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Old 04-02-2012, 04:04 AM
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Unique look inside the radical Porsche 918 Spyder's development and new BMW i8 Spyder

Although the production version is not due for another dozen months, Porsche have released additional information and pictures of a test mule of the Porsche 918 Spyder. In doing so, the German manufacturer have provided a unique look into the high performance machine's development. The specifications have not been finalised but the figures released this week should give a good indication. As already announced at an earlier date, the radical 918 will be powered by no fewer than three separate engines; a conventional petrol engine and two electric motors. Based on the high-revving unit that powered the all-conquering RS Spyder prototype racer, the mid-mounted V8 has been enlarged to around 4.6 litre. It is expected to produce over 570 bhp, which combined with the electric motors should give a total system output of 800 bhp. One of these motors is connected to the front axle, while the other is bolted to the seven-speed gearbox. This gives the 918 Spyder four-wheel drive capabilities without the complications of additional axles and a transfer box. Additionally the upcoming super car will also sport rear-wheel steering to improve the handling characteristics. The sophisticated drivetrain will be mounted in a lightweight carbon-fibre chassis, which should help keep the weight down to under 1,700 kg despite the additional lithium-ion batteries used for the hybrid system. Like the press release, the attched pictures of the development car are remarkably revealing.
Fellow German manufacturer, BMW, are also busy with purpose-built hybrid models, using the 'i' sub-brand. The latest addition is the i8 Concept Spyder. As the name suggests, it is the open version of the i8 launched last year. Further changes include the use of a slightly shorter chassis. What is carried over is the hybrid drivetrain, which produces a combined 349 bhp and 550 Nm of torque. Although still a concept, we do hope to see a production version of the i8 Spyder.

Enjoy the links:

2012 Porsche 918 Spyder Prototype - Images, Specifications and Information

2012 BMW i8 Concept Spyder - Images, Specifications and Information
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