Porsche-918-Spyder-Test-2Flirting with redline has never felt so environmentally friendly. The Porsche 918 Spyder has been throwing its 770HP to the pavement recently, and it’s brewing this effervescent cauldron of power via two electric motors and a gas engine. It’s worth mentioning that Porsche is reporting a 3.0-liter per 100 Kilometer fuel efficiency estimate, and in American that means the 918 Spyder is reaching the crest of 78MPG.

78MPG on a high-performance super sports machine that’s capable of 770HP!? Realistically, the car is probably being piloted like it’s driving Miss Daisy to attain that number, but we can only imagine what the base figures could be when driven at a more spirited pace. 50-60MPG would place the 918 Spyder in Prius territory, which means we’ll most likely see many investment bankers listing their Prii in the locals when the 918 Spyder hits the hybrid market.

It’s been quite a wait for the Porsche 918 Spyder since its concept form debuted at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, but now Porsche is estimating a September 2013 production run. The car is definitely unique, equipped with two independent electric motors that take care of the front and rear axles. A high performance combustion engine provides most of the power, but Porsche’s tri-engine configuration excels in boosting maximum efficiency.

The car is also a beauty, and we’d take its 917-inspired camouflage paint job any day. The 918 Spyder is loaded with high performance components and build elements, including a full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system.

Undoubtedly, there will be a price to pay for the 918 Spyder, but if this is the future of plug-in hybrids, sign me up.


918 Spyder prototypes commence trialsDevelopment of the Porsche super sports car enters next phase

Stuttgart. The Porsche 918 Spyder is on the road: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has taken the driving trials of the super sports car of the future a step further with completion of the initial prototypes. The 918 Spyder will go into production at the end of September 2013 as planned, with the first customers receiving their vehicles before 2013 is out. “What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency and performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.

The prototypes, their camouflage harking back to historical Porsche 917 racing cars, signal the final touches to the 918 Spyder. The focus is on the interplay between the highly sophisticated individual drive components. The combination of combustion engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels – poses completely new demands on the development of the operating strategies. “They are therefore a critical component in this vehicle into which we have put all of our expertise and capacity for innovation,” said Wolfgang Hatz. These operating strategies and the development of the software to go with them are one of Porsche’s core competences. Both of them have a major influence on the extreme driving fun to be had with the 918 Spyder and they make possible a unique combination of minimal fuel consumption and maximum performance. The initial results of the driving trials are in line with the high expectations placed on the 918 Spyder.

The super sports car is designed as a plug-in hybrid vehicle combining a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors for extraordinary performance: on the one hand, the dynamics of a racing machine boasting more than 770 hp, on the other hand, fuel consumption in the region of three litres per 100 kilometres. Moreover, Porsche is breaking yet more new ground with the technology demonstrator with spectacular solutions such as the full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system. In the process, the 918 Spyder is offering a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance may be capable of in future.[press_end]