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Porsche hails 918 Spyder model as hybrid sports car of future

September 17, 2013


German automaker Porsche is touting the 918 Spyder model as the brand's plug-in hybrid sports car of the future after its debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

Prior to its debut, the 918 Spyder defeated the lap record for a street-legal automobile at the Nürburgring Nordschleife motorsports complex, marking a significant achievement for a hybrid vehicle. The brand may convert auto enthusiasts who had been wary about hybrid vehicles after posting such an impressive time.

"The debut of the 918 Spyder marks the start of a new chapter in the future of hybrid drive," said Nick Twork, manager of product communications for Porsche Cars North America, Atlanta. "It demonstrates the potential of this technology to a degree never seen before, achieving a parallel improvement in both fuel efficiency and performance without compromising on either.

"In this sense, the 918 Spyder contains the genetic blueprint for the Porsche sports car of the future," he said.

"The car has received significant interest from Porsche fans, including a very enthusiastic reception to the 6:57 lap time the car recently clocked at the Nürburgring Nordschleife."

Future building

The 918 Spyder made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show Sept. 10. The brand hailed the vehicle as the future of the sports car by blending maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption.

The vehicle contains two electric motors and a battery that supplies 280 horsepower. In addition to the normally aspirated v8 combustion engine, the car houses 887 total horsepower.

918 Spyder

Three years earlier Porsche had released the concept version of the Spyder that closely resembles the current vehicle.

Porsche 918 Spyder: World Premiere in Frankfurt

At the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the vehicle defeated the previous lap record by 14 seconds and the previous Porsche record by 17 seconds.

The three drivers present at the event all achieved record-breaking times. The drivers included former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb.

Mr. Lieb captured the best time at 6 minutes and 57 seconds.

Nordschleife vs. Porsche 918 Spyder - 6:57

To raise awareness of the vehicle, the 918 Spyder has dominated Porsche's social media pages.

Porsche twitter feed

Vying for attention

During its debut, the 918 Spyder was in the company of several vehicles lauded by other luxury automakers.

For instance, Italian automaker Ferrari elevated the brand’s standards of innovation with the debut of its Ferrari Speciale 458 model Sept. 10 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

The 458 model earned the moniker Speciale because of the amount of research and innovation put into its design including the automaker’s most powerful v8 engine. The brand will likely impress auto enthusiasts who have an affinity for power at a crowded motor show (see story).

Also, Jaguar Land Rover Sept. 10 unveiled its C-X17 Jaguar concept vehicle at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, introducing a modular aluminum architecture that the automaker intends to use for future designs.

The automaker is offering scant information regarding the C-X17 vehicle to intrigue fans with the mystery surrounding the event. Since other luxury automakers have released in-depth looks at the models they intend to showcase at the motor show, Jaguar’s ploy to guard its secrets until the actual release will likely generate excitement among auto enthusiasts (see story).

By complementing the debut with a record-smashing achievement, Porsche likely boosted the audience's receptivity to the vehicle.

"The 918 Spyder embodies the essence of the Porsche idea: it combines motor racing technology with excellent everyday utility, and maximum performance with minimum consumption," Mr. Twork said.

Final take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York