Eco-electricity for well-heeled

The Porsche 918 Spyder is not only the fastest hybrid car in the world. He also signaled that major brands have woken up. For electric car specialists such as Tesla Motors could crack hard times.

Hybrid cars were long the domain of Japanese manufacturers, Toyota and Honda had their way. German car manufacturer, however, seemed to have overslept the trend. Now they have woken up: Porsche has announced that with the 918 Spyder, the fastest so far to produce hybrid cars in the world. The two-seater is proud to bring it 320 kilometers per hour. Acceleration from zero to one hundred: 3.2 seconds.

to see the Spyder was the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Swabian automaker wanted to demonstrate it, are advanced as far as his research on hybrid cars fast. And how to join a fast-paced design and ecologically valuable properties. In the "E-Drive" mode, the car is zero emissions, because purely electrically driven, at least 25 km away. Well-heeled can thus move in the future statusgerecht in downtown areas, where applicable, depending on the CO2 emissions of driving restrictions for cars.

One consequence of the eight-cylinder engine with a displacement of 3.6 liters of it to 500 hp, with maximum per 9000 rpm. The rear-wheel drive uses a dual-clutch gearbox, which has seven gears. An electric motor between the engine and transmission provides an additional torque. Electric motors on each of the two front wheels also allow a four-wheel drive. The three electric motors which are powered by lithium-ion battery with 5.1 kilowatt hours to bring together again 218 hp.

As in many sports car, the driver between different driving modes / wise choose in which adjusts the engine control software, power distribution and stability differently. In the "Race Hybrid" mode, the driver gets extra electrical boost to - for example when overtaking speed - short term greater degree. According to simulations of the Porsche 918 Spyder is even a little faster than the last super model, the Carrera GT.

The new green car is fun to be an estimated $ 600,000 (€ 450,000) have. By comparison, the 2010 Roadster by Tesla Motors will cost only $ 109,000. Porsche also works well on a pure electric version of the Boxster.

The new high-performance hybrid from Porsche, but also from Audi and Mercedes-Benz could for start-ups in the electric car market to a problem, says Rebecca Lindland, an analyst at IHS Automotive: "The Tesla or Fisker is under enormous pressure." Cars such as the 918 Spyder also showed that initially hesitant car manufacturers would gradually take emission limitations and requirements for a lower fuel consumption seriously, Lindland.

Mike Omotoso of J.D. Power and Associates expects that some technologies from the Spyder will be incorporated into other Porsche models. Maybe you'll find it again even in models of the Volkswagen Group, which holds 49.9 percent since December 2009 in the Swabian automaker. The Spyder was also the first production car, the electric motors in the wheels have. "The difficulty of this wheel design is to integrate cooling and brakes," says Omotoso.

Despite his performance of the 918 Spyder on the basis of test data in the class of three-liter car is classified. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has had to learn early as the 2011 Chevy Volt, that such figures with caution. At the end of consumption depends significantly on the driving style.

Meanwhile is the first hybrid car from Porsche, the Cayenne S Hybrid, in Europe and the U.S. just on the market. Also for the 911-series, a hybrid version is planned. Here, the stored braking energy gained while driving but not in battery, but with the help of a flywheel. For drivers who like it fast and elegant, the time may the bad Ökogewissens so soon be over.