Maximum Performance with Minimum Consumption.
The automotive industry is shifting their focus towards efficiency these days, even in their super cars. The new McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari both took steps forward with their hybrid technology and performance, and now there’s a hybrid super car coming out of Stuttgart – the Porsche 918 Spyder. The new 918 Spyder was designed entirely from scratch around a parallel hybrid drivetrain with a rolling chassis, taking inspiration and technology gained from the automaker’s rich motorsports history. Add in the fact that both racecar engineers and production specialists helped create the car and you have a formula for success.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is built upon a carbon monocoque where the entire load-bearing structure is made entirely from carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) with additional front and rear crash structures, ensuring safety and maximum torsional rigidity, while helping keep the overall weight down to 3,715 lbs (3,616 lbs with Weissach package). All of the components weighing over 110 lbs, including the drivetrain, are all positioned as low and closest to the center as possible to give the 918 Spyder a center of gravity that is as high as its wheel hubs. The car also boasts a weight distribution of 43:57 front/rear weight distribution. Integrated into the chassis are advanced components such as rear-axle steering and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) to improve overall driving dynamics and performance.
Porsche engineers were able to give the 918 Spyder aerodynamics that are both efficient and geared towards performance thanks to the Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA) system. The system operates using three different modes and a variety of components to automatically adjust for better performance or efficiency. In “Race” mode, the rear wing gains a steep angle, the central wing extends, and two underfloor wings open to redirect air into the diffuser for maximum performance. In “Sport” mode, the rear spoiler reduces its angle and the underfloor flaps close to reduce drag so that the 918 Spyder can achieve a higher top speed. In “E” mode, all of the components retract and close to achieve the lowest possible drag for maximum efficiency. Two air intakes under the headlights open in “Race” and “Sport” modes to aid cooling and close during “E-Power” or “Hybrid” modes under 81 mph or until cooling requires otherwise.
The main powerplant for the Porsche 918 Spyder is a naturally-aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 engine derived from the unit found in the RS Spyder racecar. The engine does not power auxiliary systems, helping it remain compact and negate the use of belts. A dry-sump oil system feeds the engine with a constant supply of oil and enables the car to perform endure large amounts of lateral acceleration for longer periods of time. A number of methods were used to save weight: the oil tank and air filter box are integrated into the subframe, air induction is made from carbon fiber, titanium connecting rods, thin wall, low-pressure casting on crankcase and cylinder heads, high-strength steel crankshaft with 180-degree crankpin offset, and thin-walled steel/nickel alloy exhaust system. The engine can produce a maximum of 608 horsepower at 8,600 RPM and 390 lb-ft. of torque at 6,600 RPM, while being able to reach a maximum 9,150 RPM and achieving an incredible 133 horsepower/liter of displacement output. A pair of top pipes – the first of its kind – expels gasses at the top of the car, right behind the engine to create optimum backpressure and reduce heat.
The Porsche 918 Spyder features a parallel hybrid system that features a 115 kW (154 hp) motor and decoupler at the rear axle and a 95 kW (125 hp) electric motor at the front axle that independently varies torque between the two wheels to create an advanced all-wheel drive system. The motors at the rear axle can produce power jointly or individually depending on the driving mode and energy stored. Energy for the electric motors is drawn from a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with 312 cells designed for performance. The battery can be charged via the combustion engine or by a plug-in system with a charge port in the B-pillar. The charge port is standardized to the country of purchase, and with the Universal Charger can be charged in seven hours in a standard US outlet. Using the Charging Dock installed at home, the car can be recharged in approximately two hours, while the optional Porsche Speed Charging Station (DC) does the same operation in just 25 minutes.
The Porsche 918 Spyder can operate in five different driving modes selected by controls on the steering wheel, comprising of “E-Power”, “Hybrid”, “Sport Hybrid”, “Race Hybrid”, and “Hot Lap”. In “E-Power”, the 918 Spyder operates solely on electric power for a maximum of 18 miles, while reaching 62 mph in 7.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 93 mph. “Hybrid” mode combines combustion and electric motors to provide optimum efficiency, while “Sport Hybrid” relies on the V-8 as the main source of power. “Race Hybrid” is designed to extract power from all motors and charge the battery when needed for performance, while the “Hot Lap” mode extracts every ounce of energy from the V-8 and battery to provide the greatest performance possible.
Power from the 4.6-liter V-8 engine is sent through a specially-designed seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission to the rear axle. The gearbox was redesigned and offers the sportiest gearshifts possible. The entire unit was rotated 180-degrees and mounted as low as possible for better packaging and dynamics. All of the motors combine for a total of 887 horsepower and 940 lb-ft. of torque, allowing the Porsche 918 Spyder to accelerate to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds, reach 124 mph in 7.9 seconds, and 186 mph in 23.0 seconds. Top speed is slated to be over 211 mph.
The interior of the Porsche 918 Spyder was designed with a minimalistic approach to motoring with the focus being on the driver. Essential driving controls are featured on the steering wheel and three large instruments display important information to the driver. Separating the driver and passenger is a lifted central console similar to the Porsche Carrera GT that features non-essential controls such as entertainment, automatic climate control, etc. in an infotainment block.
As an option, customers that want even more performance can opt for the “Weissach” package. The package includes a number of weight-saving measures including bare carbon fiber additional aerodynamic components; the roof, rear wings, mirrors, and windshield frames in bare carbon fiber, removal of some sound-deadening material, and the addition of magnesium wheels, while an exterior film is available instead of paint. The aluminum interior trim is replaced with carbon fiber and the leather seats now wear alcantara with six-point harnesses as part of the package. In total, about 77 lbs. was removed leading to more dynamic performance than the standard Porsche 918 Spyder.
Porsche has not released details on pricing or production numbers of the 918 Spyder, but keep it here for updates on both!
Porsche 918 Spyder Specifications
Body: Two-seat Spyder; carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) monocoque interlocked with CFRP unit carrier; two-piece Targa roof; fixed roll-over protection system.
Drivetrain: Parallel full hybrid; 4.6-liter V8 mid-engine with dry-sump lubrication; hybrid module with electric motor and decoupler; electric motor with decoupler and gear unit on front axle; auto start/stop function; electrical system recuperation; four cooling circuits for motors, transmission and battery; thermal management.
-608 hp at 8,600/min (V8 engine)
-154 hp (hybrid module on rear axle)
-127 hp (electric motor on front axle)
-887 hp (combined)
-390 lb.-ft. at 6,600/min (V8 engine)
-940 lb.-ft. (equivalent torque calculated on the crankshaft, complete system in 7th gear).
-787 lb.-ft. (complete system, 3rd gear)
-> 590 lb.-ft. (800/min – 5,000/min)
Maximum Engine Speed: 9,150 rpm
Power Output per Liter: 133 hp/l (V8 engine)
Power Transmission: Combustion engine with hybrid module and transmission bolted together to form a single drive unit; seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK); rear-wheel drive; front electric motor with gearbox for driving the front wheels (decoupled from 146 mph); five pre-selectable operating modes for optimum coordination of all drive units.
Gear ratios: PDK
1st gear: 3.91
2nd gear: 2.29
3rd gear: 1.58
4th gear: 1.19
5th gear: 0.97
6th gear: 0.83
7th gear: 0.67
R gear: 3.55
Final drive ratio: 3.09
Clutch diameter: 8.7 in. / 6.5 in.
Chassis and Suspension: Double-wishbone front axle; optional electro-pneumatic lift system on front axle; electro-mechanical power steering; multilink rear axle with adaptive electro-mechanical system for individual rear wheel steering; electronically controlled twin-tube gas-pressure dampers in the front and rear with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).
Brake system: High-performance hybrid brake system with adaptive recuperation; internally ventilated and perforated front ceramic brake discs (PCCB), 16 in. in diameter and 1.4 in. thick; rear discs 15.4 in diameter and 1.3 in. thick.
Wheels and Tires:
(Weissach package: 918 Spyder magnesium wheels)
Front: 9.5 J x 20 with 265/35 ZR 20
Rear: 12.5 J x 21 with 325/30 ZR 21
Curb weight: 3,715 lbs. /3,616 lbs. (Weissach package)
Length: 182.8 in.
Width: 76.4 in.
Height: 45.9 in.
Wheelbase: 107.5 in.
Front: 65.5 in.
Rear: 63.5 in.
Luggage compartment capacity, VDA: ~ 110 l
Fuel tank capacity: 18.5 gal
Energy supply: Lithium-ion battery with 6.8 kWh capacity (BOL nominal), 220 kW maximum power and mains-compatible plug-in charger.
Top speed: > 211 mph
Purely electric: 93 mph
0-62 mph: 2.8 s
0-60 mph: less than 2.8 s
0-62 mph (in electric mode): 7.0 s
0-124 mph (0-200 km/h): 7.9 s
0-186 mph (0-300 km/h): 23.0 s
Purely electric: approx. 18 mi.
Vehicle (Battery): 4 years (7 years)
AC charging on a household socket (110 V, 10 A): less than 7 hours
AC charging on an industrial socket (240 V, 30 A): less than 2 hours
DC charging on an industrial socket (400 V, 32 A): less than 0.5 hours.
Porsche 918 Spyder Gallery