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Frankfurt show: Porsche outs production 918 Spyder

Super power: Porsche has revealed more details of its upcoming petrol-electric plug-in 918 Spyder at Frankfurt.

Production version of Porsche's 661kW plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder revealed


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10 Sep 2013

PORSCHE’S supercar of the future has arrived, with the German sportscar maker revealing the production version of its petrol- and electron-fuelled 918 Spyder hypercar.

The Frankfurt motor show is the first time Porsche has revealed the showroom version of the 918 Spyder, with previous releases only showing prototypes of the eco-friendly two-seater.

Porsche's McLaren P1 competitor appears almost identical to the prototype version revealed in May, minus the Le Mans-style decals.

Green-coloured highlights including 'Hybrid' badging on the front side panel, huge green brake callipers, and green piping and branding on the sports seats hint at the environmentally friendly pedigree of the 918 Spyder.

The 918 is powered by a 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine producing 454kW, matched with a hybrid module featuring two electric motors and producing 115kW for a total combined output of 661kW.

Torque is equally stratospheric, with the Porsche producing between 917Nm and 1280Nm, depending on the gear.

Porsche racing engineers helped develop the 918 Spyder, with a number of elements of the powertrain were used in, or influenced by, some of the German sportscar-maker's Le Mans racing cars.

An intelligent management system controls the flow of energy from all three power units of the mid-engined supercar. The rear wheels are driven via a seven-speed dual clutch “PDK” transmission, while a front axle-mounted electric motor drives the front wheels.

The mind-boggling power output unsurprisingly ensures a heart-stopping 0-100km/h sprint time, with the 918 Spyder racing to 100km/h in just 2.8 seconds, similar to the McLaren P1 that is said to do the same distance in less than three.

Despite the jaw-dropping performance figures, the petrol-electric powertrain is capable of sipping an average of between 3.0 and 3.3 litres per 100km, easily undercutting even the petrol-electric engine Toyota Prius.

Driving modes available in the 918 Spyder, include 'E-Power' which is the default setting. This mode allows the driver to travel between 17km and 32km on electric power alone but can still propel the Spyder to 100km/h in less than seven seconds.

If the on-board computer thinks the battery reserve will drop below a certain level, the car will automatically switch to 'Hybrid' mode. Other modes include 'Sport Hybrid' for more dynamic driving and 'Race Hybrid' for maximum performance.

A 'Hot Lap' button in Race Hybrid mode will push the battery to its maximum power output for an even more spirited drive, but does use up all available battery power.

Electric energy is stored in a 6.8kWh lithium-ion battery with 312 individual cells, liquid-cooled by a dedicated unit, and it can be charged in around four hours when plugged into a wall.

Porsche alluded to some of the technology popping up in future models, saying the 918 Spyder “contains the genetic blueprint for the Porsche sportscar of the future”.

Only 918 petrol-electric Spyders will be built. However, it will only be produced for left-hand drive markets, meaning Australian Porsche customers are likely miss out.

However, the company has previously said there was nothing stopping a cashed-up collector from paying the big bucks to get it here.

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