Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in concept unleashed

March 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s all about hybrids at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and Porsche has come to the party with its 918 Spyder concept.

With styling that borrows from the Carrera GT, the 918 Spyder is powered by both a 500-horsepower V8 and a pair of electric motors – for each axle – which produces an additional 218 hp or 160kW. At full gallop, the concept can theoretically reach 100 kph in 3.2 seconds and reach 318 kph at the high end. On the flip side, Porsche says it can also achieve 3.62l/100km economy and release just 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

How exactly can a supercar have such range? The 918 Spyder concept is what’s called a parallel hybrid like the now struggling Toyota Prius. That means that both powertrains, gas and electric, can operate together or separately to shift the wheels into motion. There are four modes in total that configure the powertrains for anything from maximum efficiency to maximum performance and measures inbetween. The E-Drive mode means pure electric power, and the car can reportedly last up to 25 kms  electricity alone. Then there is Hybrid mode, which uses both motors and would probably be the mode for everyday around town driving. The Sport Hybrid mode again uses both powertrains, but tips the needle a bit more towards performance with most power reaching the rear wheels.

Finally, the Race Hybrid mode means everything is going for all-out performance. There’s an even a handy push-to-pass button that adds a bit of Electronic-boost and regenerative braking plays its part.

The concepts interior is also a point of interest with Porsche saying it will offer a glimpse at future interiors for the automaker.