Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Electric Sports Car (2015 Model Review)

Written By: Raymond Z. 

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

                                                   2015 porsche 918 spyder PHEV

There was a time when driving a “sports car” held a significant thrill. Sports cars were edgy, slightly dangerous and held a certain mystique. They were part of a driver’s personality and lifestyle. Today, Porsche is seeking to recapture those feelings with the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid. Initially unveiled as a “concept car” and then a “prototype”, the 2015 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid is certain to rekindle some of those emotions.

Porsche is promoting the car as “Pure Energy.” and states that they are in search of “918 Drivers” and “918 Pioneers.” Marketing tactics aside, this is an impressive motorcar, and an even more impressive hybrid.

Let’s start with what is likely to first grab your attention, and that is the car’s stunningly good looks. This is a vehicle not designed for the timid. It is distinctively Porsche with its low profile, sweeping lines and emphasized rear “hips”. While many of today’s hybrids are understated, the Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid is anything but. It is aggressively crafted with a muscular stance.

The vehicle is powered by three engines that work in concert to maximize the vehicle’s efficiency. Beyond its naturally aspirated V-8 power plant, two electric motors provide power. The two electric motors, one located in front of the rear axle and the other behind the front axle, provide a combined 288 horsepower. This gives the 918 Spyder the distinction of having the highest electric motor output of any production hybrid now being produced. You just may view electric power in a whole new light as this 918 Spyder can reach an all-electric top track speed of 93 mph. Its all-electric range reaches 19 miles.

You will be impressed with the quick acceleration available from a standing start. Since the front electric motor has a constant gear ratio to lessen its weight, it provides a large amount of tractive power to the wheels. The front motor is decoupled after reaching a maximum speed of 165 mph. Beyond the impressive power, the engines do a remarkable job of recuperating the energy they produce.

The 918 Spyder is equipped with a liquid-cooled lithium battery that was created just for this particular vehicle. The powerful battery is a significant component of the Spyder’s efficiency. While it can be charged from an outlet through its port, it can also be recharged in a variety of ways when the car is in motion. In recuperation mode, the battery recharges through kinetic energy, like braking. In another instance, the rear electric motor is driven by the combustion engine. This motor then serves as a generator and charges the battery. In turn that contributes towards faster lap times and produces energy that can be used in all electric mode.

This hybrid comes standard with a 240v charging dock which converts energy into direct current to charge the battery. You also have the option of getting the Speed Charging Station which reduces charging time to less than 30 minutes. This is a terrific option that eliminates one of the barriers to getting a plug-in hybrid.

Along with its great looks, power and energy efficiencies, the Porsche 918 Spyder has additional innovations like the Range Manager, which helps the driver determine how far the vehicle can travel in its various modes. This is particularly handy in cities with environmental alert areas and can help you determine how far you can travel in all-electric mode.

If the above hasn’t got your attention, consider that the Porsche 918 Spyder has a top speed of 211 mph and can get from zero to 60 in under 2.8 seconds. That should quicken the pulse of anyone seeking that sports car feeling.

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder PHEV (Click on Images to Enlarge)