Wired recently got an exclusive look into the development of Porsche’s 918 Spyder. It’s no secret that Porsche will pull the covers off the world’s first plug-in hybrid supercar on September 18, 2013. The design team have been working hard since the concept’s introduction at the Geneva Motor Show 2010. Just over half-way through development and Porsche engineers have given Wired magazine the first experience.

The American magazine shared their view of development, at a stage where the car has only half fulfilled its potential. Their final thought was of being ‘more impressed with the overall balance than the sheer force of the 918’. From this we can deduce that Porsche are taking the handling issues that come with hybrid and full-electric vehicles seriously. We can expect to see something that out-handles the rivals as well as out-performs!

The Porsche 918 Spyder will get three powerplants. The first is a 4.6 liter V8 originally fitted to the three-time ALMS LMP2 Championship-winning RS Spyder. This will feature 570hp on its own and the exhaust outlets will exit in the middle of the engine block to reduce engine compartment heat. This will be coupled to an 80 kW lithium-ion electric motor powering the two front wheels. In total, this means 770hp, with 553 pound-feet of torque available across the rev range. There is a second electric engine at the back.

That means 0-100km/h times will be less than three seconds, 0-200km/h times in less than nine seconds and a top speed of 325km/h. You should be able to hit 145km/h without needing to use the 918 Spyder’s petrol engine. Powering up the power pack will take around six hours on a 110 volt power supply, a Porsche supplied quick charger will see that cut to just two hours though. Wired mention the development of an even more advanced system that could do the job in just 20 minutes too!

The chassis, as you would expect, is a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum. The same style of construction we saw in the Carrera GT. Whereas that car took five days to build one shell, Porsche can now build five 918 shells in just one day! The Porsche 918 Spyder should weigh 1,670kg with 80 percent of that weight below the central line. Expect plenty of grip.

The final piece of information we are left with is that the Porsche 918 Spyder will get three different modes. The first is “E-Power”, an all-electric setting, then we get the standard “Hybrid” mode which focuses on efficiency, finally there is the “Sport Hybrid” which pushes the balance in favour of performance!

For the full article, click through to Wired’s website.

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