2011 Detroit Auto Show: Porsche Grabs Attention With A Hybrid Race Car Concept

2011 Detroit Auto Show: Porsche Grabs Attention With A Hybrid Race Car Concept

The design pays homage to iconic Porsche race cars of the past while serving as a laboratory for future technical innovations.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 14 january 2011

Porsche, who haven’t attended that past few Detroit Auto Shows, chose 2011 to return. Wanting to make a grand entrance, the brand nabbed the first press conference slot of the media days and promised to have something special to show. Maybe taking a page from Mercedes-Benz at last year’s NY auto show, Porsche debuted a gorgeous race car concept called the 918 RSR. Motor-sports purists maintain that race cars should be designed to go fast first and not to necessarily look beautiful. So what is the real purpose of creating a vehicle too pretty for the track? Porsche are classifying the 918 RSR as a laboratory to not only test a design vision, but also a hybrid powertrain system.

With the new 918 RSR racing laboratory, Porsche is now elevating this motor racing hybrid concept to an experimental level. In the 918 RSR, “Porsche Intelligent Performance” equates to research into methods for further sustainable efficiency improvement under the intensified conditions of the race track, lap times, pit stops and reliability – a metier in which Porsche has been demonstrating its success for over 60 years.

From a design perspective, the 918 RSR merges somewhat familiar ques from the 918 Spyder and the 911 GT3 R Hybird. There’s nothing far-out futuristic about how this car looks, actually it is what a modern Porsche super sports car should look exactly like. The designers wisely translated elements from iconic Porsche race cars like the 908 long-tail coupé (1969) and the 917 short-tail coupé (1971). Viewed as a whole, the design feels familiar, look closer at the details and that’s where the contemporary flavor of the design shines.

The 918 RSR is powered by a mid-engine V8 generating a bit over 560 hp. Electric motors on each of the front wheels contribute an extra 150 kW upping the horsepower total to 767. The electric motors in the front get power from a flywheel which generates electricity under braking. Under a full charge, the driver can get an eight second boost of power to facilitate passing. One of the places where the performance engineering is displayed prominently is the design of the engine cover with the integrated cooling fan. Looking something like a jet engine, the designers created a focal point of this technical detail while keeping the surrounding areas very sleek.

As far as getting attention at the show, the 918 RSR Concept did very well. It captured the EyesOn Design Award for Best Concept Vehicle. The award is given out by a jury of top automotive design professionals and educators from transportation design programs.



DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Ruzwana Bashir

Travel, Startup, Technology

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.