Porsche 918 Spyder unveiled - Geneva 2010
For once there is actually an awful lot happening on the Porsche stand at the Geneva motor show, with the German sports car maker bringing three world debuts to the 2010 exhibition. Plus one amazing concept.
Revealed the night before the show at the VW Group preview evening, the Porsche 918 Spyder is one of the true shocks of the show, not to mention one of the most stunning supercar concepts we've ever seen.
Vaguely Carrera GT-esque in its basic look, the 918 Spyder is something radically different - not just for Porsche but for Supercars in general. And though officially a concept you have to wonder if Porsche is testing the water.
A plug-in hybrid, the 918 Spyder can run for 16 miles on electric power alone. But it's also good for sub 7min 30sec laps of the Nurburgring - take that Nissan GT-R - and, says Porsche, will do 94mpg while emitting just 70g/km of CO2.
The 918 Spyder is powered by a race-derived 3.4-litre V8 producing over 500hp that revs to 9,200rpm, coupled to twin electric motors - one at the front, one at the rear - adding a further 218hp. Which, maths fans, means a total of more than 718hp all together.
That's enough, period. But the result is 0-62mph in 'under' 3.2 seconds, while the Spyder's top speed is in excess of 198mph. The engine drives the car via Porsche's seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetrieb (PDK) twin-clutch transmission.
The electric power can not only be harnessed for eco urban driving - a 'Race Hybrid' mode includes a 'push to pass' button gives instant overtaking thrust whenever the battery is fully charged.
Made from carbon-fibre, aluminium and magnesium, the Porsche 918 Spyder weighs just 1,490kg. Interior features include touch sensitive controls and 'Range Manager' integrated into the satellite navigation.
Back in the here and now there's a significant debut in the form of the second-generation version of the machine that makes Porsche most of its money - welcome, then, the all-new Porsche Cayenne.
As with the old Cayenne the new Cayenne shares its platform with the Volkswagen Touareg, and the second-generation version of the VW also makes its debut here at Geneva.
The new Cayenne is 180kg lighter, more powerful and 23% more economical. It has a new four-wheel drive system and a new eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox, but the biggest news is the hybrid technology, also shared with the Volkswagen Touareg.
Cleaner, greener Cayenne
The Cayenne S Hybrid combines a 333hp 3.0-litre supercharged V6 with a 47hp electric motor to give high performance throughout the rev range and the possibility of electric-only running up to 40mph.
Total power output is 380hp and peak torque is 427lb ft at just 1,000rpm, yet the Cayenne S Hybrid becomes the cleanest Porsche in the range, emitting 193g/km CO2 and returning 34.4mpg.
We're particularly taken with the 'sailing mode', which completely disengages the engine from the drivetrain at speeds up to 97mph when no additional power is required to cruise.
Fuel economy improves throughout the new Cayenne range, with the entry-level 300hp 3.6-litre V6 up to 28.5mpg and the 240hp 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel up to 38.2mpg - both 20% improvements.
The Cayenne S 4.8-litre V8 now outputs 400hp - 15hp more - and returns 26.9mpg, the Cayenne Turbo's 500hp twin-turbo version of the same returns 27.6mpg - 23% better in both cases.
The new Cayenne's reduced weight and eight-speed gearbox are the major contributing factors. The new car is also 48mm longer with a 40mm increased wheelbase for improved space and comfort.
You can make your own mind up about the looks. Prices start at £41,404, with the S Hybrid from £57,610 and the top spec Turbo £81,589.
Hybrid 911! Surely not?
So what about the 911? Surely there's no hybrid version of that?
Oh yes - there is. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid uses KERS technology developed by the Williams F1 team, so instead of heavy batteries it simply relies on a 'flywheel generator'.
Once this is fully charged two 81hp electric motors boost the 480hp already available from the flat-six in the boot, giving a total power output of 642hp for bursts of 6-8 seconds. It'll be tested this year in the Nurburgring 24-hour race.
Lovers of 'proper' Porsches needn't feel totally marginalised though, a new 530hp Turbo S - 30hp more powerful than the standard Turbo - proving core Porsche values haven't been over looked.
It's bonkers fast too, 0-62mph coming in an astonishing 3.3 seconds en route to a vmax of 197mph, loads of standard kit and an asking price starting at £123,263 - or £130,791 if you want a Cabriolet.
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- Queue jumping
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