- This is how the three-engine booster from Porsche drives
- First in the emergency program
- Better sport hybrid or race hybrid?
- The acceleration almost feels wrong
- Walter Rohrl has bought two Porsche 356s
- Next year with Hybrid to Le Mans
This is how the three-engine booster from Porsche drives
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The starting number 25 on the hood of the Porsche 918 Spyder identifies this car as the 25th and last prototype, here on the test track at the Porsche factory in Leipzig.
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At 1.94 meters (without mirror), the 918 Spyder is less wide than it looks.
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Three motors are distributed over a 4.64 meter long body: In front of the rear axle there is a 6.2 liter V8 (608 PS) with a 156 PS electric motor, another electric motor (129 PS) i…is responsible for the front axle. The system output is 887 hp.
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As in many other Porsche models, there is a center console that rises towards the front, this time with touchpad operation, as seen in the Panamera Sport Turismo study… has seen.
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"Welt" reporter Stefan Anker took a seat in the 918 Spyder, the test drives took place with the roof closed.
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The 918 Spyder then put it down for the photo later, and it calmly showed …
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… its wonderful rear wing, which varies depending on the switch position in the steering wheel (sport, race, hot lap) …
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… extends high and can also change the angle of attack.
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E-Power – if it weren’t for that on the Porsche 918 Spyder from time to time, you’d hardly believe that electric motors are also at work here. Series production begins on September 18. around …9.18 a.m., 918 copies will be built.
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The rising exhaust pipes are a feast for the eyes, the engine underneath it is not, so the cover does not reveal the view of the V8: you would only see the bend…mer ball, because the exhaust pipes are not on the outside of the engine as usual, but in the middle of the V..
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At 1640 kilograms, the 918 Spyder weighs extremely little for a plug-in hybrid car. Without batteries and electric motors, the car would bring less than 1,300, according to technical director Wolfgang Hatz… Kilograms on the scales.
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Prototype 25 also shows the Spyder in the Weissach package, which is subject to a surcharge (named after Porsche’s development center near Stuttgart): Here another 40 kilograms are weighed…o saved, among other things by dispensing with painting. The car is covered with foil, which makes it 3500 grams lighter.
The “world” was allowed to try out the last prototype of the Porsche 918 Spyder, with three engines and 887 hp. The car is a plug-in hybrid model, but nobody talked about saving fuel on the day of the test.
“For me, it’s first and foremost about the car going like the devil.” Wolfgang Hatz, Head of Development at Porsche, could also have said something about the incredible consumption of the future 918 Spyder, that super sports car with plug-in hybrid technology, its Prototype is now ready.
But Hatz does not mention the provisional factory specification of 3.3 liters per 100 kilometers (you will not achieve it in sports car driving either), he prefers to be happy that the car is so fast. And meanwhile so mobile that you can even hand it over from time to time.
The start number 25 on the black and red pasted body indicates that it is prototype number 25. It is the last one, since May 14th production of the pilot and pilot series has been running, which will be another 33 pieces that will not go on sale.
First in the emergency program
So number 25 is not quite finished yet, but if you have nothing to do with car manufacturing, you hardly notice it. Number 25 is alive, but it also has a life of its own that it shouldn’t have. During the first lap on the test track at the Porsche factory in Leipzig, the load stalled – emergency running program.
Eugen Oberkamm is sitting in the passenger seat, he is uncomfortable. The project manager for the entire vehicle apologizes, switches off the engine, removes the key, closes the door by remote control and waits. Then unlock it, restart it, and it goes on.
You can also experience something like this in production vehicles, but that doesn’t reassure the engineer. The entire 918 Spyder team is motivated to the tip of their hair and wants to deliver the most ingenious sports car of all. Disturbances do not fit into the concept.
It continues to rain, but number 25 is now behaving. Oberkamm explains the little rotary switch on the steering wheel that can be used to set five different driving experiences. First, of course, the electric mode (30 kilometers possible, up to 150 km / h, seven seconds to 100 km / h, tram sound).
Better sport hybrid or race hybrid?
Then comes hybrid (the electronics decide how the 6.2-liter V8 and the two electric motors at the front and rear work together), sports hybrid (the V8 never goes out, electric motors boost if necessary) and race hybrid. Here the V8 is driven under high load, and if you don’t need all the power, it charges the batteries so that they can always push.
There is no longer any question of 3.3 l / 100 km. From the top speed, however, not particularly. At the moment the information is "over 340 km / h", but Porsche is always a little disinterested in the pure top speed.
For this, credible behavior on the racetrack is important, and the word “race” can also be taken literally on the 918 Spyder, says Oberkamm. The car could take part in races without weakening after two or three laps due to low batteries.
And then he shows the switch position for the qualifying round: Hot Lap. The Porsche mercilessly sucks the battery empty and squeezes every single one of its 887 horsepower onto the road, and it can also mobilize 1265 Newton meters of torque. The 918 Spyder can reach 100 km / h in 2.8 seconds, but the hot lap position remains taboo today.
The acceleration almost feels wrong
That’s not a problem, because when the Spyder turns into the home straight in Sport and Race mode and Oberkamm says something like “Now give it full throttle”, some coordinates have to be rewritten in the test driver’s brain.
The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission shifts two or three gears down, and the roar of the upper arm-thick exhaust pipes that leave the engine in front of the rear axle is infernal. The most powerful production Porsche of all time pushes off so impetuously that you involuntarily take your foot off the accelerator the first time because this acceleration almost feels wrong.
And because it is still raining, the rear axle jerks and twitches over what feels like 50, 100 meters – like a sports car of previous generations without stability systems. Yes, the engineers later say, the prototype is only at around 95 percent, that can be made even more stable.
Maybe that’s what causes Walter Rohrl, the rally legend in the service of Porsche, a little bit of grief at times. That the developers do everything they can to make it accessible and easy to use, even with such an almost 900 hp monster. It is certainly a bit of a challenge to move the 918 Spyder, especially when it is wet, especially the first time, but then it is not a feat either.
There is a long right-hand bend on the Leipzig test track, it has three apexes, you can’t drive it perfectly on the ideal line right away. You have to be careful in the rain, but later, when everything is dry, you turn the steering wheel at this point and the 918 Spyder corrects its course without grumbling, even at brisk pace.
Walter Rohrl has bought two Porsche 356s
Who knows, maybe it will automatically switch on the second electric motor on the front axle and then function as a four-wheel drive for a short time – but the electronics take care of everything. And the rear wheel steering is automatically active anyway.
That is impressive, but when the 66-year-old Rohrl tells how he will sweeten his retreat from years of testing, voting and representative driving, then that is also a statement. “I bought two Porsche 356s.” Oldtimers, without any tricks, for the most part were made before the first 911.
Rohrl is of course aware of the strategic importance of the 918 Spyder. Porsche did not develop all of the technology to make 918 people happy (the edition is limited, around 300 cars have already been ordered), but like many other chief developers, Porsche board member Hatz also considers plug-in technology to be unrivaled at the moment in terms of low consumption and, above all, CO2 values.
He has just been on the road in Shanghai with the new Panamera plug-in hybrid, 40 kilometers stop and go, all electric. And on the autobahn, the car can recharge two percent of the batteries per kilometer.
Next year with Hybrid to Le Mans
In 2014, Porsche’s hybrid technology will be baptized by fire: Then Hatz will have a new top-class racing car compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, against the competition from Audi, who are spoiled for victory, and the ambitious Toyota team.
And then Porsche wants to establish a production sports model between the top versions of the 911 and the 918 Spyder, somewhere in the 400,000 euro range. The 6.2-liter V8 of the 918 Spyder could be used here; the plug-in hybrid technology should also soon be available for the large off-road vehicle Cayenne and later also for the new compact SUV Macan, which will be available from the end of 2013 in Leipzig rolls off the assembly line.
Perhaps Porsche only got one thing wrong with the 918 Spyder, namely announced the price too early: 768,026 euros are not a stick, but when you consider that the Ferrari LaFerrari (963 hp) and also the McLaren P1 (915 hp) the Exceeding the million mark would certainly have been more for Porsche.
“We could probably have asked for a million”, says a cheerful Wolfgang Hatz and speaks of “technology on special offer”. And then again very seriously: “For us, the car is nothing to make money, but an investment in the future. "
world"-Reporter Stefan Anker regularly tweeted spontaneous car news and observations from everyday driving and testing. He’s happy when you’re here click and follow him. Check out his blog too or on his Facebook page past.
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