an aerodynamically optimised floor and lateral skirts, the Evo generates 53 per cent more downforce than the 919 did in the WEC. “As if on rails”, is how Timo Bernhard described the feeling of driving through the fast corners at the Nordschleife. Donohue could only have dreamed of a dynamic behaviour like that during his daring ride in Talladega.