- Base price 768,026 euros – record drive under power
- Faster than any other road racing car
- Top pipes against heat build-up
- Rocker instead of gear stick
- Base price of 768,026 euros
Base price 768,026 euros – record drive under power
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Walter Rohrl chases the Porsche Spyder 918 around the Nurburgring.
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In the passenger seat next to the two-time rally world champion (right) buckle up for “world” author Jurgen Zollter.
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In five months, the Porsche engineers put together a huge battery and a carbon body to create a superlative hit.
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To prevent the engine from overheating, there are so-called top pipes above the engine.
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On the wild hunt it goes over peaks and valleys, at the end there is a fabulous time in 7:14 minutes.
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In the Spyder, the rev counter is traditionally located in the middle of the instrument panel.
The Porsche 918 is the fastest and cleanest super sports car in the world. Rally idol Walter Rohrl tested it on the old Nurburgring. The hybrid car will go into series production in 2013. In a modest edition.
E.in asphalt strip like a roller coaster. 20.8 kilometers, 73 corners. We jump over knolls, fall into hollows, force daring changes of direction. At the wheel: Walter Rohrl, the two-time rally world champion. His mission: with a new super sports car around the old Nurburgring in record speed.
It’s a chase: First a Porsche Carrera GT, the driver of which is visibly working hard to maintain contact with the asphalt. Afterwards, Walter Rohrl rushes in a Porsche 918 Spyder. He’s easy to play with the accelerator. Melts the distance to the Carrera in front in fractions of a second before it leaves a little more space to the Carrera again, but only to make our carriages even faster through the ripples afterwards. Rohrl gives in and does not correct a millimeter. On a straight line, the 65-year-old veteran takes time to review his first maneuver: His Spyder "is already faster and easier to drive than the Carrera GT".
Faster than any other road racing car
The test drive is an adventure even for the old warrior. Rohrl controls a prototype with plug-in hybrid technology. With the 918, it should not only drive faster around the Nordschleife than all other racing cars previously approved for road use. Rohrl should also be economical. On the test bench, the Spyder only consumes three liters. This gives it the seal of approval “the cleanest and fastest super sports car in the world” – even if the Porsche also ran a full battery on the test bench, of course.
In just five months, a team led by Porsche engineer Frank Walliser put together three motors, a huge battery and a body made of carbon to create a superlative racer that will be tuned on the Nordschleife and the surrounding Eifel roads in the coming months. After a standing start, Rohrl completed the first fast lap through the “Green Hell” in seven minutes and 14 seconds, 17 seconds faster than the old GT. “It was like a walk,” enthuses Rohrl. "You can drive the 918 with your little finger, while with the GT you have to pinch your buttocks together."
Top pipes against heat build-up
In the beginning there was a rolling laboratory. The driving performance is all the more remarkable as the Spyder is driven by extreme components that have never worked together in this way before; there are 50 control units in the car alone. A carrier made of the same material is screwed to the rear of the two-seater’s light and structurally stable carbon fiber-reinforced monocoque. He holds the newly developed 4.6-liter engine.
The short tailpipes run along above the engine. This is reminiscent of historical Formula 1 constructions, in which the snake nest of the exhaust pipes was moved upwards for reasons of space. The Porsche men circumvented the heat build-up with a trick. Heat can escape through so-called top pipes, the temperature in the engine compartment drops, which in turn facilitates cooling of the lithium-ion battery.
The strength of the two-seater doesn’t have to suffer. At a maximum speed of 9000 revolutions per minute there are 580 gasoline HP on the rear axle. Together with the electric motors on the two axles, Rohrl has a total of up to 795 hp available. With an acceleration from zero to 100 km / h in 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 325 km / h, the sports car, which weighs just 1675 kilograms, actually achieves the desired standard consumption of 3.0 liters.
Rocker instead of gear stick
One looks in vain for a gear stick for the dual clutch transmission: two rockers on the steering wheel are enough. On public roads, Walter Rohrl switches between the "Hybrid" and "Sport Hybrid" gears with different gear shift times and shows how he would use the 918 Spyder in everyday life: quickly on country roads and silently through towns. As soon as the “Nurburg” sign appears, Rohrl switches to E mode with two fingers.
It’s like the engine is falling asleep. We glide along the village streets, accompanied by the soft hum of the electric motors and tires. Passers-by look after us, puzzled. The residents have got used to prototypes and high-performance vehicles; a Porsche in the classic Martini look of a Le Mans racing car, which rolls eerily quietly through the streets, is also alien to them.
Base price of 768,026 euros
Is Walter Rohrl satisfied with the maturity of the Porsche 918 Spyder? “Yes, yes,” says the grumpy Regensburg resident who has already voted for the Carrera GT for Porsche. “I wish I had more time with the car here on the ring.” In other words: the racing driver still sees a need for tuning.
The Porsche developers have another year to keep Rohrl satisfied. The clock in the office of project manager Frank Walliser counts down the remaining days until September 18, 2013. Then the first of 918 small-series hybrid sports cars will be delivered – in the morning at 9:18 am. At a base price of 768,026 euros. That doesn’t deter real motorsport fans. A third of the edition is already out of print.
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