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Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

Built as a technology demonstrator and as a successor of the Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid vehicle combines a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors to deliver performance that is beyond extraordinary.

Recently a fortunate few members of the press were given the opportunity of driving what appears to be a cosmetically rough 918 prototype at the Nardo Test Track in Italy.

Some of the technology demonstrated on the 918 Spyder includes the full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) body, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system.

The 918 Spyder will have a zero to 100 kph sprint time of less than three seconds with a top speed estimated at over 325 kph and a less than 7:22 minute lap time round the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This will all be accomplished by a car packing more than 566 kW of power accompanied by an efficient or improved fuel consumption figure of approximately three liters per 100 kilometres. In all electric mode the vehicle will have a maximum speed of over 150 kph.

The Porsche developers defined a total of five operating modes that can be activated via a “map switch” in the steering wheel, just like in motor sports cars, these five modes being; E-Power, Hybrid, Sport Hybrid, Race Hybrid and Hot Lap. These range from the E-Power mode which can cover more than 25 kilometeres in pure electric mode to the Hot Lap Option which is a hybrid option in which the combustion engine is used under high load with the electric motor and the traction battery providing additional boost at their maximum power output limits.

The main source of power is the 4.6 litre V8 engine which delivers 419 kW. One of the key points being the so called top pipes (which happen to be the short tailpipes which are located in the upper part of the rear end immediately above the engine) which also help to produce the awesome sound of the 918 Spyder.

Essentially, the hybrid module comprises a 90 kW electric motor and a decoupler acting as the connection with the combustion engine. As a result of the parallel hybrid configuration, the 918 Spyder can be powered at the rear axle both individually by the combustion engine or electric motor or via both drives jointly.

A seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission channels power to the rear axle. If no propulsive power is required on the rear axle, the two motors can be decoupled by opening the decoupler and PDK clutches.

On the front axle there is another, independent electric motor with an output of approximately 80 kW. The front electric drive unit drives the wheels via a fixed ratio. A decoupler ensures that the electric motor can be decoupled at high speeds to prevent the motor from over-revving. The drive torque is independently controlled for each axle. This makes for a very responsive all-wheel function, offering great potential for traction and driving dynamics.

The electric energy for the electric motors is stored by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery with its own independent cooling circuit comprising 312 individual cells with an energy content of approximately seven kilowatt hours (6.8 kWh). The charge plug is mounted on the B-Pillar of the 918 Spyder.

Check the video below by Evo magazines Editorial Director and Founder Harry Metcalfe as he does a walk around the 918 Spyder.

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