You’ve had the tease. We had a moment and passed out (well Phil did) through sheer excitement and now we bring you the rest of the pics that we had the pleasure of shooting last week. The plan – if we can say we had one – was to hop in the car, shoot down to the Porsche Middle East Regional Office and spend a short window of time in the presence of one of the most incredible cars in existence.
It’s fair to say that Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is pushing the boundaries with its performance and high efficiency development program. What initially started with the 911 GT3 R hybrid racing car is proving to be an attention magnet during competition racing on the Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit, during the American Le Mans Series races (ALMS) in Road Atlanta/USA and the ILMC run in China’s Zhuhai.
The 911 GT3 R Hybrid, referred to internally as the “Race Lab” surpassed all the expectations of Porsche Motorsport, by very nearly winning one of the most arduous races, on it’s debut – They couldn’t have asked for more really could they? So what better then than to take the very pretty 918 Spyder and transplant all that they have found to create the mid-engine coupé 918 RSR, the motor sports version of said concept car.
And what a honey it is that they’ve created. The 918 RSR is jaw droppingly gorgeous with elegant lines, big nasty air intakes and an old school racer vibe to it. The colour which is called “liquid metal chrome blue” works so beautifully with the body and really brings the car to life in the flesh. Throw a splash of orange across it, to highlight the connection to the hybrid tech and you have a remarkable looking product.
Now the fun bit! The V8 engine, which is a further development of the direct injection engine from the successful RS Spyder race car, now channels 563 hp at 10,300/rpm to the black stuff. The electric motors on the two front wheels each bring a massive chunk to the party, taking peak power to 767 hp. This additional power, which is generated during braking, is stored in that big flywheel accumulator that you can see sat in the passenger seat area.
Now that we’ve covered off a chunk of the functional equipment, how about a sexy head-on shot?
When it comes to the interior of the RSR, there is a stark contrast from that of the ‘production/customer’ version – the 918 Spyder. It’s all about race in here and those figure-hugging bucket seat’s draped in brown leather are gorgeous and very reminiscent of the gentleman racers of a bygone ere. The steering wheel is adorned with gear change indication lights and there is a full race style display giving the lucky driver all the info he/she will ever need. It’s all about minimalistic racer touches in here… nothing unrequired or overtly ostentatious in sight.
This big lump sat in the passenger seat is the flywheel accumulator for the electric motor which rotates at up to 36,000 rpm storing the energy generated through the front wheels. According to the press gumpf, charging occurs when the two electric motors on the front axle reverse their function during braking processes and operate as generators. At the push of a button, the pilot is able to call up the energy stored in the charged flywheel accumulator and use it during acceleration or overtaking manoeuvres.
This additional power is available for around eight seconds when the system is fully charged. In the successful 911 GT3 R Hybrid, this additional power can also be used as a consumption aid depending on the racing situation, e.g. to delay pit stops or reduce the fuel tank volume and therefore the weight of the vehicle.
With the new 918 RSR racing laboratory, Porsche is now elevating this motor racing hybrid concept to an experimental level. In the 918 RSR, “Porsche Intelligent Performance” equates to research into methods for further sustainable efficiency improvement under the intensified conditions of the race track, lap times, pit stops and reliability. All sounds good to us.
So there you have it; The ultimate racing laboratory and one that looks utterly stunning in it’s skin. We can’t wait to see it roll out of the pit garage and be used in anger for the first time. It is sure to be successful and all being well, the drip feed of technology will reach and more importantly, benefit you and I.
A big thank you must go out to Anja Wood of Porsche Middle East and Africa for the opportunity, Porsche for some of the content and Moe for the help snapping on the day >>>
And just so you can appreciate how much of an impact the car had to Phil…