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2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

McLaren, Ferrari and Lamborghini are reminded who was first

Greg Emmerson
May 16, 2013 SHARE

While the automotive internet trolls battle over the P1, Veneno and LaFerrari loyalty, Porsche wants to reminded the world that they were first in the hybrid horsepower wars. Remember... the 918 Spyder?

Now that you are back on the Porsche bandwagon, because everybody unanimously adored its design, they have announced all the technological goodies, driving modes and active aerodynamic features hidden behind the seductive bodywork.

Performance

These days, you'd be lucky to say your "performance car" is at the top of its game with 400hp. Well if, that's your claim to fame, may we introduce your wake up call. The Porsche 918 Spyder is equipped with a 4.6L 608hp V8 with ending speeds up to 9150rpm. Mated to an inverted seven-speed Doppelkupplung PDK transmission for lightning fast shifts and optimum weight positioning - low.

918 Photo 2/16   |   918

What's unique about the 918 Spyder's powertrain is its pulg-in hybrid capabilities. Having been previously developed on the 911 GT3 R Hybrid the module is constructed of a 115kW electric motor where a decoupler serves as its connection to the combustion engine. Because of the parallel hybrid configuration, the 918 Spyder can be powered at the rear axel either individually by the engine or electric motor. The power pack has been placed in front of the rear axel and does not have any direct mechanical connection to the front axel. Which is independently controlled by a 95kW electric motor and can drive the front wheels at a fixed ratio. Technically making this the first FWD production Porsche.

The lithium-ion batter back is made up of 312 individual cells and is liquid cooled (global warranty period for the battery is seven years). The charge port is located in the passenger-side B-pillar and can be plugged into a US 110 outlet, an in home charge dock or the optional extra Porsche Speed Charging Station (DC)- which can provide a full charge in just 25 minutes.

Chassis

The multi-link chassis of the Porsche 918 Spyder is inspired by motorsport design, complemented by additional systems such as the PASM adaptive shock-absorber system and rear-axle steering. The entire load-bearing structure is made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) for extreme torsional rigidity. Additional crash elements at the front and rear absorb and reduce the energy of a collision. The car's dry weight of approximately 3,715 lbs. (3,616 lbs. with "Weissach" package).

The drivetrain components and all components weighing over 110 lbs. have been located as low and as centrally as possible within the vehicle. This results in a slightly rear end biased axle load distribution of 57 percent on the rear axle and 43 percent on the front axle, combined with an extremely low center of gravity at approximately the height of the wheel hubs, which is ideal for driving dynamics. This allows the batteries to consistently operate at optimum efficiency.

Porsche Active Aerodynamics (PAA)

Available in three modes ("Race", "Sport" and "E") the 918 Spyder changes the direction of air flowing over and under the body to achieve dynamic driving modes. In "Race" mode the rear wing is put into an "Attack" angle to generate high downforce at the rear axel. Additionally, two adjustable air flaps are opened under the floor in front of the front axel which directs a portion of air into the diffuser channels.

"Sport" mode reduces the rear wing angle for a slippery one and it's in this mode where the car's top speed can be realized, or at least as high as your nerves will allow you to go. The floor flaps are closed to help reduce drag in this setting. "E" mode brings the car into its normal operating mode by retracting the rear wing fully and closing up the floor flaps.

While the car is operating under normal "Hybrid" mode, the rear wing and floor flaps will deploy around 81mph.

918_light_back Photo 6/16   |   918 Light Back

Driving modes aplenty

Having the ability to select between five different driving modes can seem overwhelming. Considering most of these super duper cars will be seen in bumper to bumper traffic in urban settings, the option of having them is nice to have.

"E-Power" puts the driver in a state of quite and elegant driving behaviors. Achieving 18 miles on pure electric power and a 0-60 time a Fiat Abarth can nose in on at 7s and a top speed of 93mph. "Hybrid" pairs the electric motors and combustion engine to work alternately to reach maximum efficiency and minimum fuel consumption. "Sport Hybrid" give the entire system a wake up call and allows the V8 to operate continuously, providing the main propulsion for the car. "Race Hybrid" really starts to shake the bed and allows the car to really stretch its legs out. The V8 is under full control at this point, while the electric motors take a back seat providing "boost" on demand (like a KERS system). The PDK transmission gets an electronic energy bump as well with faster gear-shifting and a sportier behavioral traits - like giving a kid with ADD a Red Bull. Lastly, "Hot Lap" ditches nearly all conventions of conservatism and lets the entire system operate at full track spec. Allowing users to churn out hot laps as long as the car remains charged up and full of fuel.

Weissach Package

For performance-oriented customers, Porsche offers the "Weissach" package. The 918 Spyder, as many photos around the internet have shown, can be recognized at first glance by special colors and designs that are based on legendary Porsche race cars. The roof, rear wings, rear-view mirrors and frames of the windscreen are made of visible carbon. Parts of the interior are upholstered with Alcantara instead of leather, and visible carbon replaces much of the aluminum. Sound insulation has also been reduced. The emphasis on performance is not just visual: very lightweight magnesium wheels reduce unsprung masses; gross weight was reduced by about 77 lbs. Other references from motorsport are six-point seatbelts for driver and front passenger, optional film-coating instead of body paint, as well as additional aerodynamic body parts in visible carbon.

918_driving_back_2 Photo 10/16   |   918 Driving Back 2

Technical Specifications - Porsche 918 Spyder

Body:
Two-seat Spyder; carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) monocoque interlocked with CFRP unit carrier; two-piece Targa roof; fixed roll-over protection system.
Drivetrain:
Parallel full hybrid; 4.6-liter V8 mid-engine with dry-sump lubrication; hybrid module with electric motor and decoupler; electric motor with decoupler and gear unit on front axle; auto start/stop function; electrical system recuperation; four cooling circuits for motors, transmission and battery; thermal management.

Engine power:

608 hp at 8,600/min (V8 engine)
154 hp (hybrid module on rear axle)
127 hp (electric motor on front axle)
887 hp (combined)

Max. torque:

390 lb.-ft. at 6,600/min (V8 engine)
940 lb.-ft. (equivalent torque calculated on the crankshaft, complete system in 7th gear)
787 lb.-ft. (complete system, 3rd gear)
> 590 lb.-ft. (800/min - 5,000/min)

Maximum Revs: 9,150 rpm

Power output per l: 133 hp/l (V8 engine)

Power transmission:

Combustion engine with hybrid module and transmission bolted together to form a single drive unit; seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK); rear-wheel drive; front electric motor with gearbox for driving the front wheels (decoupled from 146 mph); five pre-selectable operating modes for optimum coordination of all drive units.

Gear ratios PDK

1st gear 3.91
2nd gear 2.29
3rd gear 1.58
4th gear 1.19
5th gear 0.97
6th gear 0.83
7th gear 0.67
R gear 3.55
Final drive ratio 3.09
Clutch diameter 8.7 in. / 6.5 in.

Chassis and Suspension: Double-wishbone front axle; optional electro-pneumatic lift system on front axle; electro-mechanical power steering; multilink rear axle with adaptive electro-mechanical system for individual rear wheel steering; electronically controlled twin-tube gas-pressure dampers in the front and rear with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM).

Brake system: High-performance hybrid brake system with adaptive recuperation; internally ventilated and perforated front ceramic brake discs (PCCB), 16 in. in diameter and 1.4 in. thick; rear discs 15.4 in diameter and 1.3 in. thick.

Wheels and tires: 918 Spyder wheels

(Weissach package: 918 Spyder magnesium wheels) front 9.5 J x 20 with 265/35 ZR 20 rear 12.5 J x 21 with 325/30 ZR 21

Weights: Curb weight 3,715 lbs. 3,616 lbs. (Weissach package)

Dimensions: Length 182.8 in.

Width 76.4 in.
Height 45.9 in.
Wheelbase 107.5 in.
Track width front 65.5 in.
rear 63.5 in.
Luggage compartment capacity, VDA ~ 110 l
Fuel tank capacity 18.5 gal

Energy supply: Lithium-ion battery with 6.8 kWh capacity (BOL nominal), 220 kW maximum power and mains-compatible plug-in charger.

Performance: Top speed > 211 mph

purely electric 93 mph
Acceleration:
0-62 mph 2.8 s
0-60 mph less than 2.8 s
0-62 mph (in electric mode) 7.0 s
0-124 mph (0-200 km/h) 7.9 s
0-186 mph (0-300 km/h) 23.0 s

Range: Purely electric approx. 18 mi.

Warranty: Vehicle (Battery) 4 years (7 years)

Charging times:

AC charging on a household socket (110 V, 10 A): less than 7 hours
AC charging on an industrial socket (240 V, 30 A): less than 2 hours
DC charging on an industrial socket (400 V, 32 A): less than 0.5 hours.

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By Greg Emmerson
1075 Articles

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