New Porsche 918 Spyder Concept Unveiled

Here is the press release and photos of this new car which I think is way cool!

The Geneva Auto Show is on this week, giving forth a bounty of automotive treats and even a few glances into the future. One of the most exciting cars we’ve seen from the show has been Porsche’s 918 Spyder concept. Because it’s a Porsche (yet neither a sedan nor SUV), it’s beautiful on the outside.

What’s inside is even more interesting. The 918 Spyder is really a “super hybrid” — pushed by both a 500-horsepower V8 and a pair of electric motors. The electric motors are attached at each axle, giving the car an additional 218 hp. Porsche says that means the concept can hit 60 mph in just over 3 seconds. That is incredibly fast, Porsche or not. The fact that it’s a “hybrid”? Well, that’s even better considering all the weight it’s pulling around.

The part about this that is so compelling isn’t just the pure speed — it’s that Porsche claims the car is wildly efficient from a miles-per-gallon perspective, too. Porsche says the 918 Spyder hits 78 miles per gallon, burping out just 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer. It can go 16 miles on pure electric power alone.

The 918 Concept can operate in either electric mode or gasoline mode, or a blended mode of both, making it a parallel hybrid. This is the more efficient way to create a hybrid car (“series” hybrids aren’t as efficient in terms of pure MPG savings). Porsche says there are four modes that the 918 Spyder can drive in, either dialing in more performance or more efficiency per the driver’s request.

Concepts being concepts, this 918 isn’t available for sale. The company is carefully watching how the consumers will react to performance cars with a green edge (Tesla already sells its 6-figure roadster, while Ferrari’s hybrid sports car from this week’s Geneva show will prove instructive for the German company, too). If you’re really burning for a Porsche hybrid, you’ll be able to buy one shortly: the Cayenne SUV will offer a hybrid model at the end of this year.

DISCUSS (3 Comments)

  1. Harlo

    Good post, Cliff. I’ve been seeing photos of the 918 and there’s something I just can’t put my finger on about it. I think it’s looking awfully Ferrari-ish from some angles. It’s weird, because even though it has a good number of the Porsche design cues we’ve long admired about Porsche’s design consistency, there’s something about it. Maybe it’s those big air intakes behind the door, maybe it’s the overall stance, maybe it’s the topline behind the driver.. Something.. If one of these passed you painted red, wouldn’t you think it was a Ferrari?

    On the other hand, I’m very VERY glad they’re back to the 9_ _ naming and didn’t call this the “Cay-lectro” or some such..

    And this is all just about the Porsche brand that I’m talking here. As a piece of technology, it’s stunning, and I’m glad that our caring about the environmental impact of our collective future doesn’t necessarily mean that sportscars and the notion of car-as-fun will go away.

  2. Jon

    This is the best thing Porsche has done in a long time. After 45+ years of dull but increasingly capable 911 derivatives and the odd Carrera GT, this is simply brilliant aesthetically and apparently in its power/technology as well. I think you have to look back to the 356 Speedster, 550 Spyder and 718 RSK to find a Porsche that works this well in the looks department.

    @Harlo: I see hints of Ferrari Dino 206/246 in it, but I also see a some Porsche 917 and even the old RSK. I think the best way to describe it is a blend of classic curves with modern aero. More importantly, I think this 918 trumps anything Ferrari currently makes, by a wide margin. (And I’m a former Ferrari owner, etc.)

    And yes, thank goodness they went with the simple and evocative 918 Spyder moniker. I’m hopeful Porsche will stop making trucks and sedans and find a way to make cars like this.

    Bravo Porsche.

  3. Cliff Reuter

    I agree with Jon as I love the looks of this car! I think it is a cross between a Boxster and the Carrera GT. I hope this car sees production!

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