PORSCHE 918 SPYDER — SCROLL TO READ
A Killer Hybrid
Written by Nicolas Bates
High-end vehicle manufacturer Porsche has always led the way in high-performance innovation. With a company that participates so heavily in the highly competitive world of sports car racing, Porsche is easily able to adapt what it has learned on the racetrack to its street-legal vehicles. Recently, Porsche has confirmed the status of its 918 Spyder Hybrid from concept to production, and is promising customer orders to be fulfilled by the end of 2013. The Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid is so much more than just another high-end vehicle from the well-known manufacturer—it is a highly technologically advanced look into the future of sports cars. Whether or not you’re a fan of the open-cockpit stylings of the 918 Spyder, the car is worth more than a once-over.
As you may have noticed in the introduction to the 918 Spyder, it is indeed a hybrid. The car is bolted to a 4.6-liter V8, which musters 570 hp (the original pre-production car only had a 3.4-liter V8) and will be naturally aspirated. In addition to the V8, will be one electric motor mated to the rear axle (working either independently or in conjunction with the V8) and another electric motor to spin the front axle only (taking partly after the elusive Porsche 959, the 918 Spyder will also be all-wheel drive) for a combined total power output of near 770 hp. The 918 Spyder will be able to run solely on the electric motors and have a range of 15 miles while doing so, as well as a decent top speed of 93 mph.
As used in Le Mans and Formula One-style racecars, a brake-energy recovery system will be utilized to push the Porsche along further distances. Porsche is currently claiming that the 918 Spyder should be able to produce up to 74 mpg and will rocket from 0-60 in less than three seconds. And to top it off, Porsche is also claiming a top speed of 202 mph. All this, and you can still plug the car into any ol’ home wall outlet. Now that’s innovation!
To help the 918 Spyder achieve its best fuel efficiency (and hair-raising speeds), the car has been designed with a monocoque-style bodyshell made up of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, as well as magnesium and aluminum (to help with rigidity) to bring the car in for a total weight of 3,285 lb.
The 918 Spyder will be outfitted with four drive modes: E-Drive mode, where the car runs solely on electric power; Hybrid mode, where the car utilizes both electric and internal combustion power (depending on driving conditions and driver input); Sport Hybrid mode, which also utilizes both electric power and internal combustion power (but focuses more on performance and power to the rear wheels); and Race Hybrid mode, which focuses purely on performance, and offers electric power in the form of a push-to-pass button (E-Boost).
Currently, the 918 Spyder is capable of running a 7:30 second lap time at Nürburgring; a lap time quicker than the Porsche Carrera GT.
Although Porsche has confirmed it will sell the 918 Spyder for $875,000 and only manufacture a limited run, the future can be seen with the development of this automobile. It’s no longer about making the fastest car—it’s about making the fastest and most efficient car. Just ask Porsche.
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