[Update 3/2/2010: Porsche has also released a video of the 918 Spyder in action]
[Update 3/10/2010: Porsche says they will build the 918 Spyder]
Remember that old myth that went something along the lines of “if you sneeze, fart and burp at the same time, you’ll explode”? Well, Porsche’s new 918 Spyder hyper-eco-super-sports-plug-in-hybrid concept has accomplished all three while simultaneously rubbing its head and patting its belly. And I can’t believe it doesn’t explode simply from being looked at.
Talk about jaw-dropping brain candy for car enthusiast greenies with a need for speed.
Porsche’s 918 Spyder of a bombshell takes eco to a new level by combining blistering performance with insanely good fuel economy and emissions characteristics. The 918 Spyder has emissions of just 70 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and gets roughly 78 mpg (holy crap!). At the same time it can accelerate to 62 miles per hour from a standstill in under 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. It’s so fast that it could record a lap around the world famous Nurburgring in less than 7 minutes and 30 seconds–faster than a Porsche Carrera GT.
The 918 Spyder is a parallel hybrid–sometimes referred to as a full hybrid, like the Prius–but with the ability to run in pure electric mode for short distances. The engine in this beast is a 500 horsepower V8 capable of revving to 9,200 rpms. Combine that with electric motors on the front and rear axles with a combined output of 218 horses, and the 918 Spyder has 718 maximum horsepower to draw on when needed.
Given that the 918 Spyder is an eco-frankenstein of unimaginable proportions, it can draw on four distinct modes of driving depending on the needs of the driver. In electric mode the car can go up to 16 miles on battery power alone. In Hybrid mode, the vehicle operates essentially like a Prius, using the electric motors to supplement the gas engine and maximizing fuel efficiency. In Sport Hybrid mode, the performance potential of all the extra torque supplied by the electric motors is unleashed, adding power to the rear wheels. In Race Hybrid mode, all nods to the environment are waved away and the car uses every available performance enhancing feature to turn it into a monster–including a push to pass mode that harnesses any extra electrical capacity of the battery to aid in passing.
As Porsche says, you can either drive this car to get amazing fuel economy or to get amazing performance, but not both at the same time. Seems like a great solution to me. Now if only I’d win the Lotto.
As a concept, this car has no immediate plans to actually see production, but based on Porsche’s other concepts being unveiled in Geneva, you can be sure the 918 Spyder represents the future of Porsche.
Pure eco-adrenaline lust. Who says you can’t love fast, face-numbing, heart pounding, beautiful cars and be a greenie at the same time?
Check out the gallery below and the full press release on the next page.