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Porsche 918 Spyder: New specs and new photos

Thu, 16 May 2013 00:00:00 -0700

The Porsche 918 Spyder specification have been revealed

Porsche has tried to keep weight in check on the 918 Spyder, but having a big, heavy electric hybrid setup on board hasn’t made that easy, and nor has making that setup 4WD.

So Porsche has built the monocoque chassis from carbon fibre reinforced polymer to keep weight in check, despite which the 918 Spyder still comes in at a weighty 1640kg, even in ‘Weissach’ trim (more in standard guise). So Poprsche has had to be clever about the way they use the power they have on offer.

That power has now been upped to 608 HP from the 4.6 litre V8 engine and a pair of electric motors throw in an extra 156 HP and 129 HP respectively for a total maximum power of 887 HP, less than LaFerrari or P1 offer but, say Porsche, enough to make the 918 Spyder’s performance their equal.

Porsche say the 918 Spyder will get to 62mph in 2.8 seconds (and do the same on all electric power in 7 seconds) on the way to a top speed of 211mph, figures which seem at least as good as the competition.

Interior view of the 918 Spyder The key to the 918 Spyder’s appeal will be partly its different driving modes – from city EV to all out racer – all called up by a steering wheel switch that enables a choice of five driving modes.

Interior view of the 918 Spyder

‘E-Power’ is the default start-up setting and the car can be driven for up to 20 miles as a pure EV and get up to speeds of 90mph, although if the battery charge gets low – which it will if you have your foot down – then the ‘Hybrid’ mode will kick in.,

‘Hybrid’ mode works by using an combination of the electric motors and V8 to achieve maximum efficiency and will probably be the mode you end up in heavily trafficked areas, although it’s likely you won’t be able to resist at least ‘Sport Hybrid’.

‘Sport Hybrid’ sees the V8 working all the time and the electric motors adding in extra power to optimise the V8 for greater efficiency, with ‘Race Hybrid’ throwing all the power at the job in hand and the PDK ‘box getting different shift patterns.

The ultimate mode is ‘Hot Lap’ which throws everything at power delivery and cares not a jot about keeping any charge in the batteries. It’s designed for track use – when you should get ba few laps with everything working at its max – but will doubtless be turned on for road use by owners. Occasionally.

The 918 Spyder also gets a multi link suspensions setup and adaptive shocks, speed-sensitive rear axle steering, Porsche Active Dynamics with three modes for optimal downforce that, in Race Mode, can set the back wing to a steep angle, extend the spoiler and open ait flaps at the front to direct airflow under the car.

It’s a typically Porsche solution to a supercar, and offers a package which will doubtlessly be quick and able. Whether that makes the 918 Spyder a better car than the P1 or LaFerrari is probably more of a subjective than objective opinion.

By Cars UK