Porsche has unveiled a surprise concept car, the 918 Spyder, on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show during a special pre-show event. Introduced by President and CEO of Porsche AG, Michael Macht, the mid-engined sports car takes the "ecology vs. performance" issue a few notches up.
Described as a "Super-Sports" car, the 918 Spyder is a low emissions plug-in hybrid with a split personality. On the ecological side it is capable of 3.0 litres/100 kilometers (94 mpg imp / 78 mpg US) with just 70 grams of CO2 emissions per kilometer. However, on the performance side, it's driven by a V8 producing more than 368 kW (500 PS / 493 hp) plus three electric motors putting out 160 kW (218 PS / 215 hp). That gives the two-seater a combined power output of 528 kW (718 PS / 708 hp) resulting in a 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 3.2 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph), and a lap time on the Nurburgring Nordschleife in less than 7:30 minutes, which is faster than the Porsche Carrera GT.
The 918 Spyder features a liquid cooled lithium-ion battery, brake energy regeneration, push-to-pass "E-Boost" button for sudden overtaking maneuvers, and four driving modes. They are: E-Drive mode for electric only powered driving; Hybrid mode, which uses both the electric motors and the V8 engine relative to driving conditions; Sport Hybrid mode uses both drive systems, but with the focus on performance; and Race Hybrid mode for hardcore performance running at the limit.
"Power is transmitted to the wheels by a seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission that feeds the power of the electric drive system to the rear axle. The front-wheel electric drive powers the wheels through a fixed transmission ratio."
Take a good look at the interior because Porsche states it previews "the potential interior architecture of future Porsche super sports cars."
With elements of the Carrera GT, Boxster and Cayman models all wrapped into one, it's anyone's guess what future model the 918 Spyder previews, if any at all. Latest rumors have mentioned an all-new entry level model that will be built on the Audi R4 platform (aka e-tron Detroit concept). Could this be it? Hopefully we'll find out tomorrow when the 918 Spyder has its Geneva Motor Show debut.
Check out the detailed press release below for many more bells and whistles.