10 Things That Put The Porsche 918 Spyder Ahead Of Its Time - SUV VEHICLE

10 Things That Put The Porsche 918 Spyder Ahead Of Its Time

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The Porsche 918 Spyder epitomizes the quintessence of Porsche’s philosophy: marrying cutting-edge motorsport technology with exceptional day-to-day usability, uniting maximum performance with minimal fuel consumption. The challenge facing the development team was to craft a super sports car for the coming decade, integrating a potent yet highly efficient hybrid drivetrain.



Starting the design process from scratch, akin to beginning with a blank canvas, allowed the team to envision an uncompromising concept. Every aspect of the car was meticulously crafted around the hybrid propulsion system.

As a result, the 918 Spyder showcases the unprecedented potential of hybrid technology in an automotive landscape: an unparalleled harmony between heightened efficiency and outstanding performance, achieved without sacrificing one for the other. This echoes the core principle that has propelled the Porsche 911 to the apex of the sports car realm for half a century. In essence, the 918 Spyder stands as the blueprint—a genetic reservoir—shaping the future iterations of Porsche’s sports cars.

In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, Porsche, MotorTrend, and TopGear to deliver the most comprehensive information possible.

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1 A V-8 Engine With Complementary Twin-turbos

A Porsche 918 Spyder on a racetrack.
Porsche 

The primary driving force behind the 918 Spyder is its 4.6-liter, eight-cylinder engine, generating a commanding 608 horsepower. Derived directly from the potent RS Spyder’s power unit, this engine boasts an impressive capability to rev up to 9,150 rpm.

It mirrors the race engine of the RS Spyder, incorporating dry-sump lubrication with a distinct oil tank and extraction system. Embracing a commitment to shedding weight, various components such as the oil tank, the integrated air filter box within the subframe, and the air induction are crafted from carbon fiber reinforced polymer.

Performance Specifications

Engine

4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8 mid-engine with two electric motors

Transmission

Seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK)

Horsepower

887 Hp

Torque

940 lb.-ft

Driveline

AWD

0-60 MPH

2.8 seconds

Top Speed

214 mph

(Data was collected from Porsche)

Extensive measures in lightweight design extend to the utilization of titanium connecting rods, thin-wall, low-pressure casting for the crankcase and cylinder heads, a robust yet lightweight steel crankshaft featuring a 180-degree crankpin offset, and an incredibly thin-walled alloy steel/nickel exhaust system. Remarkably, the V-8 engine operates without any auxiliary systems, eliminating external belt drives and contributing to its notably compact nature.

These weight-saving and performance enhancements culminate in an exceptional power output of approximately 133 horsepower per liter—a pinnacle achievement for a naturally aspirated Porsche engine. This figure significantly surpasses the Carrera GT’s output of 106 horsepower per liter, standing as a testament to its outstanding performance among naturally aspirated engines.

2 18 Miles Of All-electric Range

A Porsche 918 Spyder in Racing Yellow
Porsche

The 918 Spyder’s electric capabilities shine brightly under optimal circumstances, allowing for an impressive electric-only range of around 18 miles. Even while operating solely on electric power, this remarkable vehicle showcases exceptional performance, sprinting from 0 to 62 mph in just seven seconds.

Performance Specifications

Energy supply

Lithium-ion battery with 6.8 kWh capacity (BOL nominal)

Range

Approx. 18 miles

Horsepower

295 hp

Charging Times

AC charging on a household socket (110 V, 10 A): less than 7 hours AC charging on an industrial socket (240 V, 30 A): less than 2 hours DC charging on an industrial socket (400 V, 32 A): less than 0.5 hours.

0-60 MPH (electric mode only)

7.0 seconds

Top Speed (electric mode only)

93 mph

(Data was collected from Porsche)

What’s more, it doesn’t compromise on speed, achieving remarkable speeds of up to 93 mph while relying solely on its electric powertrain. This unique blend of electrifying efficiency and remarkable acceleration sets a new standard for high-performance vehicles embracing sustainable technology.

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3 Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA)

A Porsche 918 Spyder on a racetrack.
Porsche

Porsche’s Active Aerodynamic (PAA) system boasts adaptable aerodynamic components that deliver a distinctive and variable aerodynamic profile. Automatically adjusting across three modes, it ranges from peak efficiency to maximal downforce, finely synchronized with the hybrid drive system’s operations.

In “Race” mode, the rear wing inclines sharply to generate substantial rear axle downforce. A spoiler, located between the wing supports along the airflow’s trailing edge, extends. Additionally, two adjustable underfloor air flaps, ahead of the front axle, redirect airflow into the underbody diffuser channels, creating a front axle “ground effect.”

In “Sport” mode, the aerodynamic control system moderates the rear wing’s attack angle, enhancing the vehicle’s top speed while keeping the spoiler extended. Closing the underfloor aerodynamic flaps diminishes drag, further elevating achievable speeds.

Switching to “E” mode configures the system for minimal aerodynamic drag; both the rear wing and spoiler retract, and the underfloor flaps seal shut.

Supplementing this adaptive aerodynamic system are adjustable air inlets under the primary headlights. In “Race” and “Sport” modes, when the vehicle is stationary, they open to maximize cooling air intake. However, in “E-Power” and “Hybrid” modes, they promptly close upon the vehicle’s movement to minimize aerodynamic drag. These inlets only reopen at speeds around 81 mph or when heightened cooling is necessary.

4 Carbon Monocoque Guaranteed A Lightweight Design

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a lightweight performance machine.
Porsche

The 918 Spyder harnesses cutting-edge technologies drawn directly from competitive motorsport, delivering unparalleled performance. Its foundational structure, constructed entirely from carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), ensures exceptional torsional rigidity. Augmenting this framework are specialized crash elements at both the front and rear, adept at absorbing and mitigating collision energy.

Weighing in at approximately 3,715 pounds (or 3,616 pounds with the “Weissach” package), this hybrid vehicle achieves an impressive lightweight status within its performance class, primarily due to this innovative design.

Strategic placement of the drivetrain components and any elements surpassing 110 pounds occurs with precision, maintaining a low and central positioning within the vehicle. This configuration results in a slightly rear-weighted axle load distribution, with 57 percent allocated to the rear axle and 43 percent to the front.

Coupled with an exceedingly low center of gravity positioned near the wheel hubs, this setup optimally enhances driving dynamics. Placing the traction battery centrally and close to the ground, directly behind the driver, not only aids in consolidating masses and lowering the center of gravity but also ensures ideal temperature conditions for maximizing battery power capacity.

Pros

  • Leading Technology: Integrates top-tier motorsport tech for unparalleled performance.
  • Lightweight Build: Carbon fiber structure delivers rigidity with impressive weight savings.
  • Enhanced Handling: Precision weight distribution and low center of gravity optimize driving dynamics

Cons

  • Potential Cost Impact: Advanced materials may drive up production expenses.
  • Practicality Sacrifice: Emphasis on performance might compromise everyday usability.
  • Maintenance Complexity: Specialized tech could lead to intricate and costly maintenance.

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5 A Fuel Economy Of 22 MPG

A Porsche 918 Spyder in the signature Racing Yellow
Porsche

Let’s delve into the remarkable technological prowess embodied by the new Porsche 918 Spyder. As per the EPA, this powerhouse, boasting an 874-horsepower 4.7-liter V-8 engine combined with electric motors, offers an electric-only range of 12 miles when the battery is fully charged. Comparatively, the Toyota Prius Plug-In (2015 model), often hailed as an emblem of the eco-movement, manages just 11 miles of electric range under similar conditions.

Continuing in hybrid mode after depleting the battery, owners of the Porsche 918 can anticipate an impressive combined efficiency of 67 MPGe. When solely reliant on the engine without battery charging, it maintains a commendable 22 MPG combined. However, in terms of efficiency, the Prius Plug-In outperforms the 918 Spyder with an MPGe of 95 and a combined MPG of 50

6 The 918 Spyder Weissach Package

The 918 Spyder stands out with the exclusive Weissach Package
Porsche

For the performance-driven clientele eyeing the 918 Spyder, Porsche presents the exclusive “Weissach” package. These customized supercars boast distinctive aesthetics inspired by iconic Porsche racing models. Instantly recognizable through unique color schemes, these vehicles feature visible carbon elements on the roof, rear wings, rearview mirrors, and windshield frames. Inside, Alcántara upholstery replaces leather, while visible carbon fiber supplants much of the aluminum trim, emphasizing a sportier feel. Sound insulation has been minimized, prioritizing a rawer driving experience.

Beyond the visual upgrades, the focus on performance is tangible: including lightweight magnesium wheels significantly reduces unsprung weight, slashing the overall mass by approximately 77 pounds. This reduction translates to enhanced dynamic performance on the road.

Drawing further inspiration from motorsport, the package includes six-point seatbelts for both driver and front passenger, an optional film coating instead of traditional body paint, and additional aerodynamic body components crafted in visible carbon fiber.

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7 It Features Five Performance/Hybrid Driving Modes

The Porsche 918 Spyder at home on a racetrack.
Porsche

At the heart of the 918 Spyder’s design lies the intricate orchestration of power among its three distinct units, governed by an intelligent management system. Porsche engineers devised five distinct operating modes, conveniently accessible via a steering wheel “map switch,” akin to those found in motorsport vehicles. With this preset selection, the 918 Spyder autonomously selects the most fitting operational and boost strategies, liberating the driver to focus wholly on the road.

Serenely Efficient: “E-Power”

]Upon startup, the default mode, “E-Power,” engages as long as the battery holds sufficient charge. Under optimal conditions, the 918 Spyder effortlessly cruises for about 18 miles on pure electric power. Remarkably, even in all-electric mode, it accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in a mere seven seconds and attains speeds of up to 93 mph. The combustion engine only joins the effort when necessary. Should the battery dip below a predefined minimum charge, the vehicle seamlessly transitions to hybrid mode.

Efficiency Meets Comfort: “Hybrid”

In “Hybrid” mode, the electric motors and combustion engine alternate operation, prioritizing maximum efficiency and minimal fuel consumption. The utilization of individual drive components adapts to the current driving conditions and desired performance levels. This mode ideally suits a fuel-conscious driving style.

The Porsche 918 Spyder flying by on a racetrack.
Porsche

Dynamic Performance: “Sport Hybrid”

When tackling more spirited driving scenarios, the 918 Spyder engages the “Sport Hybrid” mode. Here, the combustion engine remains active continuously, acting as the primary driving force. Concurrently, the electric motors offer support in the form of electric boosting or optimization of the combustion engine for enhanced efficiency. This mode centers on performance and a spirited driving experience at high speeds.

Track-Ready Performance: “Race Hybrid”

For peak performance and an exceptionally aggressive driving style, the “Race Hybrid” mode reigns supreme. The combustion engine takes the forefront under heavy loads, simultaneously charging the battery during periods of reduced demand. The electric motors contribute additional boosting, aligning with a gear-shifting program calibrated for even more aggressive driving.

Employing the maximum power output from the electric motors, this mode optimizes performance for the racetrack, allowing the battery’s charge state to fluctuate across its range. Unlike the Sport Hybrid mode, the electric motors momentarily operate at their maximum power output for superior boosting. This heightened output is counterbalanced by intensified battery charging via the combustion engine, ensuring electric power availability even during multiple high-speed laps.

Ultimate Performance: “Hot Lap”

Located at the center of the map switch, the “Hot Lap” function unleashes the 918 Spyder’s ultimate potential, exclusive to “Race Hybrid” mode. Similar to a qualification mode, it extracts the last reserves of the traction battery for a series of rapid laps. This mode fully utilizes the battery’s available energy for maximum output.

8 Breaking Seven Minutes On The Nürburgring Nordschleife

A lap time of 6 minutes and 57 seconds

The Porsche 918 Spyder stood poised to shatter numerous records. At present, its track record for the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife sits at an impressive 6 minutes and 57 seconds. This achievement took place during test drives in September 2012, well over a year before production commenced, with international journalists in attendance.

Notably, the 918 Spyder prototype clocked in about 20 seconds faster than the Porsche Carrera GT. Further trials on the Nürburgring Nordschleife were scheduled, highlighting the car’s relentless pursuit of excellence and making it the first-ever series-production car to break the seven-minute mark at the Green Hell.

Equally significant is the 918 Spyder’s remarkable efficiency, eclipsing both its predecessors and rivals. As a plug-in hybrid, it seamlessly blends the raw performance of a racing marvel with minimal fuel consumption. In essence, it encapsulates maximum driving pleasure while minimizing fuel usage—a testament to its groundbreaking design and engineering prowess.

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9 The Interior Console Allows For Access To Over 800 Different Functions

The Porsche 918 Spyder interior is sleek and funtional.
Porsche

The Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar places the driver squarely at the center of its technological advancements. A driver-centric cockpit, emblematic of the brand’s identity, sets new standards in clarity and innovation. The cockpit design is delineated into two primary sections.

Firstly, the driving-centric controls are strategically grouped around the multifunction steering wheel, accompanied by crucial driver information presented on three prominent round instruments. Secondly, the infotainment unit is integrated into the raised central console, a feature initially introduced in the Carrera GT. Control functionalities—such as automatic climate adjustment, wing positioning, lighting controls, and the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system, inclusive of the premium Burmester sound system—can be effortlessly managed through an intuitive multitouch interface utilizing innovative black panel technology.

10 Unique Racecar Design Heritage: The Top-mounted Pipes

The unique top-mounted exhausts of the Porsche 918 Spyder
Porsche
 

It’s not just the sheer performance of this engine that elevates the emotional experience of the 918 Spyder; it’s also the distinct sound it produces. A major contributor to this unique auditory experience is the innovative design of the “top pipes”: the exhaust outlets are positioned atop the rear end directly above the engine, a feature exclusive to this vehicle. This setup offers an array of advantages, chiefly optimal heat dissipation by swiftly releasing the hot exhaust gases via the shortest route, thereby maintaining low exhaust gas back pressure.

This distinctive arrangement necessitates a novel thermodynamic approach to air channeling. Within the HSI engine, the hot side resides within cylinder “V”, while the intake channels are located externally. This design also has a secondary advantage—keeping the engine compartment cooler. This cooling effect proves particularly advantageous for the lithium-ion traction battery, known to perform optimally within a temperature range of 68 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently, reduced energy is required for actively cooling the battery, optimizing its efficiency.

Pros

  • Distinctive Engine Sound: The unique “top pipes” design elevates the driving experience with a special engine sound.
  • Efficient Heat Dissipation: Swift exhaust heat release maintains low pressure, potentially aiding engine performance.
  • Improved Battery Efficiency: The engine cooling system benefits lithium-ion battery efficiency.

Cons

  • Complex Design: Specialized setup may complicate manufacturing and increase costs.
  • Maintenance Complexity: Unique design might require specialized expertise for maintenance.
  • Limited Adaptability: Design features could limit compatibility with standard systems or modifications.

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