Geneva Motor Show: Porsche 918 Spyder

March 2, 2010 § Leave a comment

Well, we knew about the Cayenne and GT3R hybrids, but weren’t expecting this one from Porsche: the 918 Spyder prototype, a race-bred supercar capable of 94mpg and carbon dioxide emisions of 70g/km.  Yet it’s actually faster than the Carrera GT, lapping the Nordschliefe at the Nurburgring (the benchmark by which elite sports cars are judged) in 7.30 minutes, accelerating 0-62mph in less than 3.2 seconds, and being good for 198mph.

It’s a plug-in hybrid augmented by kinetic energy recovery, with a 500bhp-plus V8 (which revs to 9,200rpm) plus 218bhp-worth of electric motors driving both front and rear axles. The engine’s developed from the 3.4 in the RS Spyder, and this sits just in front of the rear axle; drive is via the seven-speed PDK transmission.

The driver can choose four running modes: electric only E-Drive, giving a range of up to 16 miles; Hybrid mode with all systems go; Sport Hybrid with more of a focus on performance, more power to the rear wheels and torque vectoring; and Race Hybrid, where the electrical energy serves as an on-demand extra boost.

An open two-seater, the 918 Spyder has a carbonfibre bodyshell with magnesium and aluminium components, and weighs less than 1490kg. Its cockpit with bucket seats previews the interior of future top-end production Porsches, with three retro-looking free-standing dials plus touch-sensitive controls on the centre console, menus for the drive programmes and electric range manager, integrated with the sat nav. This prototype “represents an essential milestone in Porsche’s strategy on the way to genuine electro-mobility”, says the company. Go on, take it to Le Mans.

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