Porsche has released fresh information on its halo car, the hybrid/hyper 918 Spyder. The 918 that was first shown to the world at the Geneva motor show in 2010 is the oldest of the three latest
hyper cars of this generation. Over the past three years Porsche have steadily been releasing details on the car and by now most of the facts are cemented. The 918 is a hybrid that comprises a bespoke
race engineered 4.6-litre V8 engine coupled with two electric motors. Earlier power figures stood at a combined 795PS but Porsche have now disclosed that total power stands at 887PS.
It will compete with the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1.
Now before you think that this is some sort of answer to Ferrari and McLaren’s announcement of their 900 plus PS hyper cars you should know that this was always part of the plan. You can’t simply inject a further 100PS into a road car so late in the engineering cycle. While the LaFerrari and P1 use an F1 style KERS style electric motor that stores energy generated by braking, the Porsche’s system is more like a conventional hybrid and the downside of this is the added weight. This and the four-wheel drive system means the 918 weighs in at a hefty 1640kg in the light weight ‘Weissach package’. The McLaren weighs less than 1400kg while the LaFerrari is an even lighter 1255kg.
The 918’s performance is earth shattering; 0-100kmph takes 2.8s, and the car goes on to hit 200kmph in 7.9 seconds. Those figures are up there with the competition but while the Porsche takes 23 seconds to hit 300kmph the McLaren needs just 17seconds while Ferrari quotes an unbelievable 15.5 seconds. That’s about the same time your average hatchback takes to hit 100kmph! What the Porsche properly trounces the other two on is CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency. It manages to produce just 79g/km and return about 33.3kmpl which is just phenomenal for an 887PS vehicle, but also a bit redundant in the hyper car game.
The 918 is a true technical tour de force. The entire structure is of course built in carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) but even the structural load points on which the engine and suspension are connected to the body are now also constructed in CFRP to save weight over the regular aluminium constructions. The car features active aerodynamics with flaps and wings that automatically adjust according to the driving conditions. The engine that is based on the unit from the LMP2 RS Spyder race car revs upto 9150rpm but the car can also run on pure electric power till speeds cross 150kmph. There are five different modes for the power sources ranging from full electric to full power from all three motors. Our favourite feature with the design however has to be the sexy exhaust openings in the engine bay – a first for a production car.
The 918 that promises to be the gene pool of all future Porsches will go on sale in the second half of this year. It will cost about Rs 6cr before duties and production will be limited to 918 examples. This is at around the same time that Ferrari will be putting its Rs 8.5cr (499 units) LaFerrari on sale while McLaren’s limited run of 375 P1 hyper cars will go on sale for Rs 6cr each. There’s no saying which is
best as of yet but it is obvious that these are some of the most advanced cars the world has seen and that we’re about to witness one of the most legendary battles in automobile history when these three
are put to the test. All hail the hyper car.