Sunday, November 17, 2013

Porsche 918 Spyder: a Ride In Porsche's Hybrid Hypercar

Porsche 918 Spyder is a hybrid hypercar
It's a supercar. It has already done the North Loop in 7:12 seconds from a standing start... in traffic! The car was not being driven by one of the factory hot shoes, rather the guy who tests tires. Speculation is that in the hands of Walter Rohrl we'll see 7:10. That's 20 seconds faster than the Carrera GT!
Porsche was testing the 918 at the Nurburgring, they invited us to take a quick ride on the road, not on the track sadly. I normally hate these shotgun features, unless they involve Group B cars, but the 918 needs some understanding.
How is it on the track?

Our first lap was in E-mode – totally electric. I was surprised by the acceleration, this was not a Prius or a Chevy Volt! Notwithstanding a full and fast lap using only the battery we still had lots of power for a hot lap using every bit of gas and electric power
For a guy who isn't into hybrid cars I have to admit, I liked this system. A lot. Through advanced engineering Porsche has managed to give us a "green" car which uses it's "greenness" to actually enhance performance across the board. In sum, this is my kind of Hybrid and with about 70 MPG in normal driving, the kind of green I could live with!