Porsche Is Back
After a 3-year hiatus, the 'No Substitute' carmaker returns to the Motor City with one heck of a performance racer.
Porsche 918 RSR
Porsche returns to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit after a 3-year hiatus to celebrate its 60th anniversary here in the United States. Ever since the initial 15 356 Speedsters went on sale in 1950, the "No Substitute" automaker's brand strategy has essentially been the same: to focus on its reputation as a cutting-edge manufacturer of premium, performance-oriented vehicles. That isn't going to change any time soon. The proof is in the vehicles it brought to the show, which include the new, most extreme Cayman and a world premiere of the 918 RSR hybrid race car.
While many automakers are now starting to consider the performance potential of hybrid powertrains, Porsche has actually done something about it. The success of its recent GT3 RS hybrid race car has not gone unnoticed by the auto world, and the company is intending to take it up a big notch with the 918 RSR supercar.
Porsche 918 RSR
What is it? An extreme hybrid supercar
What makes it special? Everything. Porsche refers to the car as a racing laboratory, and it's obvious why. The chassis is made from carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The direct-injection V8 gasoline engine alone is good for 563 horsepower at an ear-splitting 10,300 rpm. When combined with the two 75-kilowatt electric motors — one for each front wheel — total vehicle power leaps to an incredible 767 horses. These motors also give the car the benefits of an all-wheel-drive system complete with advanced torque-vectoring capabilities. Then there's the flywheel accumulator. Using regenerative braking technology, the futuristic-looking device allows the vehicle to use stored energy to enhance its performance. Rather than the avant-garde interior of the recent 918 Spyder concept, Porsche has opted for a more functional cockpit, complete with gear information shown directly on the steering wheel and an energy recuperation display on the steering column.
When will it be available? To be announced.
How much will it cost? Unknown, but safe to assume it won't be for the faint of heart.
MSN Autos' take? Look at this thing. Check out its ludicrous specs. How can we not love it? Like the recent 918 Spyder concept, its sculpted curves are drop-dead gorgeous, and as far as we're concerned, it's by far the most technologically advanced performance vehicle to date. Plus, the way that flywheel accumulator and all its exposed piping and wiring take the place of the passenger seat is just bonkers — in a great way.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trend and European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
- Become a fan of MSN Autos on Facebook.
- Visit MSN Autos' "Exhaust Notes" blog to keep up on all things automotive.
- In the market for a new car? MSN Autos is pleased to provide you with information and services designed to save you time, money and hassle. Click to research prices and specifications on any new car on the market or get a free price quote through MSN Autos' New-Car Buying Service.
Must-See on MSN
I like the, "What makes this special? Everything..." Okay! now we're getting somewhere!
Wow, all I can say is, "boy that is the most beautiful car I have ever seen and I would love to see it in person, because it is so beautiful and hear the thing rev up!"
The GT sounds amazing I can't image how this beast would sound!!.
@sacreblui - they have. The car pictured above is a race car that uses the hybrid tech to give it a power boost. The Spyder hybrid concept (2014 production date?) that was revealed recently has some numbers attached to it. HUGE horsepower, something north of 180mph top speed, and up to 80mpg iirc (obviously not while doing 180mph but plenty for pootling about town.
"in Detroit after a 3-year hiatus to celebrate its 60th anniversary here in the United States".
Those folks know how to party!! Three years.
Ask Porsche Engineers and they will tell you they envy Farrari, Corvette and many others because they love automobiles. The fact is Porsche stands alone their closest competitor is the top of the line Corvette. It is one thing to design and enginer a car that sees a few thousand road miles a year and a machine meant to be DRIVEN everyday.
Porsche is a Man's car not a rich man's play thing although it holds it's own among the elite. While Corvette has the kahuna to be mentioned in the same sentence, the relationship is more like the Red Headed Stepchild.
Porsche is numero uno.