Porsche to unveil a new supercar at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Article by Christian A., on December 27, 2010

Porsche announced today that it will unveil a new car at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit (January 10 to 23), but also new models which will make their North American debut. Moreover, Porsche will broadcast the premieres live on its website www.porsche.com/detroit.

Although Porsche did not reveal any details regarding the new car, German magazine AutoBild reports that the manufacturer will unveil a new supercar which will be powered by a twin-turbo engine delivering over 600 hp.

The all-wheel drive supercar will be very light, due to the use of carbon fiber and will be capable to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4 seconds and will have a top speed of over 300 km/h or 186 mph.

Although we don’t know it for sure, Porsche might unveil a production version of the 918 Spyder Concept unveiled back in March at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. This new Porsche 918 Spyder Concept is powered by a hybrid powertrain that consists of a V8 engine that develops over 500 hp of output at a max engine speed of 9,200 rpm and electric motors on the front and rear axles that provide a total mechanical output of 218 hp (160 kW).

The V8 engine in the 918 Spyder Concept is an evolved version of the 3.4-liter engine that powers the RS Spyder racing car. Since the combustion engine is placed mid-ship in front of the rear axle, the 918 Spyder comes with superb balance and an ideal setup for outstanding performance on the race track. Sending the power from the hybrid powertrain to the wheels is a seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) gearbox that transmits the power of the electric drive system to the rear axle.

On the other hand, the front-wheel electric drive sends power to the wheels via a fixed transmission ratio. Meanwhile, the drive gets its juice from a fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery mounted behind the passenger cell. This battery could be recharged through a conventional electrical source. During braking, this hybrid powertrain could convert the 918 Spyder’s kinetic energy into electrical energy and store them into the battery, thereby serving as an extra source of energy that could be used for quick and dynamic acceleration.

The new 918 Spyder allows drivers to pick from four distinct driving modes -- E-Drive mode, Hybrid mode, Sports Hybrid mode and Race Hybrid mode – in just a single press of the a button. During E-Drive mode, the 918 Spyder operates on pure electric power, with an achievable range of up to 25 km or 16 miles.

During Hybrid mode, the 918 Spyder operates under both drive systems – combustion engine and electric motors. Usage of each system depends on the driving conditions and requirements. This means, that depending on the situation, the vehicle could be either efficient or dynamic. On the other hand, the Sport Hybrid mode also operates on both drive systems, but the focus of the operations is on performance. Most of the power is sent to rear wheels, while Torque Vectoring allows the 918 Spyder Concept to perform better when needed.

For drivers seeking some adrenaline rush, they could have their open top work under Race Hybrid mode, in which the drive systems work to deliver pure performance by pushing themselves to the limit in terms of power output.

When there is a need for more power during an overtaking maneuver, a driver just needs to push-to-pass button to enable the so-called E-Boost, provided that the battery is amply charged. Thanks to these different modes, drivers could have their new Porsche 918 Spyder be as fast as a thoroughbred racing car. They could also make their car as environment-friendly and as fuel-efficient as possible.

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