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Wednesday 16th May 2012


770HP AND 94MPG FOR PORSCHE 918 SPYDER

And you thought BMW's swirly camouflage looked funky?


Porsche is clearly on a single-manufacturer mission to make the hybrid cool.

Photos of 'half finished' mule have been released
Photos of 'half finished' mule have been released
Not only has it previously released an early 918 Spyder technology demonstrator looking like something Frankenstein would have created for Mad Max, it's now revealed the first full prototype images. And the car in question is finished in camouflage that pays homage to the 1970 Le Mans winning 917k.

What other carmaker could get away with that? What other carmaker would even think of that? And given the accompanying press release refers to "prototypes" with paint schemes "harking back to historical Porsche 917 racing cars", we can only assume the 05 represented here is more than just a random number.

Go on Porsche, tell us: is there a Steve McQueen-spec Gulf-camo 918 out there testing, too?

Gulf inspired disguise is a canny touch
Gulf inspired disguise is a canny touch
Aside from looking pretty, these new 918 pics confirm the car has entered the "trials" phase. As such, it seems Porsche has now settled for a mere 770hp from the 3.4-litre V8 and twin electric motor combination (up 52hp compared to the original 2010 Geneva concept...), and is still on track to achieve 94mpg.

The 918 is a plug-in hybrid, so the batteries can be pre-charged before you even turn a wheel, which ought to help marry these two seemingly incompatible performance parameters. In lab conditions, at least.

However, the Spyder also features a full carbon fibre reinforced plastic monocoque, "fully" adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and exhaust pipes that vent upwards in a banned-from-F1 stylee.

On sale next year - for real!
On sale next year - for real!
Weirdly, Porsche also says "the 918 Spyder is offering a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance may be capable of in the future." Which is either self-evident - as it's still a prototype - or just out of whack, as surely it's building this stuff now?

Anyhoo, semantics. Those of you lucky enough to have an outstanding order will no doubt be pleased to hear that development is entirely on schedule. Production is set to start in September 2013, and the first 918s should reach customers by the end of next year.

 

Author: cjhubbard
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