In an article published in Porsche’s Christophorus Magazine, a source confirmed the all-new open-top hybrid supercar would feature a 4.6-litre V8 engine, stepping up from the 3.4-litre unit fitted to the 2010 concept car that was revealed in Geneva.
Power from the engine – which is based on the V8 originally developed for the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 race car – is tipped to peak at 410kW, around 40kW more than the 918 Spyder concept from 2010.
Although the production version will lose one of the concept’s three electric motors, the remaining two will continue to power the 918’s front wheels, producing 172kW of power, taking the car’s total combined power output to an anticipated 582kW.
The magazine details the finer points of the new supercar’s engine, some of which will be firsts for a Porsche production car.
“The 918 Spyder features a central injector mounted directly adjacent to the spark plug, a central oil feed to the crankshaft, a variable-pressure composite oil pump and scavenge pump, forged lightweight pistons from a Formula One supplier, a very high compression ratio, and – a Porsche first – variable valve timing with intake and exhaust phase stepper motors.”
The production model is set to grow by approximately 150mm in length and 10mm in width, while weight will increase around 190kg to about 1675kg.
The first Porsche 918 Spyder customers should get their hands on the new supercar before the end of next year, after parting with 645,000 euros ($800,000). The car is expected to cost almost twice that amount for Australian buyers, even though its left-hand-drive configuration means it will be limited to the racetrack.
Meanwhile, Porsche is stepping up its investment in research and development as it continues its product expansion plans.
The German manufacturer’s R&D chief, Wolfgang Hartz, told Automotive News the company would employ another 300 engineers this year (matching last year’s hire) and planned to spend “significantly more than 10 per cent of revenue” on R&D – around double the industry average.
Porsche’s 2011 global sales tally is expected to reach 115,000, and the brand has an ambition to reach 200,000 by 2018.
Porsche sales in Australia increased 6.1 per cent in 2011 – up from 1266 units in 2010 to 1343. Every model in the range lost ground on the previous year expect the Cayenne, which increased 34.3 per cent (803 vs 598), accounting for three in five Porsches sold locally.