Porsche invited a select group of journalists to its Leipzig factory to bring them up to speed on the progress of 918 Spyder. Previously its weight was reported as being over 1700kg, now it’s claimed to be 1640kg. Before it had less than 800hp, now Porsche says there’s 887hp (660kW) to play with. It’s faster, too, so the claims suggest.
Project leader Frank-Steffen Walliser says Porsche isn’t responding to the gauntlets thrown down by the more powerful and faster rivals—LaFerrari (708kW) and McLaren P1 (675kW), but it’s hard not to draw any other conclusions. Yet, if Porsche wants to claim hybrid hypercar performance supremacy they still have a lot of work to do.
Porsche says the 918 can reach 300km/h in 23 seconds flat. That’s fast. But compared to the LaFerrari (15.0 seconds) and the P1 (sub 17 seconds) it is positively pedestrian.
More in depth analysis of the 918 has been given by Chris Harris (video after the break) and Autocar.
In his review for Autocar Greg Kable said: “With sufficient battery charge in E-Power mode, the Porsche relies on the front electric motor to provide propulsion at speeds of up to 93mph—which makes this Porsche’s first front-wheel drive car.
“Before the first lap is over I’m already gushing at the razor-sharp throttle response, the immense in-gear urge, the immediacy of the chassis and the searing V8 engine, which emits a spine-tingling mechanical shrill on the way to its 9150rpm limiter.”
Chris Harris was more circumspect, praising the car, but always with a caveat. It’s worth noting that the cars being tested are pre-production prototypes still to undergo fine tuning. It’s also worth checking out Harris’ thoughts below.