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
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.
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!
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.
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i think one of the most important things that needs answering (or maybe it has already) is how long it can produce 770bhp for. obviously, the electric motors produce fairly significant power and if you're on a hoon or on track (lets face it, it's not going to be used for commuting in reality!) how long will it produce that power for?
if it's for something like 20 miles that's pants....you're going to have a stupidly fast car and then half way through a lovely twisty road you're going to have a sudden drop in power?
or am i missing something?
looks lovely though. Looking forward to the next McLaren which is to have, what was it, around 800bhp?
chazwozza16 May 2012
Be interesting to see how it actually drives day to day, surely this direction can only be a good thing? Be interesting to see what the electric only range is. If it has one...
Watchman16 May 2012
I thought the full 770bhp was only deployable in a manner similar to KERS, and that after your surge, you needed to let it recharge again.
kazino16 May 2012
Future of the hypercar, hope the tech filters down into models mortals can buy, would love 94mpg, although the weight must certainly make up for any savings when it comes to servicing costs?
kambites16 May 2012
They really need to do something about the way the combined fuel cycle deals with plug-in hybrids to get rid if ridiculous figures like this.