A hybrid hypercar like no other. Twin electric motors and a 9,000-rpm 4.6-liter racing V8 are contained in an almost entirely carbon-fiber two-seat roadster frame. All-wheel drive, 875 hp and an even more incredible 944 lb-ft of torque, more than half of which is available at just 800 rpm. Yes, you read it right. There really is nothing like the 918 Spyder.
Not even the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, the other two members of the “Holy Trinity”. The plug-in Porsche, with a 6.8kWh battery twice the size of McLaren’s, 282bhp of electric-only thrust and an electric range of 12 miles is by far the most hybrid of the three. It is capable of reaching 62 mph in just over six seconds on electricity alone.
Get the engine running and that number will drop by more than half. The V8 is derived from the RS Spyder Le Mans car, developing 600bhp and giving the 918 a 0-62mph time of 2.6 seconds, 0-124mph in 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 214mph. Made almost exclusively of titanium and aluminum and weighing just 135kg, Frank-Steffen Walliser, the man who orchestrated the 918 project, described it as “the best engine we’ve got”. [Porsche] never done.” On the NEDC test cycle, it emits just 70/g/km of CO2 and claims 81 mpg.
The rear electric motor is mounted between the engine and the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, while at the front the transmission is purely electric. Above 165 mph this engine shuts down, making the car rear-wheel drive only. Like the V8, aluminum double-wishbone suspension is similar to the RS Spyder Racer, adaptive dampers are standard, and overall the 918 has very little in common with other Porsche road cars. Inside, a mode selector on the steering wheel lets you select four different driving modes: electric, hybrid, sport and racing. In the last two, the engine is always on.
Developed over three years beginning in 2010, Porsche built 25 prototypes and 25 pre-production cars before assembling the 918 production cars. In the UK it was priced at £781,000 including VAT.
Porsche’s second hybrid (a Panamera was the first), under the carbon body panels the components are tight. The bodywork doesn’t look stretched or intact, but remove it and the 918 Spyder is like a Gunter von Hagens mechanical exhibit: the skin may have been peeled off, but the struts remain the same shape.
The rear is the most spectacular, the front, with its recessed headlights, a soft touch. The top exit exhausts are a real talking point and unlike rival McLaren and Ferrari, the roof panels can be lifted up and stowed under the hood, opening occupants up to the elements and the sound of that V8. of high revolutions.
Our choice of the range.
What’s the verdict?
Meet the Hypercar All-Wheel Drive All-Weather. That accessibility, that ease of use might make the 918 Spyder seem less special than the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, and it’s true, it doesn’t have its machismo, it doesn’t offer the same viscerality and intimidation as the McLaren, nor the incredible driving experience of the McLaren. Ferrari.
It’s a more knowledgeable car, more controlled, and possibly more expansive in its capabilities. The 918 Spyder has that capability in so many areas: It really does average 30 mpg, it’s sharp on the track, it can scare you, it dazzles passers-by, it cruises quietly around town and howls on campaign. And if time permits, you can remove the roof panels and place them under the hood.
But it’s not commitment that’s at stake here, it’s dominance. It’s amazing, more than the hypercar you can drive every day or proof that hybrid systems have an AP lifespan (after Prius). It’s a step into the future and, right now, it’s possibly the most complete hypercar ever.
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Source : topgear.com