Porsche boss Matthias Muller mentioned the phrase ‘test bed’ at least three times at the official reveal of the 918 RSR; on the record at least, the firm is insisting this is a motorsport project. Expect to get an outline of racing activities in the very near future.
Thing is, though, they’re not really fooling anyone. The systems in the 918 - which basically take hybrid principles learned in the 911 GT3 R Hybrid and mate them with the V8 powerplant of the RS Spyder LMP2 racer - are a clear indicator of where Porsche wants to take its ‘greener’ technologies.
New owner VW has clearly identified that Porsche needs to push into new areas of the market - and yes, that could include environmentally friendly products - if it is to make a decent contribution to the overall company goal to be the world’s largest car maker.
That means that a) we will almost certainly see a roadgoing version of this car in the not-too-distant future and b) its systems are going to play a big part in key areas of the Porsche range. Muller mentioned widespread use of diesel and hybrids during his speech, in fact.
He didn’t stop there, though. In between his repetition of the phrase ‘test bed’, Muller also said, “We have a few surprises up our sleeves when it comes to our production cars.” I’m willing to be that some of the tech and ideology behind the 918 RSR won’t be far away from some of them.