This Saturday at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three Porsche 919 Hybrid race cars will line up on the grid for one of racing’s most brutal challenges. Normally, it takes skill, dedication, and low body mass to join the elite group of drivers that pilot these Porsches, but now there’s a much easier way.
Porsche’s Asia Pacific division is auctioning off a full-size 919 Hybrid replica on eBay for charity. So while you won’t be able to do a stint at Le Mans, you might be able to get behind the wheel of a 919, if you’ve got the cash.
What Porsche calls a “1:1 scale model car” is one a handful of non-functioning mockups built primarily for display and for use by engineers working on the actual race cars (pictured above).
All proceeds from the auction will benefit the SportCares Foundation and Movement, a Singapore-based charity organization that works with underprivileged youth, seniors, people with physical or intellectual disabilities, and other disadvantaged groups.
The auction opened Monday and runs through Sunday. The highest bid for the car was $7,370 at the time of publication. The winning bid will not only buy the car, but also a trip to Singapore for a Porsche event celebrating the company’s 30th anniversary in the region.
The real 919 Hybrid racers that will hit the track at Le Mans this weekend feature a complex powertrain design, comprising a 2.0-liter turbocharged V4 engine, electric motor, and an energy-recovery system that can harvest electricity from braking and from the V4’s exhaust gases.
Porsche returned to Le Mans last year after a long absence, and while it was fast, the 919 Hybrid just wasn’t reliable enough to beat the dominant cars from Porsche’s corporate cousin, Audi.
The 919 Hybrid will once again face off against Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro, as well as Toyota’s TS040 Hybrid and the newcomer Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. With four radically different designs vying for the overall victory, it’s shaping up to be one of the most exciting Le Mans races in years.
Porsche still holds the record for overall wins at 16, but its last win was way back in 1998. If it manages to end that dry spell on Sunday, that 919 replica could suddenly increase in value.