By Fabrizio Panico
A few months ago a new model was added to my 1:18 scale Porsche promotional models collection: the 919 hybrid, winner of Le Mans 2015.
An imposing model, it was produced as a diecast by Spark for Porsche as a Special Edition (WAP 021 819 0G) but there seems to be no visible difference at all with the identical resin Spark item (no. 18LM15), apart from the box, the black base and the price. There are no opening parts, but despite this it is quite fragile due to the many antennas and needs quite a lot of care in handling.
The real car is a sports-prototype racing car of the Le Mans Prototype 1-Hybrid (LMP1-H) category. It has a composite chassis of carbon fibre with a honeycomb aluminium core, and a turbocharged V4 engine with lithium-ion battery for energy recovery, plus an exhaust-energy recovery system. 2013 was its first public showing with only an eleventh place at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hours race. In 2015, with more than 80% new parts, car no. 19 was driven to victory at Le Mans by Earl Bamber, Nico Hulkenberg and Nick Tandy. Other 919s took second and fifth place with cars no. 17 and 18. The 919 went on to win both the 2015 and 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship.
An important car, but (alas) an ugly one, at least compared to the Ford, Ferrari and Porsche of the 1960s, and not helped by its white and black lettered livery (excellently rendered), based on the Porsche slogan “Porsche Intelligent Performance”.
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