[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Porsche engineers who build some of the world’s best racing cars, have done it again. They have managed to create the super sports car for the next decade – the Porsche 918 Spyder. The entire car was designed around the hybrid drive.
[pull_quote_center]In short, the 918 Spyder will act as the gene pool for the Porsche sports cars of the future.[/pull_quote_center]
Porsche 918 Spyder demonstrates the potential of the hybrid drive to a degree never seen before: the parallel improvement of both efficiency and performance without one being at the cost of the other.
A key message of the 918 Spyder is that the hybrid drive from Porsche is a plus for no-compromise driving dynamics. Drivers can experience this thanks to the unique all-wheel drive concept with a combination of combustion engine and electric motor on the rear axle and the second electric motor on the front axle.
It is based on knowledge gained by Porsche during motor races with the successful 911 GT3 R Hybrid.
UNDER THE BONNET – THE EIGHT CYLINDER ENGINE
The main source of propulsion is the 4.6-litre, eight cylinder engine that produces 608 hp of power. The engine is derived directly from the power unit of the successful RS Spyder, which explains why it can deliver engine speeds of up to 9,150 rpm.
Like the race engine of the RS Spyder, the 918 Spyder power unit features dry-sump lubrication with a separate oil tank and oil extraction.
Weight and performance optimisations achieve a power output per litre of approx. 132 hp/l – the highest power output per litre of a Porsche naturally aspirated engine – which is significantly higher than that of the Carrera GT (106 hp/l) and outstanding for a naturally aspirated engine.
The V8 engine is coupled to the hybrid module, since the 918 Spyder is designed as a parallel hybrid like the current hybrid models from Porsche. Essentially, the hybrid module comprises a 115 kW 156 hp electric motor and a decoupler that serves as the connection with the combustion engine.
EXTERIOR – TOP PIPES
It isn’t just this engine’s performance but also the sound it makes that stokes the emotionality of the 918 Spyder. This is attributable first and foremost to the so- called top pipes: the tailpipes terminate in the upper part of the rear end immediately above the engine. No other production vehicle uses this solution.
[quote_box_left]The entire load-bearing structure is made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) for extreme torsional rigidity.[/quote_box_left] Additional aluminium crash elements at the front and rear absorb and reduce the energy of a collision.
For very performance-oriented customers of the 918 Spyder, Porsche offers the “Weissach” package. These modified super sports cars can be recognised at first glance by special colours and designs that are based on legendary Porsche race cars.
The roof, rear wings, rear-view mirrors and frames of the windshield are made of visible carbon. Parts of the interior are upholstered with Alcantara instead of leather, and visible carbon replaces much of the aluminium.
INTERIOR – CLEAR ORGANISATION OF THE COCKPIT
The driver is the focus of all technology in the future Porsche super sports car. A cockpit was created for the driver that is typical of the brand and pioneering in its clarity. It is partitioned into two basic areas.
First, there are the controls that are important for driving. They are grouped around the multifunction steering wheel, combined with driver information displayed on three large round instruments.
Second, there is the infotainment block that is housed in the lifted centre console, which was introduced in the Carrera GT. Control functions such as those for the automatic climate control system, wing adjustment, lighting and Porsche Communication Management (PCM), including a Burmester high-end sound system, can be intuitively operated by multitouch with a new type of black panel technology.
[quote_box_center]Full specifications, pricing and more information at www.porsche.com [/quote_box_center]