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Surprise Porsche - Geneva: Porsche’s hybrid 918 supercar

  • Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid - 0
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Carrera GT replacement previewed by German firm’s stunning 918 Spyder concept

This is Porsche’s 918 Spyder, a hybrid performance car built to give the best of both worlds, offering a near-200mph top speed, yet managing a claimed near-100mpg.

The Spyder joins the new Cayenne hybrid in Geneva, and previews the replacement for the Porsche Carrera GT. But while that car featured a 5.7-litre V10, the concept car uses a mid-mounted 493bhp 3.4-litre V8 derived from the firm's Spyder racing car, and it revs to 9200rpm.

But what makes this new car special is the addition of two hybrid motors, which add a further 215bhp. One drives the front axle through a fixed transmission, and the other is sandwiched between the conventional engine and a seven-speed PDK gearbox. The motors are powered by a lithium ion battery pack located behind the passenger cell.

The hybrid system has four modes, so depending on whether speed or economy is your priority, the car is always operating at its most efficient.

Around town, E-drive mode allows the car to travel up to 16 miles on electricity alone. Next is Hybrid mode, which uses both power sources in moderation, giving claimed economy figures of 94mpg and 70g/km of CO2.

Sport Hybrid mode offers more aggressive power delivery and a torque vectoring function for improved dynamics. The most aggressive mode is Race Hybrid, which gives the most power and features a push-to-pass function.

In this mode, Porsche claims that the 918 can sprint from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, hit 198mph and can lap the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife in under 7 minutes 30 seconds, making it faster than a Carrera GT.

The performance is helped in part by the comprehensive use of lightweight materials in the car’s construction. Carbon fibre reinforced plastics, magnesium and aluminium feature throughout, meaning the 918 Spyder tips the scales at 1490kg.

Finally Porsche has confirmed that the concept’s look is not just a technological showcase. The interior of this car is set to dictate the look of the next generation of Porsches, beginning with the next 911 in 2012.

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