Porsche 918 Coupe in Detroit

The ultimate Porsche is almost here! Speculation has been rife ever since the German firm let slip that it would be unveiling something ‘spectacular’ at the Detroit Motor Show next week – but only now has information began to trickle about what the newcomer will be.

According to our German sister magazine AutoBild, the Detroit surprise will be the second instalment in the 918 series, more specifically acoupeversion of the hybrid918 Spyder hypercarshown in Geneva last year. And our rendering gives an indication of how the show-stopping new model will shape up.

One thing’s for sure, with a low and wide stance, stubby nose section and muscular haunches the 918 coupe will look every inch the flagship for Porsche’s range. But if our sources are to be believed, this is a story with a twist in its tail.

Rather than simply showing a road-going 918 Coupe, it’s a race-ready 918 that will grace the Detroit stand. Building race-specific models for privateer racing teams, such as the 911 GT3 RSR, is a hugely profitable enterprise for Porsche, so this theory would seem to add-up.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen race-ready versions of high-performance road cars recently, either. McLaren has relesed an official sketch of itsMP4-12C GT3 car, whileFerrari’s 458 Italia Challengehas also broken cover.

There’s no word on how the power will be provided just yet, but expect a similar hybrid set up to the918 Spyder, which combined a 493bhp 3.4-litre unit from the companies existing Spyder race car with three electric motors for a total of 718bhp.

If the coupe version does appear in racing trim, expect it to weigh even less than the 918 Spyder’s 1,490kg kerbweight too – suggesting a 0-62mph sprint in around three seconds and a 200mph top speed.