The 2011 Detroit Auto Show just kicked off with a blast as Porsche rolled out its brand new 918 RSR hybrid supercar. The racer's sexy sculpted carbon fiber exterior conceals a 563 horsepower, 10,300 rpm v8 engine coupled with two front-wheel drive electric motors for a total of 767 horsepower. Like the 911 GT3 R Hybrid before it, Porsche's 918 RSR features a flywheel booster system that stores energy when the vehicle breaks and then releases it in a 160hp burst of speed at the press of a button.
Porsche‘s new hybrid supercar takes design cues from classic racers like the 908 and the 917, fusing these classic profiles with cutting-edge hybrid technology. The vehicle’s carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque shell is emblazoned with the starting number 22, recalling the 1971 Le Mans victory of Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep.
An endurance racer at heart, the 918 RSR has a clever trick up its sleeve to keep it ahead of the competition. Whenever the vehicle brakes, a flywheel accumulator located next to the driver’s seat captures and stores energy. This energy can then be directed to the vehicle’s twin 102 hp electric motors to provide a burst of speed, allowing the vehicle to rocket ahead of other cars during critical overtaking maneuvers.
Porsche also announced plans to produce diesel and hybrid versions of the Panamera this year as well as a limited number of the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid super sports car, making this a banner year for the luxury auto manufacturer.