Porsche has finally taken the wraps off its long teased Hybrid Electric at a Global unveiling at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
Although we had attended a private showing of the production car earlier in the year we had been sworn to secrecy and not permitted to take photos, till today.
The 918 Spyder is fitted with a 4.6-litre combustion V8 that produces 608HP at 9150 RPM. Additional horsepower comes from a pair of electric motors each assigned to one of the two axles which add 279HP for a total of 887HP and 944 lb-ft of torque.All that power yields 0-100 km/hr time of 2.8 seconds and a reported top speed of 344 km/hr.
The 918’s carbon-fibre passenger cell is bolted to another carbon-fibre frame in the rear, which houses the engine, lithium-ion battery and transmission. Major service requires literally splitting the car in two. The carbon-fibre roof comes off in two pieces and stores in the front “trunk”.
Five driving modes adjust transmission shift points, the speed of the shift and throttle response. The modes also adjust the interaction between the gas and electric systems. The E Power (full electric) mode functions up to 150 km/h and for up to 25 km at a slower speed. Hybrid mode, Sport Hybrid and Race Hybrid tweak performance. Hot Lap mode brings all the 918’s power to bear from the equivalent of one lap of the Nürburgring, according to Porsche. Regeneration is all but abandoned and the systems all switch to boosting the drive systems. On the day the car was officially launched Porsche released details of a record setting Nürburgring Nordschleife lap in the 918. The new sports coupe clocked a time of 6 minutes, 57 seconds. The previous record set my a road car was above 7 minutes.
An electrically powered four-wheel steering system pairs with active aerodynamics to aid the Porsche 918’s handling.
All that performance comes at a price, expect the 918 to begin deliveries in December of 2103 and will be sold as a 2104 model. Sticker shock may result from the US $845,000 asking price. Only 918 units will be made over 2 years.