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Tuesday 2nd October 2012

Chris Harris video: Porsche 918 Spyder

"What would it be like if it weighed 1,200kg and was unencumbered by all that electric gubbins?"



Ah, the old 'ride' story. The staple of many a UK car manufacturer and car magazine, and something that appeals to me about as much as scoop of Bovril in the rice pudding. I have never understood why journalists allow themselves to be persuaded to review a machine from the wrong seat - borrow someone else's ears to review a hi-fi, anyone? - but it happens.

I make two exceptions. The first, naturally, is the Group B rally car - as delivered earlier this year. The second is a glimpse at something so new that perhaps any kind of exposure to it, even the misery of riding pillion, might just be worthwhile.

The Porsche 918 Spyder fits into this category.

A Porsche, the 'ring and Harris in the passenger seat
A Porsche, the 'ring and Harris in the passenger seat
From what I've seen of it, the 918 does very little for me as a hypercar. That's right, it's a Porsche I don't much care for, despite the fact that it's starting to look very attractive indeed. Of course I have immense admiration for what Porsche is trying to achieve with the project, but whichever way I approach the car, I always reach the same conclusion: what would it be like if it weighed 1,200kg and was unencumbered by all that electric gubbins?

This is of course a pathetically limited view of a project that aims to find a sustainable, justifiable space for sports cars in the future. But right now, I want to drive an RS Spyder race car with number plates and no amount of lithium ion batteries seems adequate compensation.

So really I went along to see if I could get excited about a car that weighs 1,700kg.

The video covers much of the emotional response to the car, and there's some good chit-chat with project boss Frank Walliser, but the problem with reporting the technical side of the 918 is that there's just so much to cram into the space - and these bits are supposed to be a short taster for the video itself. To keep you fully informed you can download the full press pack (here in pdf form) we were supplied on the day here so you get all the numbers and stats on what is, even in the eyes of this devout flat-earther, a quite remarkable engineering project.

Enjoy the vid.


 

Chris Harris
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Author Discussion

rtz62

Original Poster:

583 posts

35 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
I'm now working on she who must be obeyed to convince her how much we need this car?

harryowl

1,037 posts

61 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Another bloody porsche video... what a surprise. rolleyes

EDLT

14,700 posts

86 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
I'm in the secret thread!

I share the disinterest in Porsches, why buy one when they'll release a slightly faster version next week?

Tony427

1,140 posts

113 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
EDLT said:
I'm in the secret thread!
Ditto.

Is there a prize?



FloppyRaccoon

1,916 posts

46 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
harryowl said:
Another bloody porsche video... what a surprise. rolleyes
rolleyes Ridiculous comment.
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storminnorman

2,110 posts

32 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
somewhere along the way this ended up looking like a CGT crossed with an F430. starting to bother me now

ravon

329 posts

162 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Harris, another brilliant video, thank you. Amazing car too !

Doshy

471 posts

97 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
No belts, wierd. Agree about the F430 bit.

Wallachie

43 posts

79 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
harryowl said:
Another bloody porsche video... what a surprise. rolleyes
What would you rather see then? New Honda Jazz perhaps!

4lf4-155

611 posts

123 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
This is the future. You could argue its a compromise, but its what will have to happen if supercars are to avoid being legislated into the history books.

I like it, if it can do what is claimed then its an engineering achievement on a par with the veyron.

If this was an Aston no one would be moaning so please don't moan about it being another Porsche vid, it's not their fault that they are the most innovative company right now!

masermartin

1,096 posts

57 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
That was a fascinating video, Chris. I also wonder what it'd be like without the electrickery, but frankly if it didn't have that, it would probably not be the same size, shape, balance, layout etc, etc... and it would be a completely different car altogether.

I think we're going to end up having hybrid sports cars forced upon us anyway. Frankly, the more the major sports car manufacturers of today get involved in that, the more acceptable the final products will be, in my opinion.

mrdemon

4,779 posts

145 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
He wants a 1200kg mid engine Porsche.

Strange that's what I own :-)

Charlie Michael

2,402 posts

64 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Great vieeo Chris, I personally think that the electric gubbins add to this car, sure Porsche can release another super-sports car that weighs little and have it compete with the other normal supersports cars, but the EV addition adds a certain something to the mix and makes me want the car more. I can see this form of hybrid becoming much more prevelant. It's called progress (whether it's deemed necessary or worthwhile is a debate for he future). We do have to give cars that add electric technology a chance.

You had a great look on your face when he talked about the flat torque for overtaking. smile

Joe911

2,542 posts

115 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
ravon said:
Harris, another brilliant video, thank you. Amazing car too !
Agree.

918, or P1 .... 918 full stop

chrisironside

164 posts

42 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Looks fantastic.
Sounds fantastic.
Looks and sounds like it goes fantastic.
And a trully fantastic piece of engineering.

Fantastic.

cloud9

chrisironside

164 posts

42 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
chrisironside said:
Looks fantastic.
Sounds fantastic.
Looks and sounds like it goes fantastic.
And a trully fantastic piece of engineering.

Fantastic.

cloud9
Didn't see any sign of Rohrl though - seemed to be suggested at the start he featured...

Diderot

2,759 posts

72 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Enjoyable vid and fantastic car. Only thing I would argue with is the implication that the electric motor is necessary, beneficial or more 'sustainable'. It's simply a sop to green feckwittery.

Rawwr

14,033 posts

114 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
If the 918 is what we can expect from future supercars, I'm looking forward to seeing more.

sodslaw

189 posts

19 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
I suppose the real question is..


Is the extra weight worth the extra power?

Chicane-UK

3,207 posts

65 months

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Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Loved the switch from full electric mode to race mode.. it sounded like the apocalypse had just started! So refreshing to see discussion on technical elements of the car as well... Top Gear is going to seem like C-Beebies when it returns after we've been watching all these sorts of features.
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