918 Spyder gets green light, Porsche testing electric Boxsters

918 press photo
The 3.4-liter V8 in the concept car will eventually be switched for a larger unit. 4.6 liters is the target. Photo: Porsche
918 spyder interior
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918 spyder ghost

Those who hoped Porsche would take the radical 918 Spyder hybrid sports car into production are in luck. The Supervisory Board of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart announced today that it “gave Porsche’s Board of Management the mission to develop a production model based on the car already presented,” due to positive responses from the public and customers, according to a press release.

“Production of the 918 Spyder in a limited series proves that we are taking the right
approach with Porsche Intelligent Performance featuring the combination of supreme
performance and efficient drivetrain concepts. We will develop the 918 Spyder in Weissach and assemble it in Zuffenhausen. This is also a very important commitment to Germany as a manufacturing base,” said Michael Macht, Porsche AG’s new President and CEO.

The concept car uses a 3.4-liter, 500+ horsepower V8 derived from the engine found in Porsche’s RS Spyder race car. It’s augmented by three electric motors — two for the front axles, one for the rear — for a claimed combined output of 718 hp.

This announcement comes only two days after Porsche announced it is testing three all-electric Boxsters as daily drivers as part of the Stuttgart Model Region for Electromobility. This test is being used to research and develop electric-drive systems and batteries.

“We will definitely be offering electric sports cars in the future,” Macht said. “But such a concept only makes sense if it offers performance and a cruising range comparable to that of a sports car today.”

With the Cayenne S Hybrid just over the horizon, the GT3 R Hybrid scheduled for its second and third races, electric Boxsters being tested for future EV production, and now the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid given the “OK” for series production, there’s no doubt that Porsche is committed to the development of electric-drive for its future vehicles.

For more on the 918 Spyder, check out issue #183

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