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Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in Hybrid

The Porsche 918 Spyder prototype combines emissions of 70 g/km CO2 with 94 mpg, acceleration from 0-62mph in under 3.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 198mph.

Today is the first full press day at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show and there are more press releases from manufacturers about their new green cars than on any other previous day in the history of the car; our full report from Geneva will be live on Green-Car-Guide tomorrow, but in the meantime it’s fitting to run a green story from Porsche, a company that up until now has rarely graced our pages.

This really shows that all manufacturers are now taking green issues seriously, and now it’s time for performance cars to turn green.

Porsche has given us three world debuts in hybrid technology at Geneva; the mid-engined 918 Spyder with plug-in Hybrid technology, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car and the Cayenne Hybrid.

And to think of all the manufacturers that dismissed Toyota’s hybrid technology in its Prius; it’s interesting that most other manufacturers are now following suit with their own hybrids.

The 918 Spyder is a mid-engined sports car concept with plug-in hybrid technology. It debuts alongside the Cayenne S Hybrid, the first production hybrid in the history of Porsche, and the 911 GT3 R Hybrid which is the first racing car from the company with electric front axle drive and a flywheel energy reservoir.

The 918 Spyder prototype has incredibly low emissions of just 70 g/km CO2 together with 94 mpg. This is combined with acceleration from 0-62mph in under 3.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 198mph. It’s also posted a lap time around the Nürburgring of less than 7 minutes 30 seconds – faster than the Porsche Carrera GT.

The open two-seater is powered by a mid-engined V8 developing more than 500 bhp and running at maximum speed engine of 9,200 rpm, as well as electric motors on the front and rear axle with overall mechanical output of 218 bhp (160 kW).

Power is transmitted to the wheels by a seven-speed PDK (Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe) double clutch transmission, which also feeds the power of the electric drive system to the rear axle. The front-wheel electric drive powers the wheels through a fixed transmission ratio.

The energy reservoir is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery positioned behind the passenger cell. Being a plug-in hybrid, the battery can be charged from an electricity source.

The car’s kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy and fed into the battery when applying the brakes, so providing additional energy for acceleration.

A button on the steering wheel allows the driver to choose from four different running modes. The E-Drive mode is for running the car under electric power alone, with a range of up to 16 miles (25 km). In the Hybrid mode, the 918 Spyder uses both the electric motors and the combustion engine as required.

The Sport Hybrid mode uses both drive systems, but with the focus on performance. Most of the drive power goes to the rear wheels, with Torque Vectoring serving to additionally improve the car’s driving dynamics.

In the Race Hybrid mode, the drive systems are focused on pure performance with the highest standard of driving dynamics on the track, running at the limit to their power and dynamic output. With the battery sufficiently charged, a push-to-pass button feeds in additional electrical power (E-Boost), when overtaking, for example, or for even better performance.

The hybrid drive system can therefore provide a variety of outputs ranging from 70g/km CO2 through to high performance.

The 918 Spyder is one of three Porsche models with hybrid drive making their world debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. There’s also the new Cayenne S Hybrid SUV with parallel full-hybrid drive, and the 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing car with electric drive on the front axle and a flywheel mass battery.

Keywords: Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid prototype, 70 g/km CO2, 94 mpg, 0-62mph in under 3.2 seconds, top speed 198mph, Cayenne S Hybrid SUV, 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing car, 2010 Geneva Motor Show.