The North American International Auto Show kicked off with a bang with the unveiling of the Porsche 918 RSR, a racing laboratory that mixes and matches the technology of the 911 GT3 R, the style of the 918 Spyder and the design of the 917 that has dominated the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Photo: Matthieu Lambert/Auto123.com
With its unibody shell made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics, the 918 RSR Hybrid is extremely light and comes equipped with an improved version of the direct injection V8 powering the RS Spyder. The engine churns out 563 ponies at 10,300 rpm and is complimented by two 75-kW electric engines powering the front wheels, bringing total output up to 767 hp thanks to the use of a flywheel system that stores the most energy possible when braking.
The power generated by the brakes is stored in an optimized flywheel accumulator, i.e. an electric motor whose rotor can turn up to 36,000 times per minute to store energy. When drivers need an extra burst of power they simply press a button and unleash all that pent-up energy in waves lasting up to eight seconds. If you're looking to maximize fuel efficiency, the extra power can also be used to reduce the number of pit stops.
The two electric engines feature Porsche Torque Vectoring, improving the 918 RSR's agility and steering responsiveness. The mid-engine V8 is linked to a constant-mesh, six-speed gearbox than can be controlled via steering wheel paddles.
Visually speaking, the splashy car is the embodiment of a racing machine with its scissor doors, roof-mounted air intake, dual antennas for radio and telemetric communication and 19-inch wheels shod in slick tires. Naturally, the 918 RSR Hybrid' cabin is minimalist given its blistering nature.
Canadian Tire Motorsports Track, ON - When Porsche Canada asked me to join them at a local race track for a day of testing their latest 2013 model lineup, I wasn't about to say no. And when I found out the 2014 Porsche Cayman was going to be there, I was prepared to do anything in my power to get there and drive it.