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Porsche 918 Spyder – Introducing – A Complete Car in the Holy Trinity
Porsche 918 Spyder is a hybrid hypercar like no other. Two electric motors and a 9,000rpm 4.6-litre contesting V8 limited within a two-seat roadster surround almost wholly carbon fibre. Four-wheel-drive, 875bhp and an even more incredible 944lb-ft of torque, with over half of that available at only 800rpm. Yes, you did read that right. There is nothing else like the 918 Spyder.
Not smooth the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, the other two Holy Trinity members. The plug-in Porsche, with a 6.8kWh freestyle twice the size of the McLaren’s, 282bhp of e-thrust alone and an electric range of 12 miles, is easily the most hybrid of the three. It can hit 62mph in more than six seconds on electricity alone.
Porsche’s Hybrid Masterpiece
Bring the engine into play, and that number is more than cut in half. The V8 results from the RS Spyder Le Man’s car push out 600bhp and give the 918 a 0-62mph time of 2.6secs, 0-124mph in 7.2secs a top speed of 214mph. Made almost entirely of titanium and aluminium and weighing just 135kg, Frank-Steffen Palliser, the man who devised the 918 projects, has described it as “the best engine we [Porsche] have ever done”. Moreover, the NEDC test cycle emits just 70/g/km of CO2 and claims 81mpg.
The rear electric motor is mounted between the engine and seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, while the drive is purely electric at the front. Overhead 165mph, that motor shuts off, making the car rear-drive only. Like the V8, the aluminium double-wishbone suspension is similar to the RS Spyder racer, adaptive dampers are standard, and overall, the 918 has very little in common with any other Porsche road car. Inside, a mode dial on the navigation wheel allows you to select four different drive modes – Electric, Hybrid, Sport and Race. In the last two, the engine is always on.
The Porsche 918 Spyder: High-tech craftsmanship
The Porsche 918 Spyder sets new values: Firstly, as a small se-rise super sportscar mechanical by two electric drive systems and a V8 sports train to achieve a system performance of 887 bhp.
And then, with its unique production process: Porsche is pioneering a new methodology with its 4000-square-metre factory in which 100 selected employees assemble the vehicles by hand. The individual manufacturer is located at the heart of Plant 2 in Stuttgart-Safehouse, the centre of Porsche’s processes and the production site of the iconic 911 sports car for 50 years now. As a result, the 918 Spyder is like the 911, a big seller. Within about one year, the 918 units of the Porsche 918 Spyder were sold. The plug-in-hybrid sports car will be produced by the middle of 2015.
Porsche’s second-ever hybrid underneath the carbon body panels, the components pack very tight. As a result, the bodywork doesn’t appear that pushed or spare but strip it away, and the 918 Spyder power Gunter von Hagen’s exhibit – the skin may have been peeled away, but the foundations grip the same shape.
The back end is the more dramatic, the front, with its sunken headlamps, a touch soft. The top exit exhausts are a real talking point. Unlike its McLaren and Ferrari rivals, the roof panels elevate out and kept under the bonnet, initial residents to the basics – and the noise of that high-revving V8.
The Design of the Hyper Cars
The responsibility of designing and building a factory for the Porsche 918 Spyder as its intended Director of Production. Dressage began by sitting down with a few of his Porsche colleagues to consider the critical question: “What features define a manufactory?” The answers they came up with varied widely: While for some it was “the smell of skin” or “a certain narrowness of space”, the 43-year-old industrial engineer very quickly hit upon the image of a watchmaker working in cleanroom-like situations using a monocle and tweezers to complete his precise craft.
A new Skill for the Former Paint shop
Twenty-four months later, the factory settle in its central location at Plant 2 Zuffen hausen. Anyone who sets foot in the previous paint shop for series-production sports cars on the other floor will immediately realise that the project team has created a planetary that comes very close to the original idea of the Spyder Director of Production.
Focused and perfectly silent, the Porsche experts work at original ergonomic workstations to create a high-end sports car. The room feels light and responsive and is subject to coloured features in grey. White and acid green – the recurring colour that Porsche has specified for all vehicles featuring an electric hybrid drive.
Production in stroke with the Herringbone Model
The first series-production assembly’s initial signal declares September 18, 2013. Before that. A team of 25 staff had already produced 25 prototypes and eight pilot cars. The L-shaped production line showed its worth during this initial phase. “We have the entire value chain within this 4000-square-metre area almost”. “This is unique.”
The vehicles pass through 18 stations before they are driven almost silently into the elevator in a pure electric mode. They can then do the final tests on the two floors below the test facility.
During the production process, the Porsche production staff use the Porsche herringbone model. Although the structure is more like a one-sided bone for this purpose. Nevertheless, this principle offers the shortest paths between each point in the chain. In the case of the Spyder manufactory. The pre-assembly stations themselves are complete from outside the factory via a conveyor system, which, in turn. That is provided with the right parts from a different store located one floor below.
There is no doubt about it: The Porsche 918 Spyder factory has more than done justice to Michael Crosshaven’s original ideas. Moreover, the experiment has been a success. In Zuffenhausen, the sports car manufacturer provides clear evidence that the production of small-series and large-series vehicles is possible “near and at the very highest level”. This knowledge offers new prospects for those involved in the project and the company.