Move over Carrera GT, a new high-revving V-8 just beat your lap time around the Nordschleife of Nürburgring and gets 94 mpg.
In the months leading up to the 2010 Geneva International Motor show, Porsche was at the forefront of the hybrid model assault from high-end car manufacturers with the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Cayenne S Hybrid, and the new Porsche 918 Spyder Concept. The mid-engined sports car features a plug in hybrid system and combines Porsche’s Intelligent Performance Technology with motorsport pedigree.
The Porsche 918 Spyder Concept utilizes both a high-revving V-8 engine and electric motors at the front and rear axle. The powerful V-8 is a derivative of the 3.4-liter found in the successful Porsche RS Spyder. The mid-mounted V-8 produces over 500 brake horsepower and revs to an ungodly 9,200 RPM. The electric motors positioned at both the front and rear axles have a mechanical output of 218 brake horsepower (160kW). The power provided by both the electric motors and gasoline engine propels the 918 Spyder to 62 mph in under 3.2 seconds, and to a top speed of over 198 mph. The 918 Spyder was able to achieve a lap time of under 7:30 on the famed Nordschleife of Nürburgring, making the plug-in hybrid one of the fastest sports cars in the world.
The plug-in hybrid system of the Porsche 918 Spyder Concept uses a fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery that is positioned behind the passenger seat. The battery can be charged through a household electrical outlet or by applying the brakes. When the brakes are applied kinetic energy created by friction is converted into electrical energy and stored in the battery. Power from both the V-8 and rear electric motor is sent to the rear wheels through the tongue twisting seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK). The front wheels are powered by the electric motor at the front axle through a firm transmission ratio. The plug-in hybrid system helps the 918 Spyder achieve an astonishing 94 mpg (3 liters/100km) and ultra-low emissions of just 70g/km.
Four different driving modes can be selected for various levels of performance and efficiency. The 918 Concept can be set to run under just electric power for a 16 mile range in the E-mode, while the Hybrid mode uses both the electric motors and gasoline engine to provide a powerful and efficient drive. In Sport Hybrid mode, both electric and gasoline drive is used to send most of the power to the rear wheels, while Torque Vectoring is engaged to give the 918 greater handling dynamics. For optimum performance, a Race Hybrid mode is available and provides an E-Boost push to pass button for overtaking or a power boost.
Benefiting from Porsche’s motorsport experience, the 918 is built with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) monocoque bodyshell. In combination with aluminum and magnesium, the CFP monocoque bodyshell contributes provides a high torsional stiffness and weight of just 3,285 pounds. The design takes elements and aerodynamics from the legendary Porsche 917 Le Mans and the Posrsche RS Spyder to create a dynamic and powerful appearance. The principals of form and function are found in the rear hoods that extend from the headrests to create better aerodynamics and house retractable air intakes. Side exhausts on both sides hint at the racing character. A large rear spoiler and carbon fiber diffuser create a large amount of downforce at the rear. Both the 918 Spyder badges and brake calipers wear a bright green paint to reference the plug-in hybrid technology.
Inside the cockpit of the Porsche 918 Spyder Concept is a technologically advanced and ergonomic design layout. Three “free-standing” dials face the driver and display engine speed, energy management, and road speed. A Carrera GT-esque floating center console is used and features a touch sensitive surface for easy operation. Driving modes for each of the four settings are found on the steering wheel, along with the PDK paddle shifters. An innovative Range Manager program can be accessed on the navigation system, and projects the remaining range of the 918 on a map so that the driver can adjust driving styles. Carbon fiber and green highlights are used throughout the interior to showcase the efficient performance of the 918 Spyder.
The 918 Spyder Concept demonstrates Porsche’s innovation and performance. Due to the positive reception, Porsche is rumored to be considering production of the concept. If the 918 Spyder makes it to production, expect it to be available within the next five years.
Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Gallery
Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Specifications
Gasoline: High-revving V-8
Maximum Horsepower: Over 500 bhp at 9,200 RPM
Electric: Motors at front and rear axle
Mechanical Output: 218 bhp (160 kW)
Energy reservoir: Fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery
Fuel Consumption: 94 mpg imp (3 liters/100 km)
CO2 Emissions: 70 grams/km
Rear-wheel drive transmission: Seven-speed dual clutch Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK)
Front-wheel drive transmission: Firm transmission ratio
Acceleration 0-62 mph: under 3.2 seconds
Top Speed: Over 198 mph
Nordschleife of Nürburgring Lap Time: under 7:30
Bodyshell: Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) monocoque
Weight: 3,285 pounds
-Floating center console with touch sensitive controls
-Three “free standing” circular dials
-Three spoke steering wheel with four driving modes
-Carbon fiber trim