Meet The Porsche 918 RSR, A New Hybrid “Racing Lab” On Wheels

Porsche started their stint at the Detroit Auto Show this year with a new hybrid racer.  Called the Porsche 918 RSR, the track-ready speedster combines two vehicles the automaker unveiled last year -- the 911 GT3 R hybrid race car and the 918 Spyder hybrid.

Billed as a "racing laboratory" (meaning, they're more likely to be using it as a technology demonstrator, rather than a regular competition car), the vehicle sports a 563-hp V8 engine powering the rear wheels and a pair of 102-hp electric motors that send each of the front wheels rolling.  With the combined drivetrain, you get a 767-hp, all-wheel drive that can be used to send the vehicle busting out of corners at up to eight seconds at a time.

The Porsche 918 RSR takes on the 918 Spyder's looks, adding a hard-top and motor-sports configuration to get it ready for the tracks.   Like the GT3 R, it has a flywheel-accumulator system that collects power generated from braking for use by the motors.  This extra energy is stored until needed and can be unleashed with the push of a button -- very helpful when coming out of corners or quickly passing someone on the tracks.  It uses a six-speed constant-mesh transmission that's electronically controlled, with shift paddles behind the steering wheel.

No racing schedule has been announced for the Porsche 918 RSR so far.  Considering the 911 GT3 R's success at the Nordschleife last year, there's a good chance they might give this a run there as well.

[via Autopia]