Video: Porsche 918 Spyder lap record onboard
Yesterday, at the Frankfurt motor show, Porsche announced automotive history, revealing that the new Porsche 918 Spyder has set a new lap record around the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. This certainly validates the tag line that has been accompanying the 918 Spyder: ‘Rocket. Science’.
Driven by factory racing driver, Marc Lieb (winner of the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans at the wheel of a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR) the hybrid hypercar set a lap time of six minutes 27 seconds. Even more incredibly, the car appears to run out of hybrid boost power coming onto the main, Döttinger Höhe straight, limiting the car to less than 300kph.
If McLaren do manage to beat the 918 Spyder’s lap time, it’s almost guaranteed that the Porsche can go faster than its current time.
The 918 Spyder is powered by a 4.6-litre V8 engine, based on the unit used in the RS Spyder Le Mans prototype. Supplementing the 608bhp petrol motor are two electric motors, one connected to the rear axle, the other at the front. These additional power plants provide an extra 286bhp, 156bhp of which goes to the rear wheels.
By using electric motors to supplement the petrol engine, the car has incredible acceleration. Even when the V8 motor is outside its ideal torque range, the electric motors are able to give an instantaneous boost. From a standing start, the Porsche 918 is able to sprint to 62mph (100kph) in 2.8 seconds.
Using its expertise in KERS technology (Kinetic Energy Recovery) Porsche has utilised regenerative braking on the 918 Spyder in order to recharge the electric motors while on the move. The car is capable of 94mpg, and its low emissions output means that it can enter the centre of London without paying the congestion charge.
More motorsport technology is used in the chassis, where a carbon fibre monocoque design has been used to provide enormous stiffness, whilst also countering the weight of the hybrid batteries.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is a true technological marvel, and this is personified by the lap time set at the Nordschleife. Below you can ride onboard with Lieb as he breaks the lap record around the ‘Green Hell’.