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NAIAS 2011: Porsche 918 RSR Concept


     Porsche is one of the enduring leaders in motorsports and the German sports-car manufacturer chose to return to this year’s Detroit Auto Show, its first appearance in four years, to debut its most advanced racer yet.
     The 918 RSR Concept is a coupe version of the forthcoming limited-edition 918 Spyder Hybrid supercar. The RSR uses the advanced flywheel accumulator and twin electric motors from the successful 911 GT3 R race car built to test new hybrid technology in the American Le Mans Series. The system works by storing electricity generated by the flywheel during braking. The driver can then choose to activate a 75-kW electric motor inside each front wheel to boost acceleration for up to 8 seconds at a time. This temporarily gives the driver a horsepower peak of 767 hp to aide in passing maneuvers. When the electric motors aren’t assisting power comes from a direct-injection V8 that produces 563 hp at 10,300 rpm. A constant-mesh 6-speed manual race transmission takes orders from steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters and sends all that power to 19″ center-lock wheels and Michelin racing slicks.
     The RSR may represent the latest in Porsche’s racetrack arsenal but we’re even more excited the legendary automaker set a 2013 sale date for the limited-edition 918 Spyder. At least we can dream about actually parking that one in our garage.

Photos by Jason Muxlow

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