Whatever your opinion on the direction the motoring world is heading in, we are, undoubtedly, living in a time of pioneering. A time where new ventures and avenues are being explored and exploited. Plenty of cars are used as “guinea pigs”, but only a few are true yardsticks. Only a few are an embodiment of the present and the future. One of these cars that embodies pioneering marvel, is the Porsche 918 Spyder.
Launched in the second half of 2013, the Porsche Spyder 918 only went from strength to strength. It made the motoring world take note of its capabilities and abilities to combine reusable energy in a package that can go faster than you can say “That’s fast!”. Sadly, though, the Porsche 918 Spyder saw its final production model role of the assembly line in Stuttgart, Germany, and the motoring world awaits what’s next for the famed German automaker.
But Porsche is no stranger to pioneering something extraordinary. In 1963, the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS became the first vehicle to use a steel and polymer body; giving the vehicle a shell that is both stable and lightweight.
In 1986, the Porsche 959 became the first sports car to use an electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system. In 1996, the 911 GT incorporated carbon-fibre technology in its production.
Ten years on from the Carrera GT and we received the Porsche 918 Spyder. With this vehicle Porsche combined a high-performance combustion engine with two electric motors, giving the 918 Spyder a range of driving that is suitable and adaptable to any driving style and –condition. A choice of five driving modes can be activated via the steering wheel. This can all control the working of the normal engine and the two electric motors. The knowledge acquired from the 918 Spyder project will be used in future products.
By utilising conventional brakes and intelligent generator functionality, the Porsche 918 Spyder can convert more kinetic energy into electric energy than any of its competitors.
Its body is made entirely of carbon-fibre and utilises adaptive rear axle steering, and both these technologies have already found their way to lesser production models, like the 911 Turbo and 911 GT3.
With 665 kW on tap, the Porsche 918 Spyder broke the 7 min barrier around the very demanding Nürburgring (6:57 min) and with a claimed fuel-return of 3l/100 km, it is also less fuel-thirsty than many a city car.
Truth be told, the Porsche 918 Spyder is a piece of Porsche heritage that will be remembered for many years to come, and we will probably look back at its debut and respect it for braking what was deemed to be impossible.