March 3, 2010

Porsche Shows Off New Hybrid

Porsche unveiled a new hybrid sports car this week that it claims can reach 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds while emitting just a fraction of the carbon put out by most other sports cars.

The 918 Spyder prototype is the company's addition to the growing market for hybrid cars that combine an internal combustion engine with electric propulsion, dramatically slashing the amount of greenhouse gas the car emits.

Porsche unveiled the new car at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.  It says the car tops out at a speed of 198 mph and has a fuel economy of 94 miles per gallon.

"We are a sports car manufacturer and that means it's about driving fast "“ but at the same time about cutting pollution and conserving natural resources," Porsche chief Michael Macht said according to the website of news magazine Der Spiegel.

Porsche claims that the new car emits an average of 70 grams of carbon dioxide.  According to Britain's Department for Transport, Toyota's Prius, the best-known hybrid car, emits 89 grams.

Many conventional sports cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini emit between 400 grams and 500 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

Macht said the 918 Spyder can make it around the 14 mile Nrburgring race track south of Cologne in just less than seven-and-a-half minutes.

Driving legend and Porsche representative Walter Röhrl said, "This car goes even faster than the last super sports car from Porsche, the Carrera GT."

Martin Winterkron, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen, said "Porsche is showing the future."

The 918 Spyder has a high-performance V8 engine with over 500 brake horsepower and a maximum engine speed of 9,200 rpm, as well as electric motors on the front and rear axle.

The electric motors are powered by a fluid-cooled lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged by plugging it into a normal power point.

Porsche also showed two other hybrids at the show:  a Cayenne S Hybrid SUV and a 911 GT3 R Hybrid racing car.


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