Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Porsche 918 RSR

Oh yeah now that's an awesome hybrid race car.  Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show Porsche just introduced the world to the latest and greatest in their lineup of motorsports vehicles.  Based on the Hybrid Supercar the Porsche 918 Spyder the 918 RSR has become the newest addition to Porsche's Motorsports arsenal to slay anyone in their way.  And it looks fantastic.

Not only was the Porsche 918 RSR unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show but they also launched their new microsite so that all the fans can take a look at the new Porsche 918 RSR as well.  I did that just this morning and I definitely liked what I saw.  In addition to the microsite they also released a full fledged press release which you can read in it's entirety HERE

It looks like Porsche took their future super car the 918 Spyder slapped a solid roof on the car added a massive rear spoiler and added some little tweaks here and there around the outside.  Also gone are those very odd looking rims of the Spyder show car.  On the inside it looks a lot like the Carrera GT minus a gear leaver and passenger seat.  In it's place is an updated KERS system that powers the duel front electric motors driving the front wheels.  I like the paint scheme as it's pretty similar to the 911GT3R Hybrid with some subtle changes.  That's what I can see without reading the press release.

When you take a look at the actual specs of the new Porsche 918 RSR things get very technical and slightly interesting. One of the interesting things that I noticed in the updated pictures and video is that there is a cool little throwback to the older race cars of the past with the top mounted visible fan wheel between the ram air intake tubes.  What you don't see under that lovely paint scheme is the particularly light, torsionally stiff carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque that gives the Porsche 918 RSR a very light but strong shell to house the potent V8 engine from the Porsche RS Spyder that puts out 563 hp at 10,300/rpm. In addition to the V8 is the twin electric motors powering the front wheels for an additional 150 kW, for a total peak drive power of 767 hp. This additional power. Powering the twin electric engines is an optimised flywheel accumulator which is charged during braking. The flywheel accumulator occupies the space taken up by the passenger seat of the Porsche 918 Spyder. This I'm sure helps to offset the added weight of the system.

Delivering the V8's power to the rear wheels is a sophisticated "racing transmission also based on the RS Spyder race car. This further developed six-speed constant-mesh transmission with longitudinally mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur gears is operated using two shift paddles behind the racing steering wheel." In my own words it's an awesome flappy paddle automatic.

All of this adds up to an amazing racing machine that will definitely see some track time soon and like Porsche's 911 GT3R Hybird don't exactly expect to be able to buy one as for now the Porsche 918 RSR is part of Porsche's own Racing Laboratory and will not be sold to customers. The closest we'll get is the regular Porsche 918 Spyder which of course wont be any slouch either. Check out the microsite for wallpapers but before that check out these two videos of the Porsche 918 RSR

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