Mike Stevens | Jan 11, 2011

Porsche promised "something spectacular" for its Detroit Motor Show stand this week, and with the unveiling today of the 918 RSR design study, it hasn't let us down.

Based on the 918 Spyder concept - soon to enter production in limited numbers - the 918 RSR offers a look not only at the popular concept as a racing car, but also at a possible hardtop version of the production 918.

While Porsche has not offered any word on a production future for a 918 coupe, it is not without precedent: after stablemate Lamborghini sold all 20 of its special Reventon cars, it offered a further 20 versions - in a topless Roadster form.

Utilising the same 373kW+160kW V8 petrol-electric hybrid arrangement as its Spyder sibling, the 918 RSR's V8 offers a much bigger 420kW before the 160kW of the electric motors comes into play.

The 918 RSR's power is fed through a six-speed racing transmission with steering-mounted paddles, driving the rear wheels.

As with Porsche's 911 GT3 R hybrid racing car uses the electric motors to recover kinetic energy from the brakes, converting the power to power bursts lasting around eight seconds.

The electric motors also work to provide a torque vectoring function, distributing torque across the front wheels as needed.

The 918 RSR gets a host of other racing-oriented features, including a rear wing and front splitters, an air intake in the roof and racing tyres on 19-inch single-nut wheels.


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