2014 PORSCHE 918 HYBRID SPYDER…A SAUDI’S WORST NIGHTMARE!

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Meet the 2014 Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder, a mid-engined super/hyper/hybrid car designed by Michael Mauer.  While still in it’s final stages of R & D and slated for production in September 2013, the Porsche 918 Spyder is powered by a V8 engine that currently produces 562hp and tuned to rev to 9200rpm.  The 918 Spyder was developed from the RS Spyder Le Mans Prototype racing car, making this hybrid one beastly ride.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Remember this is a hybrid so Porsche couldn’t simply stop at the already impressive stats produced by their V8, they decided to really push the envelope and supplement the 562hp V8 with a pair of synchronous electric motors – one producing 107hp for the front wheels and the other producing 121hp for the rear wheels churning out a combined 759hp and 568 ft-lb torque.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

Wrap a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque around those impressive engines, add in a 7-speed gearbox and Porsche’s very own own double clutch system (PDK) and shazaam…you get a spacecraft capable of 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds with a top speed of 320 km/h(200mph) and a staggering 78mpg.  That’s correct, 78mpg, officially making this car a Saudi’s worst nightmare!  In addition to the plug-in recharge, the batteries are also charged by regenerative braking.  The 918 Spyder offers five different driving modes allowing the vehicle to utilize different combinations of electric and gas engines depending on the driver’s desires.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Not only is the Porsche 918 a technological marvel it’s also a pleasure to look at.  I never thought the famed Carrera GT could ever be made to look old, however the new 918’s wonderfully shaped design definitely dates the Carrera GT.  Let’s be honest, Porsche hasn’t been producing the most attractive cars on the planet but I would have to say they’re certainly on the right track with this one.  Its curvaceous lines are perfectly proportioned giving the 918 a very aggressive and exotic stance.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder

One of my favorite design features about the Porsche 918 Spyder is where they decided to place the exhaust system.  For us car fanatics there is no better area to place a great sounding exhaust than directly behind your head.  Yup, two massive exhaust pipes jetting upward out of the engine bay emit beautifully sounding exhaust fumes straight up into the air.  This instantly reminded me of the old Le Mans and Can AM cars ripping down the straightaway with their massive engines spewing exhaust fumes infused with the sweet smell of race fuel.  Porsche didn’t design the exhaust system purely for nostalgic reasons; they were placed there to address a heating problem with the battery cells that are placed behind the cockpit.

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

2014 Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Porsche really hit their mark with the 918 Spyder combining cutting edge technologies with nostalgic and intimidating lines and unbelievable performance stats which is really setting the stage for a new era of super/hyper/hybrid cars to come.  With all the money you save on fuel, it more than justifies the rumored $850K +/- price tag for one of these hybrids.

CHECK OUT VIDEO OF THE 918 IN ACTION BELOW:

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TESLA ROADSTER SPORT…IT AIN’T YOUR FATHER’S ELECTRIC CAR!

Ok I’ll admit I’ve often been curious about the Tesla after seeing it all over LA so when I was invited to take it on a test drive I didn’t hesitate.  I visited one of Tesla’s new Modular Stores which has the same feel as say an Apple store and the same size as a small retail clothing store.

Michael Lahalih sitting in the floor model Tesla Roadster Sport

I’ve often thought of the Tesla as a Lotus with an electric motor however I’ve come to find there’s a lot more than that to this advanced sports car.  For beginners, the Tesla is about 5” wider and 5” longer than the Lotus Elise.  This may not sound like much at first, but if you’ve ever sat in an Elise before the additional space is much welcomed.  Also, the Tesla has some great appointments that the Lotus is lacking like sound dampening and leather, which actually makes a huge difference in those smaller confines.

The stats of the Tesla is what really impressed me; the monocoque chassis, constructed of resin-bonded & riveted extruded aluminum, is wrapped entirely in Carbon Fiber and powered by a 288HP electric motor with 100% torque.  It goes from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and actually feels like 510HP due to having a single gear and high torque ratio.

Once I sat in the car, the interior immediately reminded me of the iconic Ferrari’s like the 308GTS or the Dino 246GTS because of the gauge cluster, sport seat positioning, and targa top.  There is no power steering which I really enjoyed and the controls were very easy to use.  I buckled up, pushed the “D” button for “drive”, and was on my way.  I floored the car to see what it could do and it took off like a rocket!  I’ve never experienced going that fast so quickly with absolutely no engine noise or screeching tires, it was a very surreal feeling.  After driving the Tesla, I had a new-found respect for the company and their vision.  There were a few downsides to the car like having a 245 mile range on one charge and a 3 hour wait-time for a full recharge, which are definitely things you would need to seriously consider before investing $100K+ into this very cool sports car.

Michael Lahalih before his test drive