Porsche’s sexy 918 Spyder was in plain view for all to see on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Here are some important details on this mind-bogglingly powerful and equally efficient machine.
The car’s most important figure is right here: 887. Thanks to a cutting-edge plug-in hybrid drivetrain it delivers nearly 900 horsepower, which is enough to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 2.8 seconds.
But what good is all that performance if it swills fuel like an Airbus A380 on takeoff? Well, you’ll be happy to know it consumes gasoline like a toddler drinking apple juice from a sippy-cup. Fuel consumption on the European test cycle clocks in at between 3.0 L/100 km and 3.4 L/100 km. That’s up to 78 miles per U.S. gallon on an admittedly generous testing scale.
The heart of this car’s parallel-hybrid drivetrain is a screaming 4.6-liter eight-cylinder engine that delivers 608 horsepower and spins to 9,150 rpm. It’s augmented by an electric motor at each axle, one front and rear. A seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission changes gears, while a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery stores energy, up to seven kilowatt hours.
The Porsche 918 Spyder draws from the company’s Le Mans experience and is essentially built on a racing chassis. Even its engine is based on the one in their Prototype 2 car. The monococque structure is made from carbon fiber.
A Mode for Every Driver
The Porsche 918 Spyder offers drivers five powertrain operating modes that can be changed via a switch on the steering wheel. The default setting is “E-Power,” which is battery only. Depending on conditions and other variables it provides a maximum range of anywhere from 10 to 20 miles. The zero to 100 km/h sprint takes less than seven seconds; the combustion engine only kicks in when necessary. Top speed in electric-only mode is 93 miles an hour.
“Hybrid Mode” is the next setting. Here the gasoline engine and electric motor work alternately to deliver maximum efficiency and minimum fuel consumption. Porsche says this mode is typically used for efficient driving.
Next up is “Sport Hybrid” in which the internal-combustion engine works continuously and provides the lion’s share of propulsion. The electric motors are activated at certain points when they can help improve efficiency.
“Race Hybrid” delivers maximum performance and a super sporty driving experience. Here the engine charges the car’s battery pack when maximum power is not required and the electric motors deliver their maximum output. Additionally the transmission’s shift program changes to deliver even sportier performance.
Lastly “Hot Lap” model unleashes the last of the 918’s reserves for all-out competition. It delivers maximum performance for all-out competition until the battery’s reserves are depleted.
On paper the Porsche 918 Spyder delivers an unbelievable mix of performance and efficiency multiplied by the pleasure of open-air motoring courtesy of its removable roof panels. Summing it up, this is one vehicle we cannot wait to drive.
GALLERY: Porsche 918 Spyder Live Photos
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