Porschephiles have been dribbling with anticipation for some time over the prospect of a racing version of the 918 Spyder show car, and now Porsche has unveiled just that, complete with evocative Gulf Racing-esque livery.
Contrary to the expectations of some, however, the new racer does stick with hybrid power rather than a more conventional drivetrain.
Mid-mounted within the light, stiff carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque, the V8 engine is a further development of the direct-injection unit RS Spyder race car, but for the 918 RSR it has been tuned to deliver 555bhp at 10,300rpm.
Combined, the electric motors provide an extra 201bhp to create a peak power output of 756bhp. This additional power is generated during braking.
The flywheel accumulator that stores this energy is an electric motor whose rotor rotates at up to 36,000rpm. Charging occurs when the two electric motors on the front axle reverse their function during braking, thus operating as generators.
This additional power is available for around eight seconds when the system is fully charged. In the 911 GT3 R Hybrid (and, we must assume, the 918 RSR), this extra poke can also be used to eke out extra fuel economy, depending on the racing situation. With it, you can delay pit stops or reduce the fuel tank volume and therefore the weight of the vehicle.
But the racing success of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid has apparently surprised even Porsche itself, so let's just say we wouldn't be surprised if something like the 918 RSR eventually found its way onto a grid somewhere...