First Ride Porsche 918 Spyder

25 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи First Ride Porsche 918 Spyder отключены
Porsche 918 Electric Cars

First Ride: Porsche 918 Spyder

The first two warm-up laps on Porsche’s Weissach test track lull the passenger into a false sense of security. Walliser keeps checking the gauges, apologizes for the broken glass on the touchscreen that covers the entire center console, flicks the switch that Ferrari calls the manettino through its positions, even makes a quick phone call to confirm that this particular V-8 is really limited to 6000 rpm. Within five minutes, we go through four of the five driving modes. E-power is eerily quiet in a car that one expects to trumpet and roar. Hybrid feels a little rough, because the 585-hp engine cuts in like a landmine and fades out like a tear in a film.

Sport hybrid combines all three powerplants in a jam session that is as entertaining as it is erratic. Finally, there is race hybrid, which puts the electric motors on steroids and makes the dual-clutch transmission bang through the seven gears as though it were designed by Kalashnikoff.

One last smile, one final check, one more nod. Then Walliser drops his polite mask. No more hissing of the electric motors, no more lift-off coasting, no more part-time torque boosts. Instead, the 4.6-liter V-8 and its two battery-fed assistants hammer their 795-hp message into our ears with a loud techno rhythm.

Eventually, the shift-up speed will be increased to 11,000 rpm, shouts Walliser. Is that a devilish grin on his face as we approach the next fast right-hander? Staring through the curved windshield with angst and awe, I am shocked to see my driver brake too late for the downhill S, accelerate too hard in second at the brow of the hill, turn too fast into the blind left-hander that follows. Too late, too hard, too fast? Wrong.

When it comes to traction, grip, roadholding, handling, and performance, the 918 Spyder reigns supreme in its own universe. To prove the point, Walliser stops the vehicle abruptly at the beginning of the longest straight. With PSM (Porsche Stability Management) deactivated and the thumb switch on race hybrid, he floors the throttle and signs the tarmac with four black stripes that are about 1000 feet long.

Two weeks later, a professional driver did the same thing on the ‘Ring (it’s on YouTube — five or six seconds of top-notch goose-pimple material). The expected performance figures are: 0 to 62 mph in less than three seconds, a top speed of more than 200 mph, and a Nordschleife lap time of about 7 minutes, 10 seconds.

Even though his passenger’s complexion is fast changing from reddish to sickbag-yellow to ashen, Walliser continues to drive the hell out of number 24, which is the second-to-last prototype. We lengthened the wheelbase by 3.1 inches to increase cabin space, and we extended the rear overhang to improve stability, he says. The drag coefficient is a decent 0.34, and the frontal area is commendably small. Thanks to the three-stage active aerodynamic system, we have downforce at all speeds and zero lift.

Porsche 918 Electric Cars

Two adaptive ground-effects diffusers are incorporated in the nose tray, the substantial rear spoiler extends and adjusts its pitch, and a pair of motorized lateral radiator louvers also control the air flow. Add to this the low center of gravity and the nicely balanced 43/57 percent front/rear weight distribution, and you can imagine that this car pushes the envelope in the way it hugs the ground at any speed and on any type of surface.

Then, just to prove himself wrong, the part-time hooligan intentionally kicks out the tail through a second-gear kink, and the PSM electronics tighten the line again. This is an incredibly quick car, yet it is putty in your hands — always docile and benign, he adds.

A motorsports aficionado, Walliser was in charge of the RS Spyder program before adopting the 918. Not surprisingly, the monocoque of the road car was clearly inspired by the single-seater, and the high-revving normally aspirated engine was also handed down from the racing department. In fact, the V-8 was developed before the V-10 that powered the Carrera GT.

Weighing a mere 309 pounds, the compact 32-valve engine has no belt-driven auxiliaries; every component is fed directly by the 67.5-kW battery, which delivers in excess of 200kW. Consisting of eighteen modules and 324 individual cells, the energy pack sits in front of the engine and below the 18.5-gallon fuel tank. Other than the tub and the V-8, the liquid-cooled battery stack is the most expensive individual item in the 918.

It can accelerate the 918 (in E-mode) to 62 mph in 8.0 seconds, reach a top speed of 94 mph, and cover at least fifteen miles between plug-ins.

Porsche 918 Electric Cars
Porsche 918 Electric Cars
Porsche 918 Electric Cars
Porsche 918 Electric Cars
Porsche 918 Electric Cars

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