Last October, Chris Harris got a shotgun ride in the Porsche 918 Spyder. Seven months on, the automaker is quite a bit further on the development on the hybrid supercar, and Porsche invited him to the Leipzig circuit for a test drive.

Harris starts off going through some of the technical bits on the car, including the galvanized carbon fiber instrument panel and forged carbon fiber attachment points, and before he gets in, he's a little unsure of the car. The hybrid aspect is of particular concern, Harris almost wishing that instead of a 3,608-pound coupe with a combined 887 horsepower, that Porsche would ditch the heavy batteries and make a 2,420-pound coupe with the combustion engine's 608 horsepower.

Then he drives it, and all of a sudden, "It doesn't feel like I'm driving a hybrid sports car." You can watch him come around in the video below.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 70 Comments
      sloturbo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Really enjoyed that video. Chris Harris tells a great story.
      richard gear
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is good to see a company using a low volume high performance sportscar to develop technology, rather than to polish a "Halo" brand by churning out old worn out technology that has been around forever. This is why Porsche is not only successful in technology but also commercially $$$ . No one mentioned the styling which is also cutting edge as well - the 918 looks really good, whatever paint scheme it is in. It is well proportioned and probably mirrors the Ferrari Dino, one of the most beautiful cars ever built....Low volume = Lower risk to try things which I wished other manufacturers would understand, and be less corporate "risk averse"...in corporate gobble-de-gook speak.
      Lachmund
      • 1 Year Ago
      most gorgeous and desirable car. doesn't matter if it is slower than the laferrari or the P!. I bet it will be less expensive still more sophisticated and drivable..
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great segment as always from Chris Harris. As for his... concerns, I wonder if Porsche has something up their sleeve. 918 is ~$1M and competed against or close to the P1 and LaFerrari Then, once the 918 sells out, introduce the: 916 which loses the electric motors (and weight) and some sophistication, price it at $500-600k and have it compete against the F12 and Aventador.
      xcatchmyshadowx
      • 1 Year Ago
      1st Porsche came first with this idea of a hybrid supercar 2nd it`s heavier because of the electric motors and capacity, which is by far bigger than what the P1 and LaF have to offer, they are lighter but they only deliver a short KERS-style electric turbo boost, the 918 offers a min. of 590 lb ft. of torque all the time. different systems, but i am sure Porsche did a hell of a good job here. by the way, it sounds much better than expected.
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @xcatchmyshadowx
        The P1 and LaFerrari aren't KERS like F1 cars are, where you push a button and only have electric juice for 2-3 seconds. They can use electric full time too, just they can't run them as long on electric. Still, you have enough energy reserve to have electric boost until you hit top speed I bet. All 3 cars have an electric motor integrated into their engine's transmission, thus able to provide power consistent with the engine speed in each gear. But the Porsche's additional electric motor on the front axle is single speed and produces less and less torque at higher road speeds, disengaging at 146 mph. So above that the 918 makes max 757hp, which is less than what the LaFerrari makes on V12 alone.
      Bobby
      • 1 Year Ago
      It'd be cool to have 918 horsepower haha
      Taint
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love it when automakers go all out and change the game. Innovation makes the world go round. Who was you can't have world class efficiency and performance
      Dvanos
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice review as always from Chris Harris, the car does look very very promising.
      Brex
      • 1 Year Ago
      Chris Harris really is good. When he refers to "the competition", I think that it's more in terms of performance bragging rights rather than number of units sold since, as the Porsche rep pointed out, they estimate they will have no problem selling out of the production run. Normally in business, the competition is another company who will potentially win customers away from you. That probably doesn't apply here since the guy/gal who buys a 918 can likely also buy a P1.
      Matt Mossberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      The back end is so gorgeous! Another great review from chris.
      SloopJohnB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ah...someone added up the horsepower. Correctly. Bravo Autoblog.
      LW
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why didn't they make it flywheel based? They could have made it out of carbon nanotube suspended in magnetic vacuum chamber and spin it up to 1 million RPM, holding more energy than a car full of batteries.
        k_m94
        • 1 Year Ago
        @LW
        1, the gyroscopic forces that you would get from a 1 million rpm flywheel of any usable mass would not only negatively affect handling, it would probably put a lot of unnecessary twisting stress on the chassis. 2, A flywheel is already a shrapnel bomb if something breaks at 60,000 rpm or whatever most flywheels spin at. 1 million rpm and you should be very scared.
          LW
          • 1 Year Ago
          @k_m94
          you use ultra light/strong material like carbon nanotubes to spin it out of this world. Plus putting it in a magnetic gimbal would alleviate any handling issues. You would built a giant gyroscope under the floor of the car, giving you a huuuge radius, negating your need to run it into 1 million RPM, and if it blows, it blows outward below the driver.
        Deslock
        • 1 Year Ago
        @LW
        1 million RPM sounds unrealistic. In the mid 1990s, I read a magazine article about a company named U.S. Flywheel Systems that was trying to use flywheels in cars, and they were just trying to overcome the challenges of getting up to 100k RPM. The chief scientist was in his 70s, had worked on Skunk Works decades before, and was extremely passionate about the project. I remember thinking it sounded awesome, but too good to be true. Having multiple flywheels spin in opposite directions offsets the gyroscopic forces somewhat, but that seemed like something that could still be an issue. Using near perfect materials to be able to spin up to 100k RPM would add significant cost. Magnet bearings (the flywheels would be suspended in a vacuum) significantly reduces friction, but losses would still be problematic. And mostly, there's no way to make it safe. Yes gasoline being flammable is dangerous too, but cars are just too dynamic for for amount of kinetic energy that these flywheels would have... in an accident, very bad things would happen (even if you figured out how to protect the occupants of the car, you can't direct resulting explosive forces away from where nearby people might possibly be. I hoped I was overly pessimistic, but I guess not since almost 20 years later everyone is still using chemical batteries. That written, flywheels being used as energy storage in satellites, power stations, and home generators seems like it'd make sense (you can bury a giant flywheel battery in the back yard or put it inside a heavy protective enclosure).
          Deslock
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Deslock
          Found the original Discover article, and a nytimes article about another company in the 1990s that was also working on this: http://discovermagazine.com/1996/aug/reinventingthewh842#.UZdejCuY78w http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/22/business/flywheels-to-power-vehicles.html
    • Load More Comments