New & Used Porsche 918 Spyder: In Depth
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The Porsche 918 Spyder is Porsche’s first supercar with a hybrid-electric drivetrain. Soon after the concept debuted at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010, it quickly got the production green light. 918 units will be produced, and Porsche has already begun to take orders. The 918 has also set a to-date record at the Nürburgring, having lapped the course in 6:57.
Powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 engine plus a pair electric motors, one at the rear and one at the front of the car, the 918 Spyder is capable of up to 19 miles of all-electric driving, as well as electric-boosted all-wheel-drive performance, making it a "through the road" hybrid.
The mid-mounted V-8 engine is officially rated at 608 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, while the combined output of the hybrid drive system pushes the total system figure to 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission handles gear shifts. Five driver-selectable modes offer a range of economy and performance to suit preferences and conditions.
The body and monocoque chassis are made almost entirely of carbon fiber in an effort to minimize weight, which Porsche claims will be less than 3,750 pounds.
Porsche claims official 0-60 mph acceleration times of just 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 214 mph. A to-date record lap of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife timed out at just 6 minutes, 57 seconds--nearly a half-minute quicker than some of the world's top supercars--though the 918's true rivals, the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, haven't yet disclosed Nordschleife lap times. A modern supercar, the 918 Spyder achieves this high level of performance while achieving combined EPA-rated gas mileage figures of 67 MPGe in hybrid mode, and 22 mpg in pure gasoline mode.
A Weissach package model is also available, boosting performance even further. The Weissach package models offer about 90 pounds in weight savings, thanks to exposed carbon fiber body elements, magnesium wheels, and other measures.
At a price tag of $845,000 (or $929,000 with the Weissach package) and production limited to just 918 examples, however, the 918 Spyder's performance will be all but academic for most enthusiasts of the world.
A coupe version of the 918, the 918 RSR, was shown in concept form at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Porsche has not announced any plans to produce the 918 RSR coupe.
Look forward to more updates on the 918 Spyder, and read up on the car's full development history, at our sister site Motor Authority's 918 Spyder hub page.