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.



PSFK's Workplace Vision: Leave The Busywork To The Bots

Syndicated Today

In Popular Games, The Recurring Theme Is Exploration

The much-hyped sci-fi sandbox game proved to be as massive as expected, while Pokémon Go continued to prove inescapable

Design Today

The Best In Wearable Tech From The Rio Olympics

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best gadgets and devices used to track performance


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Advertising Today

This Cookbook Is Inspired By Brad Pitt’s On-Screen Eating Habits

Learn how to whip up meals and snacks pulled straight from the actor's fictional universe

USA Today

Tour The US National Parks From The Comfort Of Your Home

Google's new 360-degree video feature lets people take a trip to Alaska, Utah or Hawaii and see these marvels of nature up close


Dennis Crowley

Co-Founder of Foursquare

Augmented & Virtual Reality Today

VR Training For Active Shooter Preparedness

SurviVR is an immersive environment to teach civilians how to protect themselves in dangerous situations

Cities Today

Redesigned London Tube Map Aims To Get People Walking

The updated display illustrates approximately how many steps it takes to walk between stations for a healthier commute

Experiential Marketing Today

Nike Creates An Immersive Pop-Up Fitness Experience In London

The Unlimited You space gave athletes a chance to push their limits farther than ever before


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 23, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

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

Automotive Today

Uber Now Lets Commuters Pay With Pretax Dollars

The prepaid cards are a partnership with WageWorks, letting uberPool users save up to 40% on their trip

Home Today

Philips Hue Adds Motion Sensor To Control Lights Automatically

The wireless device lets users interact with their environment without needing to press a switch

Home Today

Beacon Device Takes The Pain Out Of Navigating A New Airbnb

Ping provides new guests with a guided tour of the house or apartment through a simple tap of their phone

Arts & Culture Today

Shelf Makes Its Contents Appear To Hover In Midair

The design uses metal tubes to create an optical illusion when viewed from the front

Arts & Culture Today

Interactive Ceiling Responds To People Walking Underneath

The installation features built-in sensors that cause the undulating surface to morph and react to passersby


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Fashion Today

Declutter And Recycle All Of Your Unwanted Stuff

A new app will help catalogue your possessions and give them away as donations when you no longer want them

Advertising Today

Tokyo Concept Store Disguised As A Parking Garage

The retail and cafe project is designed as a hidden treasure for urban explorers

No search results found.