The 918 Spyder is a mid-engined two seater sports car designed by Michael Mauer. It is powered by a 4.6 litre V8 engine. The engine is built on the same architecture as the one used in the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype racing car without any engine belts. It combines pedigree motor racing technology with excellent everyday utility, and maximum performance with minimum consumption. The task faced by the development team was to create the super sports car for the next decade, with a highly efficient and powerful hybrid drive. Developing the car from scratch, appropriately beginning with a sheet of white paper, allowed the team to come up with a no compromise concept. The entire car was designed around the hybrid drive. The 918 Spyder therefore demonstrates the potential of the hybrid drive to a degree never seen before.
The 918 Spyder reveals its close links to motor sport in various ways. It has been designed, developed and produced by Porsche engineers who build race cars, in cooperation with series productions professionals. The structural concept of the 918 Spyder with a rolling chassis as its basis. A basic vehicle that can be driven even without a body, is a race car tradition at the Porsche. The concept of the V8 engine originates from the LMP2 RS Spyder race car. The load bearing structures, the monocoque and subframe, are made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer. Porsche has many years of experience with this high strength, light weight construction material and has again achieved top results, with the development of the series production 918 Spyder. It isn't just about the engine's performance, but also the sound it makes that stokes the emotionality of the 918 Spyder. This is attributable first and foremost to the so called top pipes. The tailpipes terminate in the upper part of the rear end immediately above the engine. No other production vehicle uses this solution. The top pipes greatest benefit is optimal heat removal, because the hot exhaust gases are released via the shortest possible route and exhaust gas back pressure remains low. This design requires a new thermodynamic air channeling concept.
The engine weighs 135Kg according to Porsche and it delivers 608hp at 8,500rpm and 528nm of maximum torque. This is supplemented by two electric motors delivering an additional 279hp. One, 154hp electric motor drives the rear wheels in parallel with the engine and also serves as the main generator. This motor and engine deliver power to the rear axle via a 7-speed gearbox coupled to Porsche's own PDK double clutch system. The 4.6 litre V8 petrol engine can recharge an empty battery on about two liters of fuel. The supplied Porsche Universal Charger requires seven hours to charge the battery on a typical 110 volt household AC socket or two hours on a dedicated charging dock installed with a 240 volt industrial supply. An optional DC speed charging station can restore the battery to full capacity in 25 minutes.
The driver is the focus of all technology in the future Porsche super sports car. A cockpit dedicated for the driver, is typically of the brand and pioneering in its clarity. It is partitioned into two basic areas. First there are the controls, that are important for the driving function, they are grouped around the multifunction steering wheel, combined with driver information displayed on three large round instruments. Second there is infotainment block that is housed in the lifted center console, which was introduced in the Carrera GT control functions. The one piece molded seats are firm and upright and there's not that much stowage. The touchscreen's glass is designed by the same people who are behind the Samsung mobile phones. Secondary systems are navigated via two color information screens, one screen is situated at the head of the center console and the other is recessed into the upper fascia above it. It's a clever combination because the screens are flexible enough to be configurable.
Given a decent, fair verdict for this vehicle by quite a few noted automobile journalists. The 918 Spyder offers a complete package of components, that reflect Porsche DNA, more concentrated than ever before. The price tag of this vehicle $845,000.
A paragon of technology, absolutely intoxicating.
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