By Jody McCutcheon
Porsche cars are on-road royalty–sleek, chic and quick, to say the very least. Focused on speed and design, the superbrand was never considered to be ‘green’. Until now, that is.
The 2014 Porsche Spyder 918 Hybrid offers the same slick lines found throughout the brand’s illustrious history, but its hybrid capabilities mean that it is finally also eco-friendly.
Car-o-philes will love these stats: 795-horsepower, 0 to 100 in three seconds, 0 to 200 in nine seconds, top speed of 325km/h. And eco-philes will love these ones: estimated fuel efficiency of 3.1L per 100km, carbon dioxide emission of 70g/km.
Supplementing the 4.6L V8 engine are two electric motors, one powering each axle, fuelled by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery charged by conventional plug-in as well as by braking. Imagine! Braking. Drivers have a choice of five driving modes. In E-Drive, the car runs entirely on battery power, for about 25km, at a maximum speed of about 150km/h.
The only drawback is that you drive in a kind of eerie silence. No signature sports-car growl in E-Drive. The four hybrid modes are Hybrid, Sport, Race, and Hot Lap. The one you use will depend on driving conditions and desired performance. Of note, Race mode includes a “push-to-pass” button on the steering wheel for an “E-Boost” of acceleration. And Hot Lap is like “pole-position” mode, used for short bursts of high speed as it rapidly sucks the battery dry. Not the greenest way to drive this baby, of course!
Aesthetically descended from the Carrera GT, the Spyder Hybrid boasts actual top-mounted exhaust pipes, one behind each seat, for superior thermal management and needless to say, an awesome look.
Only 918 of these beauties will be manufactured. Starting price is (USD)$845,000, but as with any Porsche model, this is sure to prove a good investment: not only financially, but ecologically too.