Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Confirmed for Production - Car News
Perhaps the most wicked hybrid ever, the 918 Spyder concept will become a roadgoing reality.
BY EDDIE ALTERMAN
When the Porsche 918 Spyder concept was revealed to the press the evening before the 2010 Geneva auto show in March, it was with the tacit understanding that the car was bound for production. After all, Porsche had never shown a concept car it failed to put on the road, and it was clear from our conversations with Porsche brass that this rule wouldn’t change under new VW ownership. The official announcement came today: Porsche will produce the 918 Spyder in “limited series production.”
The 918 Spyder is a performance hybrid with four distinct driving modes and an extra, KERS-type overboost feature like that found on some F1 cars in 2009. It is motivated by various combinations of its 500-plus-hp, 3.4-liter V-8 (derived from the RS Spyder LMP2 car) and three lithium-ion-powered electric motors—two on the front axle and one integrated into the transmission—that make a total of 218 hp. Interestingly, the 918 Spyder can function as both a parallel or a series hybrid, as the electric front axle can propel the car on its own, or in conjunction with the engine. In its thriftiest mode, Porsche states a European-cycle figure of 78 mpg. In race mode, expect a top speed in the neighborhood of 200 mph and a Carrera GT–beating Nürburgring lap time of 7:30.
Details are still sketchy as to the car’s volume and positioning, but expect the former to be very low and the latter to be very high. The 918 Spyder will be Porsche’s flagship, the brand’s attempt to set the high-water mark for dual-source power. Historically speaking, this car aims to do for hybrid performance what the 959 did for all-wheel-drive supercars. We can’t wait to drive it.