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The expected price of the 918 Spyder is $845,000

Porsche has finally revealed the full specs of the 918 Spyder at the Volkswagen Group night ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. 

The 918 Spyder sports a 4.6-liter V8 engine for 608 horsepower. It also has two electric motors (a 154 HP electric motor turns the rear axle and a 127 HP electric motor spins the front wheels) added into the mix as well, for a total system of 887 HP and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Porsche's new vehicle can hit 62 MPH in 2.8 seconds, 124 MPH in 7.7 seconds and 186 MPH in 22 seconds. 

The 918 Spyder is a two-seater constructed of carbon fiber, and it weighs only 3,692 pounds.

As for its hybrid abilities, the 918 Spyder can travel on electric power at speeds up to 93 MPH and get about 10 to 20 miles per charge. Charging options include a German 230-volt outlet, which can do the job in about four hours. A DC fast charger will be optional and can recharge a battery in just 25 minutes. 

The hybrid features a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery consisting of 312 individual cells with an energy content of approximately 7 kilowatt hours. 

The 918 Spyder has four driving modes, including the standard E-Power for an electric-only range of up to 18 miles at speeds up to 93 MPH; Hybrid mode, which gives the most efficient power delivery of up to 85 MPG; Race Hybrid, which increases gear ratios spinning the electric motors while throttling up the V8, and Hot Lap, which pushes the traction battery to its maximum power output limits for a few fast laps.

The expected price of the 918 Spyder is $845,000. 

Source: Autoblog

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a step in the right direction
By GulWestfale on 9/10/2013 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
i'm no fan of electric or hybrid cars, but this level of performance and the ability to recharge in only 25 minutes seems like a step in the right direction. sure, 25 minutes is still long compared to the 3 minutes it takes to gas up, but it's not an overnight process anymore.

of course it will take time for this to trickle down to less expensive cars, but at least porsche is making an effort.

RE: a step in the right direction
By chmilz on 9/10/2013 2:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
A step in the right direction?

It has over 800HP and makes 85MPG. Like Tesla, this changes the definition of "direction".

RE: a step in the right direction
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 3:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
Tow an idling Prius (or Corvette if you prefer) from a golf cart. Until the golf cart batteries run out you're going to make great mpg from the perspective of the towed car. Congratulations, you've discovered the secret to making the 918 achieve 85MPG.

RE: a step in the right direction
By topkill on 9/10/2013 3:12:15 PM , Rating: 2
Whine about it all you want. It works, just like the Volt. When people go 3-4 months without having to put gas in their car....that's less of our money going to Saudi Arabia or even Mexico or Canada.

We make more of our oil now, but it's still not even half. And I like American money staying in the American economy. Electricity may still come from 37% coal, and about 35% natural gas, but it's AMERICAN coal and NG.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 3:29:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think we disagree about the degree of harm buying oil from say Canada causes, but that's really a very different point. Porsche is going to sell a few hundred 918s and each will be driven a few thousand miles per year. There's no impact on US oil buying demand, and even if ALL sports cars switched to part-time electric systems it wouldn't matter due to the small number of miles switched for gas to electric.

However I didn't mention the Volt in my golf cart analogy. The Volt isn't for me, but for people with a moderate and consistent commute a Volt that was say 30% cheaper than current prices makes a lot of sense. Add in tax advantages, the fun of new tech, and the satisfaction of being green and it can make sense for some people even at current prices.

But supplemental batteries, like in the 918, are not at all like the Volt. The Volt can accomplish it's primary mission (commuter car) on battery power, and uses gas as a supplement at the margin. The 918 inverts that relationship. In tangible performance terms it gains straight line acceleration while its batteries are charged, but at the cost of weight (handling), complexity & reliability, non-charged straight line performance, and of course a higher price.

In an $800,000 car from anything other than a marketing perspective Porsche would have been far better off offering a direct injection turbocharged version of the Carrera GT's V10.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Shig on 9/10/2013 3:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand how good 590 lb-ft of torque is. If you all you care about is going fast in a perfectly straight line, you should look into the rocket cars that go across the deserts.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 3:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
What good is 590 lb-ft of electrically-supplied torque EXCEPT for going fast in a straight line a few times?!

I know you didn't say so, but your tone suggests to me the 918's powertrain is somehow unique in torque generation. But the Aventador makes 510 lb-ft, and the Veyron more than 800.

So you can get torque other ways, but as I mentioned above the 918's system is costly in terms of weight. That's the MOST important factor for people who don't just 'care about going fast in perfectly straight lines.' The cool thing about torque from electric motors is it's on boil down so low. That should actually be pretty cool from like a 5mph roll. But on a racetrack revs are always going to be much higher so while torque matters there's nothing special about torque made from the 918.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Shig on 9/10/2013 4:26:38 PM , Rating: 3
It's about the torque curve. I thought this was common knowledge.

Electric drive trains can deliver all of their torque at all times, ICE cannot. In this system the electric drive always gives you that extra jolt until the big V8 comes in. You would immediately notice a difference between the Porsche and an ICE only car.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Spuke on 9/10/2013 5:02:43 PM , Rating: 3
Electric drive trains can deliver all of their torque at all times, ICE cannot.
No. Electric motors make max torque at 0 rpm and go down from there. And indeed it IS all about the area under the curve which won't be an issue with the 918 but a 1000 hp car will beat a 800 hp one all day, all else equal, no matter how much torque the 800 hp car makes. My only issue with the 918 is weight. 3700 lbs is a LOT for a car in this market. The car will still be silly fast but it will be slower than its competition. If that matters to a potential owner, they'll look elsewhere.

By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 5:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Spuke above also addresses this, but no, you wouldn't most of the time. Between the 918 and a sport bike engine, sure. From a 5mph roll as I state above, sure. But under either a 0->X run where you're using launch control, or during spirited driving, or certainly on a track you won't. Shig, you may have a ton of track experience, but my reading of your posts make me think otherwise. Driven aggressively the 918 will never be at low enough revs to take advantage of it's very low end torque.

Basically there isn't a window where "the big V8 needs to come in" or there certainly wouldn't be in my hypothetical turbocharged Carrera GT engine. High end exotics have powerplants with enough displacement and specific output to be traction limited at low race speeds, and that's all they need.

RE: a step in the right direction
By chmilz on 9/10/2013 7:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
Considering this car just broke records at Nurburgring, I'd say that torque is being applied just fine. In fact, it's being applied better than fine. It's being applied better than any other production car before it. It broke the previous record by 14 seconds - that's an eternity considering over the last few years shaving a tenth of a second off the record was considered an accomplishment.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/2013 7:35:22 PM , Rating: 2
Nürburgring has killer straights where you can run flat-out. The 918 has more power than pretty much anything else on that list you're looking at, so of course it set that time.

Let's put it in perspective, the previous record holder is now giving up like 200 horsepower to the 918!

Most "production" cars don't have 900hp.

By Concillian on 9/11/2013 1:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
What good is 590 lb-ft of electrically-supplied torque EXCEPT for going fast in a straight line a few times?!

If you're on a track, then you scrub off almost as much energy in braking for a corner as you push out accelerating out of that corner. A "small" electric reservoir makes sense in this regard if the generation can be done in a way that doesn't interfere with the feel of threshold braking... then the electric motors used as a bit of a turbo boost as you accelerate out of the corner.

Done properly, I have no doubt it has the potential of outperforming a comparable torque and HP ICE only car... while also reducing the stress on the braking system (which on an 800 HP 3600 pound car are going to be quite considerable stresses)

RE: a step in the right direction
By topkill on 9/10/2013 4:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
You chose to only note Canada from my list. You know I was really talking about the middle east and included Canada simply to acknowledge that we get a lot of oil from them as well.

But it still doesn't change my point that any oil we buy from the middle east is detrimental to us in lots of ways. And the few cars that Porsche or Ferrari, etc put out have no impact on that. But the sex appeal they provide that makes people start to buy electrified cars further down the food chain does. THAT is what I'm looking for.

By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/2013 6:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
that's less of our money going to Saudi Arabia or even Mexico or Canada.

You're an idiot. Are gas stations and all the domestic companies that are involved in the supply chain of gasoline all employed by people from the Middle East too?

America is a net-exporter of oil. Hell oil on the global market is IN US dollars. We profit more from oil than you have a clue. Your idiotic flag-waving "importing stuff harms us" is ridiculous. Oil is not evil and the sellers of it are not evil. They aren't terrorists!

Why even bring that up anyway? Yeah extremely expensive supercars that maybe 200 people will own is TOTALLY our answer to oil dependence!

We make more of our oil now, but it's still not even half.


RE: a step in the right direction
By Jeffk464 on 9/10/2013 5:12:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm no fan of porches, but love the looks of the mid engine spyders. Normal porches look to small and wimpy looking but the elongated looks of the sypder is definitely on the mark.

RE: a step in the right direction
By toffty on 9/10/2013 5:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
...the ability to recharge in only 25 minutes seems like a step in the right direction

The reason it can recharge so fast is because the battery is only big enough to take the car 10 to 20 miles (depending on speed probably). So the battery is probably in the realm of 12 kWh. (BTW it said DC fast charger for 25 mins. This is one heck of an inefficient vehicle to only get 10 to 20 miles out of such a large battery!)

Compare this to the Tesla S which can be 80% recharged in 30 minutes and then can travel 208 miles with the larger 85 kWh battery (68 kWh @ 80%).

So saying charge time is all that counts is not the correct way to measure 'the right direction'. Instead the measure should be distance / time. The 918 is (averaging range) 15 / 25 = .6 miles/minute of charging. Tesla Model S is 208/30 = 6.93 miles/minute. The Model S is still way ahead of the 918.

The 918 hybrid is just like the plug-in prius. It's basically a parallel hybrid that you can plug in. These are good starter vehicles for those who've never owned a hybrid before. Those who have owned a hybrid should move to serial hybrids like the Volt if not make the leap to pure electric if they know their driving routes are all within range.

P.S. Going back to efficiency. The 918 gets about 1.25 miles per kWh (15 miles / 12 kWh). HORRID! I get 4.8 miles per kWh in my Leaf and the Tesla S can average around 3.05 miles per kWh.

RE: a step in the right direction
By Spuke on 9/10/2013 5:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
The article states 7kWh (6.8 to be exact) for the 918. Where do you get 12 from?

RE: a step in the right direction
By toffty on 9/10/2013 5:48:58 PM , Rating: 2
Reading too fast. Thanks for the correction. I was guessing based off the charge times. If that's the case it's somewhat better with effeciency but still really bad at about 2 miles per kWh

RE: a step in the right direction
By Spuke on 9/10/2013 6:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
No worries. You still made a good point.

Just don't get it...
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 2:58:34 PM , Rating: 2
I know the 918 is 25% technology demo and 75% publicity exercise, but it seems far inferior the Carrera GT. The Carrera GT was sort of overshadowed by the Enzo and Veyron back in the mid-2000s, but compared to the 918 it offered almost as much best-case performance, in essentially the same packaging and with similar styling, for half the price, and of course with the same (lack of?) prestige. More importantly though the Carrera GT would actually perform consistently in race conditions. The 918 is going to be a lot less impressive when it's essentially carrying around a few hundred pounds of ballast once the batteries run dry.

RE: Just don't get it...
By BabelHuber on 9/10/2013 3:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
You are wrong: I saw the Carrera Hybrid racing car in 2011 at the Ring. He won a VLR race.

Reason: With Hybrid, it could drive one lap more. All other cars had to do a 'splash and dash' at the end except of the Hybrid.

The reason was that the Hybrid drive worked two-fold: Via GPS, the car knew that a corner is comming close. Hence it could throttle the ICE and additionally switch on electric to compensate.

If needed, the driver could alternatively activate an additional 240hp(IIRC) for a few seconds to overtake a competitor.

The Carrera Hybrid drove with an ICE with 35hp less than the regular Carreras to make up for the additional electrical engine BTW.

So for long-range racing Hybrid makes sense.

RE: Just don't get it...
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 3:59:21 PM , Rating: 2
What do you think would happen if you allowed the non-hybrid sports cars to carry the weight of the battery pack in extra fuel?

You're confusing 'superior due to taking advantageous of a rule-set' to 'superior in engineering terms.' Le Mans decided a decade ago that diesel racecars would be cool, so they changed the rules to give them advantages. Viola, some (really cool) diesels started winning. But with an equal (or just open) ruleset no one is going to opt for a diesel racecar.

RE: Just don't get it...
By BabelHuber on 9/10/2013 4:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
The diesel cars at Le Mans are another topic.

Carrying extra fuel instead of the battery's weight would be a rule favoring non-hybrids.

OTOH if you'd just set up rules with minimum weight and maximum fuel, a hybrid can have an advantage. Sure it is heavier, but some 200+ extra hp for a few seconds and/or reduced fuel consumption can give it the edge.

RE: Just don't get it...
By Sunrise089 on 9/10/2013 5:03:51 PM , Rating: 1
tl;dr: "Sure it is heavier" is non-trivial and shouldn't just be hand-waved away.

We're veering into 'Internet Argument' land and should maybe just agree to disagree, but I'll try to articulate my point a bit better.

In a road car, using a hybrid powertrain has a few engineering (as opposed to marketing) tradeoffs: you gain better fuel economy (manifested in lower non-acquisition costs), primarily due to regenerative breaking, and an arguably preferable power band, at the cost of money and weight.

In a high-end racecar the monetary penalty of hybrids isn't a big deal. The weight penalty however is critical. It's why racecars are much lighter than road cars, and why any time there isn't a specified car/component weight max racecar teams move towards more and more advanced materials. Fuel adds weight of course, but it's pretty light. A few pounds will get you around the track at race speed once the engine is already in place. A hybrid system won't do that - you need a few HUNDRED pounds. You could remove the gas engine entirely, but then your races would be about 15 minutes long.

In your scenario you mention a spec of minimum weight and max fuel. IF you set that weight high enough (quite a bit higher than needed to make a safe and reliable racecar) then your hybrid system makes sense, because the race team is going to need to run ballast anyways, so heavy dense batteries might as well replace heavy dense blocks of lead (you end up with a bit worse center of gravity, but that's a minor point). But that's a pretty arbitrary set of rules - if you let the race teams run as much fuel as they want they're going to carry more fuel instead of batteries; on the other hand if you let them make the cars as light as they want they're going to run lighter cars and either refuel more often or opt to produce less power. Letting the teams opt to carry X weight in fuel or battery isn't a non-hybrid favoring rule, it's a performance-favoring rule, no different than letting teams chose what tire compound or aerodynamic package to use.

I also know some racing hybrids use their batteries for more power rather than more range, but that's even worse. Now you're carrying a few hundred pounds extra for roughly 3hp per second of each lap. That's simply a godawful return on your weight budget compared to running a larger engine and just burning more fuel.

RE: Just don't get it...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/10/2013 5:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
So it was a cheater car that exploited a technicality in the rules. Umm, congrats?

By spamreader1 on 9/10/2013 2:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
That is one beautiful, fast, expensive coffin.

By topkill on 9/10/2013 3:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
It also tore up a 6:57 second lap at The 'Ring this morning. A new production car record.

By joze on 9/10/13, Rating: -1
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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