Porsche has every intention of changing how the world perceives supercars when the 918 Spyder finally hits the market in 2013. The German automaker shocked the world when it debuted its concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, where the vehicle garnered enough attention to get the green light within months.
The 918 Spyder will be the world’s first plug-in hybrid supercar, and earlier this year we found out that it’d be powered by a 4.6L V8 based on the race engine found in the original RS Spyder LMP2 race car. Now there’s three prototypes out there testing Porsche’s new formula for success.
Out at the Nardo Test Track in Italy, Porsche literally slapped together – as you can tell by the photos – a 918 Spyder for some thorough on track testing. The 570-hp powerplant is mated to a pair of electric motors for a total power output of 770-hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. But that’s not all, Porsche is experimenting with a “Hot Lap” mode that brings torque output to 700 lb-ft temporarily. Imagine 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds without having to use any gas.
But Porsche knows plenty of power is nothing if the vehicle weighs too much. The engineers are hard at work to lighten the load on the 918 Spyder, freely using an abundance of carbon fiber and aluminum throughout its chassis. Their mark of less than 3,700 lbs will make the 918 Spyder a true supercar.
Unfortunately the test mule, lacking the vehicle’s complete bodywork and aerodynamics, was limited to just 400-hp and topped out at 80-mph. Even then, the 918 Spyder proved to be an exhilarating experience and by all means, Porsche’s next supercar looks to be revolutionary.
GALLERY: Porsche 918 Spyder Prototype