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Porsche Joins The High MPG Hybrid Club, Our Jaws Drop

Porsche 918

Porsche 918

Recently released just before the Geneva Auto Show could be one of the worlds coolest hybrids yet. The Porsche 918 Spyder concept. It’s fast, it’s pretty, and it’s about as green as they come.

To top it off, it’s performance is incredibly impressive. Besides rocking a 3.2 second 0-62 mph time, a top speed of 198 mph, and handling that outperforms the Carrera GT, this car, when driven normally, gets a wild 78 mpg.

So what’s in its power plant? A 3.4 liter V8 cousin of the Porsche RS Spyder racing motor. As if its other specs aren’t impressive enough, this car boasts a motor cycle high rev limit of 9200 rpm while cranking out over 500 bhp. It’s front and rear electric motors add 218 hp to this beast. All that linked to a 7 Speed PDK gearbox make this car what it is. Awesome.

The rear electric motor and the gasoline engine provide for it’s amazing power and performance, while the front electric motor powers the front wheels and helps this car land it’s awesome 78 mpg. It’s lithium ion battery is liquid cooled and is charged by standard plug-in means, or by the braking system when the brakes are applied.

Power versus economy is easily and quickly selected in this car with four driving modes. The most fuel efficient ‘E Drive’ mode will power the car on electric power only netting the driver a range of 16 miles for around town or short commute driving.

In ‘Hybrid’ mode electric and gasoline power are used to get you a great combination of fuel economy and performance. I would suspect that this mode would be the setting suitable for most daily driving.

‘Sport Hybrid’ mode will definitely net you less fuel economy as this mode is designed to give you the most road performance you can get. It combines both the electric and the gasoline systems and puts most of that power to the rear wheels. Torque vectoring comes in with this mode activated to assist handling and performance.Porsche 918

The fourth mode is ‘Race Hybrid’ mode. This mode will net you the ultimate performance experience from the 918 Hybrid. Obviously this is not the economy mode, and it’s probably not the mode that most people will choose for daily driving, although I’m sure there’s a few out there that will. This mode even offers a push to pass E-Boost for that ultimate extra squeeze of power by kicking in the electric motors for a jolt of added power.

The 918’s carbon fiber reinforced plastic body (CFP), combined with its magnesium and aluminum chassis brings this car to the scale at 3285 lb. You can most definitely tell that this is a Porsche with its Carrera GT like features and wild aerodynamics. As with many Porsche models, it offers variable aerodynamic controls including its rear spoiler and retractable ram air ducts.

The interior is a great combination of tried and true analog gauging and high tech touch screen interfacing offering ‘intuitive’ control of the vehicle. Another impressive feature is the Range Manager, which is a GPS enabled ‘trip planner’ that can help you determine the cars driving range and can even show you exactly how far you can travel in electric mode only.

This car is by far one of the coolest hybrids we’ve seen to date. Porsche seems to have found the sought after  balance between monster fuel economy and raw performance that so  many other manufacturers have simply missed. Seeing this car perform at Nürburgring and beat the Carrera GT’s time with a 7 minute and 30 second finish proves to us that this concept is really much more than a concept. It’s a reality that we can only hope goes in to production. Congratulations again to Porsche, you’ve made a vehicle that car enthusiasts and eco enthusiasts alike can do nothing but admire and drool over. You’ve created a vehicle that all other manufacturers should post up in their design rooms and aspire to. Thank you for that!

Now, whether or not I’ll be able to afford one is yet to be seen, but I can only hope so!

Porsche 918Porsche 918

All images are courtesy of www.porsche.com

3 comments to Porsche Joins The High MPG Hybrid Club, Our Jaws Drop

  • I am sure that Porsche engineers know better, but they are happy to play along with the American nonsensical ways of calculating “MPG” or “MPGe”, whatever. They don’t mind taking our money home.
    Taking into account the fundamental reality that there is a heat engine somewhere and the reserve capacity from coal systems will be the responding source when any electric car is plugged in, electrical car apparatus does not accomplish much. In fact, diesel will do better, and good hybrids also do better.
    The reason VW is bending on this for the American market, and only that market, is that they are convinced there is no fixing our desire to bamboozle ourselves.

  • A web site that announces that it will show us about green technology should make an attempt to understand automotive technology.
    The first clue of greeneeness is the 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds. This is a muscle car performance, no matter how the power gets delivered to the wheels. Theoretically the kinetic energy can all go back in the battery, but it usually is a rather lossy process, even with the best regenerative braking.
    Except for the MPG calculation trick, this is about as green as a Yukon.

  • It sounds as if Porsche may be dangerously close to crafting a solid business case to build the fast and frugal 918 Spyder. After stealing the show in Geneva, it was revealed that the German automaker was seriously interested in bringing the hybrid supercar concept to market, if only it were able to find enough applicants willing to plunk down their hard-earned cash.

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