Posted by: porschebahn | January 11, 2011

Porsche Rocks Detroit Auto Show with 918 RSR

After a four-year absence, Porsche thrilled Motown early Monday morning when it revealed-or more aptly said, “drove”-the 918 RSR concept on stage at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

Introduced by our Chairman, Matthias Mueller, this revolutionary race car was piloted to its dramatic world debut by Wolfgang Duerheimer, who proudly stepped from the driver’s seat of another Porsche concept in which he oversaw development.  Just hours later he would leave the Porsche stand and preside over the Bentley press conference as its new Chairman.

“Porsche is back in Detroit with force,” said Mueller. “We are here with a clear message: Porsche further extends its competencies when it comes to performance and efficiency. The Porsche 918 RSR impressively demonstrates the passion of our engineers and designers for developing the world’s most advanced and best-looking sports cars.”

While described outwardly as a racing interpretation of the already wildly popular Porsche 918 Spyder, the new 918 RSR-much like the 911 GT3 R Hybrid-will be run as a “racing lab” that test the limits of innovative drive technologies and components under the most extreme conditions of a race track.

Its aim is nothing less than to be Porsche’s prototype for a more ideal alternative in competitive motorsports.

The 918 RSR, like the GT3 R Hybrid, will combine a combustion engine on the rear axle with an electric drive on the front axle.  The 3.4 V8-a result of the direct injection unit from the RS Spyder race car-offers up 563 hp at 10,300 rpm. On the front axle, there are two electric motors that offer torque vectoring with each contributing 75 kW for a total of 150 kW. All in, the 918 RSR will have 767 hp to compete with, all of which is managed by a six-speed gearbox, which can be operated using the shifters behind the steering wheel.

As in the GT3 R Hybrid, the RSR’s surplus power generated during braking is stored in a flywheel accumulator, located in the passenger seat area, and rotating at up to 36,000 rpm. At the push of a button, the driver can tap the stored energy and use it during acceleration or passing. This “power boost” is available for around eight seconds.

The reaction from the automotive media has already been gushing for this new Porsche creation.

Top Gear says:

“Porsche has stolen the floor at the Detroit motor show with the quite sensational 918 RSR…it is a blend of the 918 Spyder road car and the hybrid tech of the 911 GT3 R hybrid we drove last year….It looks brilliant – the closed cockpit making it look shorter and more purposeful than the 918 Spyder – and it’s got cool orange stripes, and bears the number 22, which was the winning number of the Porsche 917 K that won Le Mans 40 years ago with an average speed of 138mph, not beaten until Audi did it last year. Also, the fan sits over the engine, exactly like the one on the 917’s flat-12.”

Automobile comments:

“The 918 RSR isn’t exactly a surprise (after all, Porsche executives have long hinted a race version of the 918 Spyder concept was a possibility) but it is absolutely stunning, especially when viewed in person. The 918 Spyder, first shown last year in Geneva, was certainly an attractive automobile, but its long, low, sleek form is arguably even more striking in coupe form. The rear spoiler, decklid fan and orange-on-light-blue paint scheme (Gulf, anyone?) all trigger flashbacks of 917s, but many aspects of the 918′s rounded form – including the rounded fenders and curvaceous roofline – are more evocative of earlier 907/908 endurance racers.The technology beneath the skin, however, owes almost nothing to history.”

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