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Porsche unveils 918 RSR racer


Video: Porsche has unveiled the 918 RSR Coupe at the Detroit auto show today, a mix of the 918 Spyder road car and 911 GT3 R hybrid

The 918 RSR Coupe is a Le Mans racer that uses a KERS system (kinetic energy recovery system) developed by the Williams F1 racing team.

At the rear is a V8 engine producing 414 kW (555 hp) at 10,300 rpm, and the fan sits over top. Maximum output stands at 564 kW (757 bhp), including electric power. Porsche calls this mild hybrid system Intelligent Performance.

The hybrid setup includes a flywheel generator (instead of a passenger seat), which spins at up to 36,000 rpm and can store energy. Two 75 kW electric motors are mounted on each of the front wheels, and they can power the front axle. They can also go into reverse during braking to act as generators for the flywheel, which can then send that power back to the front wheels for bursts of acceleration at the touch of a button.

Porsche has also fitted the 918 RSR Coupe's front axle with a torque vectoring system with variable torque distribution to optimize the power going through the front wheels.

Power is pushed to the rear wheels by a 6-speed constant-mesh transmission with longitudinally-mounted shafts and straight-toothed spur gears.

Construction is geared toward light weight, with a monocoque chassis made from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic. Unlike the Spyder, the 918 RSR has a hard top and doors that open vertically.

On the outside you'll find large wheel arches and air intakes and a fan wheel between the ram air intake tubes and rear spoiler.

The number 22 that appears on the Detroit show car pays tribute to the 917 coupe that won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours, with a record average speed of 138.13mph that stuck until just last year.

Inside there's a bucket seat for the driver, gearshift indicator lights on the steering wheel, and a centre console with rocker switches.

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