The Porsche 918 Spyder hits 62mph in 2.8 seconds but is more fuel efficient than some superminis. It therefore averages about 85mpg and its carbon emissions are only 79g/km. Why? Because this 211mph beast is a plug-in hybrid. As such, its 887hp comes from a mid-mounted 4.6-litre V8, 608hp, petrol engine and two electric motors. The latter are powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be charged within four hours via a 10 amp/230 volt power supply. Alternatively, the Porsche Universal Charger completes the job in two hours and the Speed Charging Station only requires 25 minutes. But however it is charged the Porsche 918 Spyder covers 18 miles on battery power only (in ideal conditions). However, in this “E-Power Mode” - which is part of the Intelligent Management System that is controlled via the steering wheel - the race to 62mph takes about seven seconds and the top speed is only 93mph. There are also four other engine modes to balance performance and frugality: “Hybrid”, “Sport Hybrid”, “Race Hybrid”, and “Hot Lap”. These complement Porsche's Active Aerodynamic System.
Porsche 918 Spyder Active Aerodynamic System
The Porsche Active Aerodynamic System moves body parts to vary the vehicle's downforce. This, of course, is air-related drag that helps it stick to corners but has a negative effect on top speed and fuel consumption. As such, the Porsche 918 Spyder's “Race Mode” sets the rear wing to a steep angle to maximise the aerodynamic traction (downforce). It also extends a spoiler between the two wing supports and opens two underfloor flaps that propel air towards the diffuser. This mode best suits race tracks with lots of corners. In contrast, “Sport Mode” helps the 918 Spyder hit higher top speeds by reducing downforce. It therefore tweaks the wing angle and closes the underfloor flaps, but the spoiler stays in place. Finally, “E-Power Mode” maximises fuel efficiency but compromises aerodynamic traction. As such it retracts the rear wing and spoiler and closes the underfloor flaps. What a fantastic system. Furthermore, the Porsche 918 Spyder further boots its fuel efficiency via the lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic monocoque. This complements the seven-speed PDK transmission and rear-axle steering. The latter ensures the back wheels turn in the opposite direction to the fronts at low speed to make cornering more direct. At high speed, in contrast, they move in-line with the fronts. Porsche says this: “significantly improves the stability of the rear end when changing lanes quickly”. The Porsche 918 Spyder costs from €781,155. Oh!