At the fascinating 20th Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports car has made its public dynamic debut. The super sports car runs up the famous Hill that provided a fascinating insight of the performance potential of its innovative hybrid drivetrain.
The 918 Spyder sports the essence of the Porsche idea: it combines pedigree motor racing technology with excellent everyday versatility, and maximum performance with minimum consumption. The Porsche team has developed a super sports car for the next decade with a highly efficient and powerful hybrid drive. The entire car was designed around the hybrid drive. The 918 Spyder therefore demonstrates the potential of the hybrid drive to a degree never before seen: the parallel improvement of both efficiency and performance without one being at the cost of the other.
The 918 Spyder has been designed, developed and produced by Porsche engineers who build race cars, in co-operation with series production specialists. The main source of power generation is the 4.6-litre, eight cylinder engine that produces 612bhp. The engine is derived directly from the power unit of the successful RS Spyder, which explains why it can deliver engine speeds of up to 9,150 rpm. The engine is also linked to a 115 kW, hybrid module on rear axle and 95 kW, electric motor on front axle, making a combined power generation of 887bhp. The powertrain is mated to a seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK), ensures hassle free driving.
The 918 Spyder features Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA), a system of adjustable aerodynamic elements, ensures unique and variable aerodynamics. Its layout is automatically varied over three modes ranging from optimal efficiency to maximum downforce and is tuned to the operating modes of the hybrid drive system.
In ‘Race’ mode, the retractable rear wing is set to a steep angle to generate high downforce at the rear axle. The spoiler positioned between the two wing supports near the trailing edge of the airflow also extends. In addition, two adjustable air flaps are opened in the underfloor in front of the front axle, and they direct a portion of the air into the diffuser channels of the under-body structure. This also produces a ‘ground effect’ at the front axle.
In ‘Sport’ mode, the aerodynamic control system reduces the attack angle of the rear wing, which enables a higher top speed. The spoiler remains extended. The aerodynamic flaps in the underfloor area close, which also reduces aerodynamic drag and increases attainable vehicle speeds.
In ‘E-Power’ mode, the control is configured entirely for low aerodynamic drag; the rear wing and spoiler are retracted and the underfloor flaps are closed. Adjustable air inlets under the main headlights complete the adaptive aerodynamic system.