The Porsche 918 Spyder – Revolutionizing the Meaning of Hybrid
With a mid-engined gasoline motor producing 608 horsepower, you’d think that would be enough to place the 918 Spyder among the most revolutionary of all of the Porsche designs. But for the designers at Porsche, that alone simply wasn’t going to cut it.
To improve on that power output, they added twin electric motors that utilize the battery capacity of this hybrid supercar to produce an extra 279 horsepower – and that’s in addition to the 608 produced by the gasoline engine.
You might simply add these two numbers together to arrive at the total power output of this car (which is technically the correct way to calculate it), but then you’d be overlooking the power added simply by the electric motors. Many people don’t understand how electric motors and gasoline engines differ, but Porsche has recognized these variations and put them together to produce an ultimate performance supercar.
Understanding Electric & Gasoline Working in Harmony
With a gas engine, it has to rev up through the power band and reach nearly redline to produce the maximum torque output, which is what moves the car off the line from a standstill. The deal with electronic motors is that they produce 100% of their available torque at exactly 0 RPM. In other words, as soon as they start spinning, they are immediately producing all of their available power.
Of course, electric motors alone have several disadvantages, but Porsche has put together a complete electronic (computerized) engine management system that regulates the two, forcing them to work together in order to produce the absolute best results. At the end of the day, you get the electric motors to launch you off the starting line at a lightning fast pace, and as those begin to lose efficiency, the V.6 liter V8 gas engine takes over to produce true supercar performance.
The Car Itself
At $845K, you would expect nothing less than perfection, and the 918 Spyder doesn’t fail to deliver all around. For that price, a fully charger 918 will do zero to sixty in under 2.6 seconds, and keeps climbing until it reaches a flat out speed of 210 miles per hour.
This car was designed to be their replacement for the famous Carrera GT supercar, which was discontinued last decade due to increasing regulations placed on car manufacturers by the government in regards to safety regulations. To keep up with these requirements, Porsche found it easier to abandon the Carrera GT and integrate the new safety features into an entirely new platform, which spawned the creation of the 918 Spyder.
This may be a supercar, but you’re probably wondering exactly how it performs in terms of fuel economy since this is, after all, a hybrid vehicle. If you completely ignore the batter system (let’s assume for a second it’s fully drained and you’re relying entirely on the gas engine), you can expect about 22 miles per gallon, combining highway and city driving. All in all, not a bad number for a supercar – but that’s without using any of the battery power.
It takes less than a gallon of gas to allow the engine to fully recharge the batteries, and once they are charged (you can also plug it into your household electricity supply for more efficient and green charging) you’ll get up to 67 miles per gallon. In other words, you get Prius level economy in one of the fastest supercars in the world. Don’t let anyone say you’re not getting your $845,000 worth out of this car!
For the best performance and economy, you can’t beat the Porsche 918 Spyder.