New & Used Porsche 918 Spyder: In Depth
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The Porsche 918 Spyder is a hybrid-electric, mid-engined, all-wheel-drive supercar. It’s Porsche’s first hybrid supercar, and it’s also one of the fastest, most high-performance production cars in the world. Launched as a concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the low-volume 918 Spyder continues to wow onlookers with its sleek, elegant style. The 918 also holds the current production car lap record at the Nürburgring with a time of 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.
That V-8, which is mounted just behind the passengers, is rated at a very impressive 608 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque by itself. When the electric motors are factored in, the system total jumps to a staggering 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is Porsche's PDK dual-clutch, a version very closely related to the one installed in the 911 Turbo S. A knob on the steering wheel allows the driver to select between five powertrain modes, ranging from economy to all-out lap times.
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 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 and magnesium wheels, among 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. While not all of the 918-car production run has been assembled, Porsche has announced that all of the cars have been spoken for. Production and deliveries are planned to stretch through summer of 2015.
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. The Spyder's popularity likely will impact whether Porsche moves ahead with other variants.
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.