Porsche 918 Spyder

After what has seemed like an eternity, the production Porsche 918 Spyder gets detailed in full at last – the plug-in hybrid supercar’s 608 hp/530 Nm 4.6 litre V8 is assisted by two electric motors (front 129 hp, rear 156 hp) to give a total output of 887 hp and a peak 1,275 Nm of twist at the crankshaft.

The price? €781,155 (RM3.03 million) for the base model; a Weissach package pushes this up to €853,155 (RM3.31 million). The 35 kg-diet package gives you a roof, rear wings, rear-view mirrors and windscreen frames in carbon, in addition to an Alcantara-trimmed interior, less sound insulation and lightweight magnesium wheels.

Speaking of wheels, they’re 265/35 ZR20s up front and 325/30 ZR 21s out back, and they conceal internally ventilated and drilled ceramic brake discs that measure 410 mm in diameter up front and 390 mm out back. Of course, braking is regenerative.

Porsche 918 Spyder

The Porsche 918 Spyder is 4.643 metres long, 1.94 metres wide and 1.167 metres tall, with a wheelbase of 2.73 metres and front and rear track widths of 1.664 and 1.612 metres respectively.

Independent AWD is achieved through a combination of combustion engine and electric motor on the rear axle (driven through a seven-speed PDK) and the second electric motor on the front axle (driven at a fixed ratio). 0-100 km/h is accomplished in 2.8 seconds and top speed is in excess of 340 km/h.

But what’s really astonishing is its green credentials: Porsche claims NEDC figures of 3.3 litres of fuel per 100 km and 79 grams of CO2 per km – not at all bad for a car that’s taken 7 minutes and 14 seconds to get round the Nürburgring in prototype form.

Porsche 918 Spyder

Load-bearing structures are all made of carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP), resulting in a kerb weight of about 1.64 tonnes (with Weissach package). Axle load distribution is 43-57 front-to-back.

The vehicle’s C of G is at approximately the height of the wheel hubs, thanks in part to the central and low position of the traction battery directly behind the driver. There’s also a two-piece Targa roof and a fixed roll-over protection system.

The Porsche 918 Spyder’s multi-link chassis features PASM adaptive dampers and rear-wheel steering. The latter executes steering angles of up to three degrees (same direction as front wheels at high speeds to improve rear-end stability, opposite direction at low speeds to improve turning circle).

Porsche 918 Spyder

There’re three modes of active aerodynamics. In Race mode, the rear wing is set to a steep angle to generate rear downforce, the spoiler between the two wing supports near the trailing edge of the airflow extends, and two aero flaps open in the underfloor fore of the front axle. The result is a ‘ground effect’ at the front axle.

In Sport mode, the rear wing’s angle of attack is reduced, cutting drag for a higher top speed. The spoiler remains extended, while the aero flaps close to yield the same effect.

E-Power mode effectively reduces drag to a minimum: the rear wing and spoiler retract and the aero flaps close. In this electric-only mode, the Porsche 918 Spyder has an approximate range of 30 km, but is still able to get to 100 km/h from a standstill in under seven seconds, en route towards a 150 km/h top speed.

Porsche 918 Spyder

The driver can also select Hybrid and Hot Lap modes. The former is self-explanatory; the latter can only be accessed from Race mode and essentially turns all systems up to 11 for a fast lap.

You’ll no doubt remember the legendary Porsche Carrera GT’s sonorous V10 soundtrack, but this one looks set to be a songstress too – its tailpipes exit in the upper part of the back end immediately above the engine, ensuring its voice is heard by all as well as optimising heat removal.

The 312-cell, seven kWh lithium-ion battery is liquid-cooled, and takes four hours to recharge from empty using a 230V outlet. Use the rapid charger and the time is halved; use the optional Porsche Speed Charging Station (DC) and you’ll have a full battery in just 25 minutes.