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Monday, May 24, 2010

Porsche 918 Spyder: Racing at Nurburgring 24 hour in 2011

Porsche’s stunning 918 Spyder hybrid sportscar will compete at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hours race, according to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

At this year’s recent endurance race, Porsche entered a hybrid which showed great pace and speed. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid even led the race for 8 hours, until a mechanical failure made it retire.

For 2011, Porsche has greater plans, this time with another hybrid racecar. Reports from Germany suggest that the Stuttgart-based company plans to enter the 918 Spyder hybrid at the Nordschleife race next year.

Premiered at the 2010 Geneva motor show, the 918 Spyder is a gasoline-electric hybrid which uses both a 500 horsepower 3.4-liter V8 engine from the LMP2 Porsche RS Spider and two electric motors placed on the front and rear axle totalling 218 horsepower. The V8 and the rear electric system are mated to a Porsche PDK double clutch gearbox that delivers the power to the rear wheels, while the front-wheel electric drive is connected to the wheels via a invariable transmission ratio.

According to official figures, the 918 Spyder goes from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 198 mph (320 km/h) while returning a fuel economy figure of 78 mpg (3 liters/100 km) and emitting 70 grams of CO2/km. 718 horsepower for a 1,490 kg (3,285 lb) hybrid is enough to make the 918 Spyder go faster than the Carrera GT supercar round the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Porsche claims its simulations have shown this car is able to lap the “Green Hell” in under 7 minutes and 30 seconds.

It remains to be seen if the car can get near that sort of time and that kind of fuel economy in the real world and, most of all, in endurance racing. If it can, the next year’s Nurburgring race winner seems like a safe bet for us.

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