Porsche’s Detroit Dream Machine

 

Porsche 918 RSR

Just back from the frozen tundra that’s Detroit, and still salivating at the vision of Porsche’s breathtaking new 918 RSR concept that was the undoubted star of this year’s auto show.

   While Porsche labels it a race car concept, if you peel off the garish orange stripes and racing numbers, what you’re looking at is the successor to the awesome Carrera GT and Porsche’s next road-going supercar.

   Porsche is pretty serious about this 918 because back in March last year, they unveiled a convertible version – the 918 Spyder. And why wouldn’t they be when the car looks so glorious.

   Of course these days you can’t talk about supercar concepts that have giant gas-guzzling V10 or V12 under the hood. That’s about as politically correct as smoking indoors. Which is why this 918 RSR comes with a 6.2-liter V8 at the rear and two giant electric motors driving the front wheels.

Porsche 918 RSR - Howard Walker

   But here’s its party piece. For ‘normal’ driving, you use the 563 horsepower provided by the big V8. But if you need a bit of little extra oomph, say for passing, punch a button and those electric motors deliver up an eight-second burst of 200 extra horses, to bring the whole corral up to a whopping 767-hp.

   See it in the flesh, or carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, in this case, and the 918 RSR will steal your breath. Porsche says its body styling was designed to pay respect to the legendary racers like the 1970s 917 Le Mans racer and the ’60s mid-engined 908.

    No one at Detroit was giving any clues as to when we’ll see a production version of the 918. But for me, it just can’t come a second too soon.