0 – 60 in 2.8 seconds and twice the fuel efficiency of your Honda civic; Porsche has recently confirmed production on its new wicked concept the 918 Spyder.
To achieve these super car numbers with far better than Prius fuel efficiency takes some extremely futuristic technology. For the main engine it uses a 4.6 Liter V-8 that produces over 580 horsepower, but this is also accompanied by three lithium ion powered electric motors that together, can produce 280 horsepower. To save fuel, the Porsche uses only the electric motors when the car is coasting or cruising.
The 918 was intelligently developed with four different running modes: E-Drive is the electric only mode that has a range of 20 miles and uses only the battery powered motor. Hybrid mode uses a combination of the two but maximizes the efficiency of using the electric motors. Sport mode, which harnesses more of the power from the V-8, provides a more sporty combination of the motors. Lastly, the most aggressive mode is Race. In Race mode a “push-to-pass” button is available which when pressed delivers additional electric power from the lithium-ion batteries, similar to a nitrous boost. In this mode the 918 can reach a top speed of 210 MPH but at that speed, forget about your 78 MPG.
The chassis of the 918 is a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque. It uses extremely lightweight aluminum and magnesium to keep its weight down to 3,300 lbs.
You were probably looking at the pictures of the 918 and wondering; “where are its mirrors?” Well another cool feature of the 918 is that instead of mirrors it uses cameras. This helps reduce drag as well as being really cool. The side view cameras are linked to displays on the dashboard of the car which also gives you important information like engine usage and climate control.
This car is Porsche’s attempt to compete with its Italian counter-parts in the extreme super car market, going up against cars like the Bugatti Veyron and Lamborghini Sesto Elemento; and at a price of around a million dollars it fits right in. With the 918, Porsche is also trying to reach an untapped market that consists of the performance oriented dual-source power hybrids. This is currently the only car in the world that can produce these types of numbers at such high fuel efficiency.
Porsche has taken a long time building this concept and we are just starting to see some 918 test cars covered in camouflage racing around the track. But soon this concept will be a reality, and the select few who were lucky enough to purchase one will have bought one of the most technologically advanced cars on the planet.