Porsche 918 official sketches

Production-ready plug-in Porsche supercar revealed in official sketches, blends 200mph pace with 94mpg economy

Porsche’s hybrid hypercar is go! With fuel consumption of 94mpg, but a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, the 918 Spyder is set to blur the line between performance and economy as never before. Only 918 examples will be made in total at Porsche’s flagship plant in Stuttgart, with production beginning on 18 September 2013 and first deliveries planned for two months later.

The price has been set at £678,000, which is nearly three times that of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, and almost £250,000 more than the 918’s
predecessor, the Carrera GT.

Unlike the Geneva Motor Show concept, the production model will 
feature a manual roof system with removable panels that stow in the front 
luggage compartment. The side-exit exhausts have been deleted, and now emerge from pods behind the headrests. The rear wing will extend upwards for more downforce at high speed.

In keeping with the 918 Spyder’s eco-friendly approach, weight will be kept to a minimum. At the heart of this strategy is a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque carried over from the Carrera GT. Magnesium and aluminium will also be used throughout, ensuring the 918 weighs in at less than 1,500kg.

Under the skin, the plug-in hybrid powertrain is identical to the layout shown on the concept. It features a high-revving mid-mounted V8 and 
two electric motors – one on each axle – which brings the benefits of four-wheel drive.

The engine is derived from the racing unit used on the RS Spyder and will have a displacement of “more than four litres and an output of in excess of 500bhp”. Power is transmitted through 
a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK gearbox. The two electric motors have a joint output of 215bhp.

The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged from a normal power socket in as little as three hours and provides a range of 
16 miles in electric-only mode, 
at speeds of up to 94mph. It’s 
this electric-only function that allows the 918 to achieve such remarkable fuel economy of 94mpg, and corresponding 
emissions of 70g/km.

Although it potentially puts out less CO2 than a Toyota Prius, 
performance is expected to be scintillating. Porsche claims the 0-62mph sprint will take 3.2 
seconds – on a par with the McLaren MP4-12C – with a 
top speed of around 200mph. Simulations have also calculated that the 918 will be able to lap Germany’s famous Nürburgring circuit in seven minutes and 30 seconds – a few seconds quicker than the V10-powered Carrera GT.

Customers putting down a deposit will get the chance to 
buy the ultimate accessory – 
in the shape of a special 911. The Turbo 918 S Spyder Edition comes as a coupé (£125,865) or 
a cabriolet (£133,553), and will also be limited to 918 units.

Mechanically identical to the 523bhp 911 Turbo S, the limited-run model features acid-green highlights on the seats, instrument dials and 
illuminated door sills. There’s also higher-grade leather on the interior and additional carbon elements inside and out.

A badge on the glovebox 
will bear the same order number as your 918 Spyder, plus it can be ordered in the exact same 
colour. But Spyder Edition will 
be available to the public, too, with deliveries starting in June.

New leaner Porsche hybrid racer

The Porsche factory team will line up for the 2011 Nurburgring 24-Hour endurance race with a considerably updated version of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid – so much so that the team refers to the 2011 race car as Version 2.0.

Most of the development work went into making the hybrid components more compact – the hybrid system as a unit is now 20 percent lighter than previously, in an attempt to achieve the same lap times as its predecessor on less fuel.

The general layout remains the same, however; a portal axle with two electric motors drives the front wheels and supplements the 345kW, four-litre flat-six at the back – but the output of the electric motors has been increased from 60 to 75kW each.

For a few seconds at a time, drivers now have an additional 150kW on tap, either by hoofing the loud pedal extra hard or by calling the extra power up manually, for instance when overtaking.

The electric flywheel accumulator, with its rotor spinning up to 40 000rpm and storing energy mechanically, is now fitted, along with the other hybrid components, in a carbon-fibre safety cell on the passenger’s side.

The new GT3 R Hybrid is visually quite different from the 2010 model. More efficient, cooler-running high-voltage components have obviated the need for large louvres in front of the wheel arches, reducing drag and fuel consumption. And the overall weight of the car is down from 1350 to 1300kg.

Most of the displays and controls have been moved to the steering wheel.

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Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche motorsport, said: “We’ve collected a great deal of information from our races at the Nurburgring, the ALMS race at Road Atlanta in the US and the ILMC race at China’s Zhuhai circuit.

“The emphasis was always on improving efficiency – keeping the lap times consistent with 2010 but using less energy, hence less fuel, and supporting future development of sporty hybrid road cars.”

The cockpit of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has also been completely revised. Most of the displays and controls have been moved to the steering wheel and the driver can operate the rest of the functions via backlit buttons on the centre console. Priority was placed on ergonomics and a clear, intuitive layout – particularly in darkness as this is, after all, an endurance racer.