Porsche 918 RSR - Racing Laboratory With Even Higher-Performance Hybrid Drive

By Porsche Cars North America Inc., PRNE
Sunday, January 9, 2011

World premiere in Detroit: mid-engine coupe as a technology test bed

DETROIT, January 10, 2011 - Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, is continuing to extend its
performance and high efficiency competence via intensive development work in
the field of hybrid technology. With the Porsche 918 RSR, the manufacturer of
sporty premium vehicles is presenting a high-end synthesis of 2010's
successful hybrid concepts. The two-seater mid-engine coupe 918 RSR clearly
reveals what happens when the technology fitted in the 911 GT3 R hybrid and
the design of the 918 Spyder are transferred to a modern, innovative super
sports car.

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With its highly-efficient flywheel accumulator, the 911 GT3 R hybrid
racing car proved to be an attention magnet during competition racing on the
Nuerburgring Nordschleife circuit, during the American Le Mans Series races
(ALMS) in Road Atlanta/USA and the ILMC run in China's Zhuhai. It
demonstrated its massive performance potential under realistic motor racing
conditions against top competitors. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid, referred to
internally as the "Race Lab" actually surpassed the high expectations of
Porsche Motorsport. Competitiveness, high reliability and exemplary fuel
efficiency combined with top performance under-scored the Porsche
technicians' basic idea of generating additional power in an intelligent
manner. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid obtains its additional power from its own
vehicle dynamics when braking. Porsche is now transplanting this technology
into the mid-engine coupe 918 RSR, the motor sports version of the 918 Spyder
concept car.

From the tradition established by classic Porsche long-distance race cars
such as the 908 long-tail coupe (1969) and the 917 short-tail coupe (1971),
the Porsche designers created a link to the postmodernism of the "form
follows function" philosophy. In the 918 RSR, the lines' elegant flow is
dominated by muscular wheel arches, dynamic air intakes and a pulpit-like
cockpit. A visible fan wheel between the ram air intake tubes and a rear
spoiler with RS Spyder dimensions additionally emphasize the racing
laboratory function. The new "liquid metal chrome blue" color which has been
created underscores the sculptured curves of the forms, whilst the typical
Porsche hybrid orange color on brake calipers and the body's longitudinal
stripes lends remarkable touches.

Motor racing technology also dominates within the particularly light,
torsionally stiff carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque. The V8
engine is a further development of the direct injection engine from the
successful RS Spyder race car and now offers an output of precisely 563 hp at
10,300 rpm in the 918 RSR. The electric motors on the two front wheels each
contribute 75 kW, i.e. a total of 150 kW, to the peak drive power of exactly
767 hp. This additional power, which is generated during braking, is stored
in an optimized flywheel accumulator.

In the 918 RSR, the two electric motors offer a torque vectoring function
with variable torque distribution to the front axle. This additionally
increases agility and improves steering response. Mounted upstream of the
rear axle, the mid-engine is integrated with a racing transmission also based
on the RS Spyder race car. This further developed six-speed constant-mesh
transmission with longitudinally mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur
gears is operated using two shift paddles behind the racing steering wheel.

The vehicle's functional equipment underscores its puristic motor racing
character. Whether it be the characteristic doors which open obliquely
upwards, the air intake in the roof between the wing doors, the quick-action
locks on the front and rear CFRP lids, the two roof-mounted aerials for pit
radio and telemetry, the RS Spyder-like small, lateral front flics or the air
splitters beneath the front lip or no-profile racing slicks on 19" wheels
with central locking, the vehicle can be clearly recognized as an
experimental racing laboratory.

In contrast to the 918 Spyder concept car, unadorned racing atmosphere
predominates in the interior of the 918 RSR. The figure-hugging bucket seat's
brown leather covering cites the history of the gentleman driver; the gear
flashes on the racing steering wheel and a recuperation display on the
steering column in front of the display screen supply the pilot with
information. Instead of the futuristic, ergonomically avant-garde centre
console with touch-sensitive user interface from the 918 Spyder concept car,
the 918 RSR's cockpit is split by a minimalistic console with rocker
switches. Instead of a second seat, the flywheel accumulator is positioned to
the right of the console.

This flywheel accumulator is an electric motor whose rotor rotates at up
to 36,000 rpm to store rotation energy. 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 maneuvers. The flywheel is braked
electromagnetically in this case in order to additionally supply up to 2 x 75
kW, i.e. a total of 150 kW, from its kinetic energy to the two electric
motors on the front axle.

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 - a metier in which
Porsche has been demonstrating its success for over 60 years.

Finally, the starting number, 22, pays homage to the anniversary of a
further triumph. Back in the days when overall victories in Le Mans were not
yet an entirely routine matter within the Porsche racing department, the
pilots Dr. Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep were the first to cross the
finishing line in 1971's 24-hour classic. The distance record set by their
Porsche 917 short-tail coupe - 5335.313 kilometers (3315.21 miles) at an
average speed of 222.304 km/h (138.13 mph) - did not remain unbeaten for an
eternity, but for exactly 39 years until 2010. At the time, the 917 in the
Martini colors was also an experiment and far ahead of its time: a magnesium
space frame set new standards in Porsche's lightweight construction domain.

Steve Janisse, Manager, Media Relations, Porsche Cars North America, +1-770-290-3419, cell +1-404-574-9206, steve.janisse at porsche.us; Dave Engelman, Product Communications Manager, Porsche Cars North America, +1-770-290-3617, cell +1-404-386-4665, dave.engelman at porsche.us

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