Porsche 918 Spyder Prototype
918 Spyder prototype in attractive Martini Racing design
Driving trials of the Porsche 918 Spyder are entering the next phase. A permanent fixture of the test programme for the 918 Spyder – and in the tuning process for all Porsche vehicles – is the 20.8 km long challenging Nürburgring-Nordschleife race circuit. After all, a lap time of less than seven minutes and 22 seconds is one of the development goals of the innovative super sports car with a plug-in hybrid drive.
The 918 Spyder combines a high-performance internal combustion engine with electric drives at the rear and front axles to achieve extraordinary driving performance and excellent efficiency. The system power of all three drives together is 770 hp. The car’s NEDC fuel consumption is forecast to be only around three litres per 100 km, which is equivalent to CO2 emissions of about 70 g/km. The monocoque, consisting of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), reduces the car’s weight and delivers remarkable rigidity and precision. Other highlights are the car’s fully variable aerodynamics, adaptive rear axle steering and “top pipes” exhaust system which routes the pipes upwards. All of this makes the Porsche 918 Spyder a super sports car for the future, even though the styling of the prototypes is reminiscent of historical models.
The latest test vehicle is now turning laps in the legendary Martini® Racing look of many historic Porsche race cars, particularly from the 1970s. More than nearly any other race car design, the Martini® Racing look quickly attained cult status in those times and is still in vogue today. Martini® was already the official partner of the Porsche factory team between 1973 and 1978. Back then, the attractively designed “Martini® Porsche” race cars with their numerous victories were a centre of conversation. These victories included finishing first overall at Targa-Florio in 1973, winning the Sports Car World Championship in 1976 and overall victories at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1976 and 1977. As early as 1971, a Porsche 917 finished first in the legendary endurance race in Le Mans with the support of Martini®. Whether a Porsche 908, 917, 935 or 936 or one of various 911 RS or RSR models, common to all of these race cars was the memorable Martini® Racing design implemented in a wide variety of forms.
Now, a new edition of this successful partnership is making the Martini® Racing design exclusively available to the innovative 918 Spyder. Porsche AG and the Martini® brand, represented by Bacardi & Company Limited of Switzerland, have once again signed a partnership agreement to make this possible.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is on the road: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has taken the driving trials of the super sports car of the future a step further with completion of the initial prototypes. The 918 Spyder will go into production at the end of September 2013 as planned, with the first customers receiving their vehicles before 2013 is out. “What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency and performance,” said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.
The prototypes, their camouflage harking back to historical Porsche 917 racing cars, signal the final touches to the 918 Spyder. The focus is on the interplay between the highly sophisticated individual drive components. The combination of combustion engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels – poses completely new demands on the development of the operating strategies. “They are therefore a critical component in this vehicle into which we have put all of our expertise and capacity for innovation,” said Wolfgang Hatz. These operating strategies and the development of the software to go with them are one of Porsche’s core competences. Both of them have a major influence on the extreme driving fun to be had with the 918 Spyder and they make possible a unique combination of minimal fuel consumption and maximum performance. The initial results of the driving trials are in line with the high expectations placed on the 918 Spyder.
The super sports car is designed as a plug-in hybrid vehicle combining a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors for extraordinary performance: on the one hand, the dynamics of a racing machine boasting more than 770 hp, on the other hand, fuel consumption in the region of three litres per 100 kilometres. Moreover, Porsche is breaking yet more new ground with the technology demonstrator with spectacular solutions such as the full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting “top pipes” exhaust system. In the process, the 918 Spyder is offering a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance may be capable of in future.