Porsche man has his say on performance hybrids


Steve Rogers

The Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 hypercars are not true ‘performance hybrids’, according to the man behind the Porsche 918 Spyder.

Dr Gernot Dollner, who was project leader for Porsche’s hybridhypercar, believes that the respective Ferrari and McLaren flagship cars can’t be classified in the same league as the 918, despite the fact they all utilise hybrid technology.

Dollner said: “The Ferrari and the McLaren are both excellent cars, but they aren’t true performance hybrid cars.

“No other car manufacturer has understood that hybrid drivetrains can be used to add more performance. To this day, we have not been copied in that area.”

The Porsche 918 Spyder went on sale in 2014, after being shown to the public for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2010. It utilises a naturally-aspirated 4.6-litre V8 engine developing 600bhp, along with two electric motors that deliver an additional 275bhp, and can sprint from 0-62mph 2.6 seconds before hitting a top speed around 210mph.

The 918 Spyder was Porsche’s second plug-in hybrid, following the Panamera S-E Hybrid.

Dollner – who is now vice president of the Panamera product line – also confirmed that the second-generation Panamera, which goes on sale in the UK in November, will feature two performance hybrid models in its line up in the near future.

He said: “We learned a lot from the 918 Spyder programme, and we learned a lot from the 919 LMP car.

“I can say that the hybrid systems in the new Panamera will be true performance systems and will add extra performance to the vehicle. The hybrid system is an integral part of our vehicle architecture.”

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