Porsche 918 Spyder revealed

Official pictures and details have been released of the sensational new Porsche 918 Spyder, as a prototype enters the testing phase

It's the most eagerly awaited Porsche for years – and here are the best pictures yet of the 918 Spyder, the hybrid successor to the Carrera GT.

These images show a pre-production 918, with similar styling to the 918 concept of 2010 –  but Porsche has confirmed that production will begin in September next year.

Look past the livery, inspired by Porsche’s Le Mans-winning 917 race car, and this shows the final design, which will boast adaptive aerodynamics.

The pictures also show how the new exhaust system is integrated into the bodywork, with two pipes exiting in separate bulkheads behind each seat. Porsche says this set-up diverts heat away from the lithium-ion battery pack.

Also visible are the shutlines of the removable roof panel, while at the rear is a large wing, plus tail-lights that appear to be lifted straight from the all-new 911. These could be changed nearer production to fit more snugly in the recess surrounding them.

Porsche has also confirmed that the 918 will offer adaptive rear-wheel steering, for greater agility through corners, and that its plug-in hybrid drivetrain will deliver a total of 759bhp, returning around 94mpg and just 70g/km of CO2. An EV mode will allow the 918 to cover short distances on electric power alone.

Power comes from a mid-mounted dry-sump 4.6-litre V8 that’s derived from the RS Spyder race car’s 3.4-litre engine, and is expected to rev up to 9,000rpm. Mated to this is a pair of electric motors, one powering the front axle and another positioned between the engine and the seven-speed PDK transmission. Peak torque is expected to be around 880Nm.

A carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque will make the 918 very stiff and light, so performance should be sensational. Expect a 0-62mph time of less than three seconds and a top speed of 201mph, while a lap of the Nurburgring is said to take seven minutes, 22 seconds – that’s a full 10 seconds quicker than the 612bhp V10-powered Carrera GT.

First deliveries of the 918 Spyder will take place in early 2014, with a price of £678,000.

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