Open-top Porsche will still make production, despite 918 RSR coupe' show debut

Porsche’s development boss has insisted the Detroit show-stopping 918 RSR hybrid race car will be developed alongside the open-topped Spyder road project, instead of replacing the 2010 Geneva concept.

The 756bhp RSR mixes the hybrid systems from Porsche’s 911 GT3 R hybrid project, the engine from the RS Spyder race car and the bodywork of the 918 Spyder, modified for vertically opening doors and a roof.

The RSR’s launch at Detroit — marking Porsche’s return to the show after a four-year gap — prompted speculation that the 918 project as a whole had evolved into a hard-top.

See the pics of the Porsche 918 RSR at Detroit

But Porsche’s outgoing board member for development, Wolfgang Dürheimer, insisted that the hard-top development would be focused on motorsport. “The road application of this car is the 918 Spyder,” he told Autocar. “There is no decision taken that the coupé type will be available on the Spyder. We learned from the Carrera GT that the driving pleasure of the car is enhanced when you have the possibility to drive open or closed.

“We have always told people interested in the 918 Spyder that it will have a roof concept similar to the Carrera GT’s, with a lightweight carbonfibre panel. A closed car is better for motorsport, though.”

Read the full story on the Porsche 918 RSR

Porsche is said to be in talks with race series organisers about making the car eligible, although sources suggest it could struggle to gain entry to a major event in 2011.

Dürheimer — who leaves Porsche to assume control of Bentley, Bugatti and VW Group motorsport on 1 February — also said the firm is preparing to offer petrol-based hybrids across its entire range in future.

John McIlroy

See all the latest Porsche reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka