First fully road legal prototypes of Porsche 918 Spyder commence trials

Article by Christian A., on May 15, 2012

It’s not a secret that Porsche is working hard its next supercar, the 918 Spyder, right? Today, the German manufacturer revealed some photos in order to see in what level of development is the new car. As you can see from the photos, the design is almost finished but customers will have to wait some more, as the 918 Spyder will go into production at the end of September 2013 and the first buyers will receive their cars by the end of 2013.

The 918 Spyder prototypes were “dressed” like the historical Porsche 917 racing cars but the new vehicle promises to offer a lot more, such as a combination of a combustion engine (V8) and two independent electric motors, one on the front and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is expected to deliver a total output of 770 hp and an impressive fuel consumption of three litres per 100 kilometres. Furthermore, the 918 Spyder will feature full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system.

“What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency and performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.

Uncompromising dynamic performance – this is the core message that makes up the Porsche 918 Spyder. Aside from its unique all-wheel drive concept, the 918 Spyder is designed as a hybrid such that on its rear axle is a combination of combustion engine and electric motor system while a second electric motor runs its front axle. Porsche’s motorsport development work and its success with the 911 GT3 R hybrid paved the way for the creation of this concept car.

For additional safety, especially during high levels of speed such as going through bends, the 918 Spyder concept comes with an added, individually controllable front-wheel drive which allows new driving strategies during the said situation.

Moreover, an advanced “boost” strategy readily manages energy produced by the electric drive “intelligently” tapping the potential of the 918 Spyder’s unrestricted power by simply fully stepping on the accelerator pedal for every burst of speed at maximum acceleration.

Simply put, to experience the full potential of advanced longitudinal and lateral dynamics of the 918 Spyder concept, one does not have to be necessarily a trained motorsport driver.

Propulsive power in the 918 Spyder concept is distributed across three power units which are all integrated and controlled by an intelligent management system; this feature is the main focus of the whole concept.

Five operating modes were developed to maximize usage of the coverage offered by the different systems, each of these modes activated via a map switch in the steering wheel similar to that in race cars. The pre-selected mode allows the 918 Spyder concept to apply operating and boost strategy to suit the condition and situation without having any intervention from its driver, keeping their full attention on the road.

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