The first images of the liveried 919 Hybrid, Porsche’s LMP1 (Le Mans Prototype), have just been released ahead of the racecar’s debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week and maiden season of the World Endurance Championship.

The 919 Hybrid marks Porsche’s return to the top tier of endurance racing, and complies with the very latest LMP1 rules and regulations – which require that the prototype weigh a minimum of 870 kg and not be longer than 4 650 mm, taller than 1 050 mm and wider than 1 900 mm. After months of testing and development, the motoring fraternity also gets a first look at what the 919 Hybrid will look like shod of that black and white camouflage. And Porsche has been quite conservative on the design front…

The 919 Hybrid, which is without a doubt the most complex Porsche racecar in history, is powered by a turbocharged 2,0-litre V4 motor capable of spinning up to 9 000 r/min and which sends torque to the rear wheels. The petrol motor is supplemented by an electric engine (powered by a lithium-ion battery), that is mounted on the front axle, and which temporarily gives the 919 all-wheel drive when the electric energy is called upon.

The new Porsche also boasts two different energy recovery systems, the first of which is a brake energy recuperation unit not far off what everyday roadgoing hybrids use, as well as new thermal energy recovery system that optimises the wasted gases from the exhaust.

The 919 Hybrid will be campaigned by former Australian F1 driver Mark Webber, who will be partnered by former A1 Grand Prix of nations Swiss driver Neel Jani and 24-year-old New Zealander Brendon Hartley. The second entry consists of Germans Timo Bernhard and Marc Lieb, as well as Frenchman Romain Dumas.