Porsche 918 Spyder makes superstar debut
Porsche's hybrid supercar lives up to the hype in its Frankfurt Motor Show debut.
The Porsche 918 Spyder makes its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and what you see here is what you'll get. We've gone on multiple ride-and-drives in Porsche's super-advanced hybrid supercar, but the automaker has made a number of tweaks and changes since then. Now, everything is pretty much set in stone, including the hybrid powertrain, which Porsche says still produces a combined 887 hp.
Motor Trend Technical Director Frank Markus provided an extensive write-up detailing almost everything there is to know about what makes the 918 go. The naturally aspirated mid-mounted 4.6-liter V-8 provides 608 hp and will spin to race car-like redline of 9150 rpm. It'll sound great doing it, too, thanks to its unique exhaust system with pipes exiting out through the valley of the vee, just a few inches away from the ears of passengers. Markus described the exhaust note as "intoxicating." Better yet, the exhaust's location at the top of the powertrain helps keep things cool. And as we reported, a 127-hp electric motor sits at the front axles and another (154 hp) slots between the engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In all, Porsche says the 918 will go from 0-62 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Additionally, the supercar will make that same run in zero emissions electric mode in under seven seconds.
Porsche also confirmed the hybrid's five drive modes. E-Power pure EV mode provides 10-20 miles of range and speeds of up to 93 mph and a Hybrid mode makes efficient use of both the gas and electric motors. The V-8 will continuously run in Sport Hybrid mode with the electric motors providing boost when needed while a Race Hybrid mode will get the most out of the electric motors at shorter periods of times. Finally, a Hot Lap mode is essentially a battery and gas drainer, squeezing the most out of the hybrid powertrain. Selecting the modes is as easy as pushing a button on the steering wheel.
And as expected, the 918 Spyder will be available with some pricey options. A Weissach package, for example, is priced at almost the same MSRP as a base 911 and shaves off 77 pounds from the hybrid's curb weight thanks to items like magnesium wheels and titanium brake pad backing plates. Production will begin shortly after the show on September 18 (9/18, as Markus pointed out) and at this point more than half should already be spoken for. And based on our few encounters with the 918 Spyder, this has a good chance at claiming hybrid supercar supremacy compared to its upcoming rivals.
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I'll take one on Thursday after I win The Powerball Jackpot on Wednesday.