The 918 Spyder embodies the essence of the Porsche idea: it combines pedigree motor racing technology with excellent everyday versatility, and maximum performance with minimum consumption. The task faced by the development team was to create the super sports car for the next decade with a highly efficient and powerful hybrid drive.
Developing the car from scratch with a clean sheet of paper allowed Porsche engineers to come up with a no-compromise concept. 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. This is the idea that has made the Porsche 911 the most successful sports car in the world for 50 years. In short, the 918 Spyder will act as the gene pool for the Porsche sports cars of the future.
The 918 Spyder reveals its close links to motorsport in a variety of ways. It has been designed, developed and produced by Porsche engineers who build race cars, in co-operation with series production specialists. A great deal of insight gained from the development of Porsche race cars for the Le Mans 24 hours in 2014 is thus integrated into the 918 Spyder – and vice versa. The structural concept of the 918 Spyder with a rolling chassis as its basis – a basic vehicle that can be driven even without a body – is race car tradition at Porsche. The concept of the V8 engine originates from the LMP2 RS Spyder race car. The load-bearing structures, the monocoque and subframe, are made of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). Porsche has many years of experience with this high strength, lightweight construction material and has again achieved top results with the development of the series production 918 Spyder. Many parts of the super sports car come from manufacturers who have a proven record as suppliers for motorsport vehicles.
Quiet and elegant: ‘E-Power’
When the vehicle is started up, ‘E-Power’ is the default operating mode as long as the battery is sufficiently charged. In ideal conditions, the 918 Spyder can cover over 18 miles (30 km) on purely electric power. Even in pure electric mode, the 918 Spyder accelerates from 0 – 62 mph in less than seven seconds and can reach speeds of up to 93 mph. In this mode, the combustion engine is only used when needed. If the battery’s charge state drops below a set minimum value, the vehicle automatically switches to hybrid mode.
Efficient and comfortable: ‘Hybrid’
In ‘Hybrid’ mode, the electric motors and combustion engine work alternately with a focus on maximum efficiency and minimum fuel consumption. The use of individual drive components is modified as a function of the current driving situation and the desired performance. The Hybrid mode is typically used for a fuel economy-oriented driving style.
Sporty and dynamic: ‘Sport Hybrid’
In more dynamic situations, the 918 Spyder selects the “Sport Hybrid” mode for its power sources. The combustion engine now operates continuously and provides the main propulsive force. In addition, the electric motors provide support in the form of electric boosting or when the operating point of the combustion engine can be optimised for greater efficiency. The focus of this mode is on performance and a sporty driving style at top speed.
For fast laps: ‘Race Hybrid’
‘Race Hybrid’ is the mode for maximum performance and an especially sporty driving style. The combustion engine is chiefly used under high load, and charges the battery when the driver is not utilising its maximum output. Again, the electric motors provide additional support in the form of boosting. Furthermore, the gear-shifting programme of the PDK is set up for even sportier driving. The electric motors are used up to the maximum power output limit to deliver the best possible performance for the race track. In this mode, the battery charge state is not kept constant, but instead fluctuates over the entire charge range. In contrast to ‘Sport Hybrid’ mode, the electric motors run at their maximum power output limit for a short time for better boosting. This increased output is balanced by the combustion engine charging the battery more intensively. Electric power is thus available even with several very fast laps.
In parallel in the drivetrain: hybrid module
The V8 engine is coupled to the hybrid module, since the 918 Spyder is designed as a parallel hybrid: exactly like the current hybrid production models from Porsche. Essentially, the hybrid module comprises a 115 kW electric motor and a decoupler that serves as the connection with the combustion engine. Because of its parallel hybrid configuration, the 918 Spyder can be powered at the rear axle either individually by the combustion engine or electric motor, or via both drives combined. As is typical for a Porsche super sports car, the power pack in the 918 Spyder has been placed in front of the rear axle, and does not have any direct mechanical connection to the front axle.
Lithium-ion battery with plug-in charging system
The electric energy for the electric motors is stored by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery comprising 312 individual cells with an energy content of about seven kilowatt hours. The battery of the 918 Spyder has a performance-oriented design in terms of both power charging and output, so that it can fulfil the performance requirements of the electric motor. The power capacity and the operating life of the
lithium-ion traction battery depend on several factors, including thermal conditions. That is why the battery of the 918 Spyder is liquid-cooled by a dedicated cooling circuit. The global warranty period for the traction battery is seven years.
To supply it with energy, Porsche developed a new system with a plug-in vehicle charge port and improved recuperation potential. This vehicle charge port in the B-column on the front passenger side lets users connect the storage battery to a mains supply at home and charge it. The charge port is standardised for the country of purchase. The on-board charger is located close to the traction battery. It converts the alternating current of the mains supply into direct current with a maximum charge output of 3.6 kW.
Using the supplied Porsche Universal Charger (AC), the traction battery can be charged within four hours from a ten ampere rated, fused power socket on the German 230 Volt mains supply, for example. Furthermore, the Porsche Universal Charger (AC) can be installed at home in the garage using the Charging Dock. It enables rapid and convenient charging within approximately two hours, irrespective of regional conditions. The Porsche Speed Charging Station (DC) is available as an optional extra. It can fully charge the high-voltage battery of the 918 Spyder in just 25 minutes.
Engine power: 608 hp (447 kW) at 8,600/min (V8 engine)
115 kW (hybrid module on rear axle)
95 kW (electric motor on front axle)
887 hp (combined)
Max. torque: 530 Nm at 6.600/min (V8 engine)
1,275 Nm (crankshaft equivalent combined, 7th gear)
1,086 Nm (combined, 3rd gear)
> 800 Nm (800/min – 5.000/min)
Maximum Revs: 9,150 rpm
Power output per l: 132 hp/l (V8 engine)
Energy supply: Lithiumion battery with 6.8 kWh capacity (BOL nominal), 220 kW maximum power and mains-compatible plug-in charger.
Performance: Top speed > 340 km/h (211 mph)
Consumption (NEDC): Total ~ 3.3l/ 100 km (85.6 mpg)
CO2 emissions: Total ~ 79 g/km
Range: Purely electric approx. 30 km (18 miles)
Warranty: Vehicle 4 years, Battery 7 years