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Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid
Image: © 2010 Porsche AG

Porsche's Supercar Hybrid - The 918 Spyder

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - Porsche's advanced supercar, the 918 Spyder, made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year and what turned many heads was that the 918 Spyder had a hybrid powertrain. Porsche's 918 Spyder is powered by a 3.4-litre 367 kW (500 hp) gasoline engine combined with two powerful electric motors that give an additional 160 kW (218 hp) of power for a total available power of 427 kW (718 hp). Porsche has mounted the electric motors with one on the front axle and one on the back axle. Using both the V8 engine and the electric motors, the 918 Spyder can launch from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds with a top speed of 320 km/h (198.9 mph).

The Porsche 918 Spyder can be plugged-in for charging and the liquid cooled lithium-ion battery pack charges off a quick charger or a household outlet. The battery pack is mounted behind the passenger compartment, and the 918 also charges the battery whenever the brakes are applied using its rolling kinetic energy for regenerative charging. The 918 Spyder has three driving modes (E-Drive, Sport Hybrid, and Race Hybrid). In E-Drive, the Porsche 918 can be driven up to 25 km (16 miles) using just its battery power and the two electric motors for drive power.

In Sport Hybrid mode, the 918's V8 engine and its two electric motors are powered, with most of the power going to the rear wheels. Switching to Race Hybrid mode gives maximum power to all wheels from the 3.4 litre V8 and the two electric motors, and there is a race button that can be used for passing which activates the two electric motors for boost acceleration.

What is incredible is that Porsche manages all of this performance while still delivering a sports car that is capable of consuming just 3.0 litres per 100 km of gasoline (petrol) and emiting just 70 g/km. For weight reduction, the 918 Spyder's body is made of carbon fibre reinforced construction along with further components made of magnesium and aluminium giving a total vehicle weight of 1,490 kg (3,285 lbs).

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