Porsche 918 under promises and over delivers

Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package

On paper the Porsche 918 Spyder is the least impressive of the three hybrid hypercars, which also includes the LaFerrari and McLaren P1. Yet, Porsche is playing it smart by making claims it can back up and letting the results do the talking.

The headline act for the 918 is its sub-7 minute Nürburgring lap time, which as a marketing exercise has worked wonders for Stuttgart. As opposed to the PR disaster witnessed by Woking.

Back in May we saw Porsche update the claimed performance numbers for the 918 Spyder fitted with the go-faster Wiessach Package. They did it again when the car was officially revealed in Frankfurt. And now, once more, Porsche is dropping us a quick presser to let us know the 918 is even faster than first thought.

0–100km/h: 2.6s (down from 2.8s)
0–200km/h: 7.5s (down from 7.7s)
0–300km/h: 19.9s (down from 22.0s)

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Michelin rides the Porsche 918 gravy train

Porsche 918 Spyder

When you’re a part of history you want the world to know all about it. Sometimes when you’re bragging about your special talents that can be tiresome. But other times, even though the viewer knows they’re being sold a product, the content of the message excuses the otherwise cynical intent. This video is one such instance of that.

We all know the Porsche 918 Spyder lapped the Nürburgring in 6 minutes 57 seconds. An amazing lap, we’re sure you’ll agree. What you probably didn’t know is that time was all down to the specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Well perhaps not, but Michelin would love it if you thought that was the case.


LaFerrari latest hybrid hypercar to attack Nürburgring


The 708kW LaFerrari is the latest in the triumverate of hybrid hypercars to attack the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

It joins the brief video we’ve seen of the McLaren P1, with a rumoured 7:04 lap time, and the apparently all-conquering Porsche 918 Spyder. Of course, the 918 grabbed headlines recently when Porsche announced it had broken the 7-minute barrier with a 6:57 lap time.

We shall have to wait and see what the Ferrari marketing department deems worthy of publishing in future to see if the 918’s time in the sun is about to be over.


Build your own Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder in guards red

Word is that Porsche has almost sold all of its 918 Spyder hybrid hypercars. They’re only making 918 of them and the first delivery is expected on the 18th of September (there’s that 918 number thing again).

And unless you have the seven figures likely required to buy one for yourself the closest you’re likely to get is to pretend you’re building your own. Don’t like the 918 in guards red, then go make your own at the official configurator. You’ve got 11 other colours to choose from!

Porsche Video

Watch the 918 Spyder break 7 mins at the Ring

Porsche 918 Spyder Nurburgring record

After the break you can see onboard video of Marc Lieb’s full 6:57 lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife set in a Porsche 918 Spyder ‘Weissach Package’.


Porsche 918 Spyder claims Nürburgring lap record

Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package

Last week Porsche took a pair of production-spec 918 Spyders to the Nürburgring and created history. The 887hp/652kW petrol electric hybrid has just been officially launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show and Porsche used the occassion to announce the 918’s Nordschleife lap time.

Factory racing driver Marc Lieb was at the wheel of a 918 Spyder ‘Weissach Package’ for the record time and lapped the Ring in 6 minutes 57 seconds. Proving the record was no fluke fellow Porsche drivers Timo Kluck and the legendary Walter Röhrl also lapped in less than 7 minutes.

Previously, a prototype 918 had lapped the Ring in 7 minutes 14 seconds. The new mark is, according to Porsche, the fastest time ever for a production-based car homologated for road use.

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Frankfurt 2013: Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

At last the wraps have come off the production version of the Porsche 918 Spyder. The petrol electric hybrid sportscar has had a long gestation, first gracing the floor of the Geneva Motor Show in early 2010. It then trasnformed into the 918 RSR for the Detroit Auto Show in 2011, with the order book for the 918 Spyder officially opening in March of that year.

And now, at last, the real deal is here. In all of its 652kW glory. It tips the scales at 1634kg and with a 7-speed PDK and will see off 100km/h in 2.8 seconds. The double ton is gone in 7.7 seconds and the triple in 22 flat. Its top speed is 345km/h. Oh yes, it’s mighty quick!

It rides on specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, 265/35/20 at the front and 325/30/21 at the back. A special ‘Weissach’ package will shed 35kg from the car and can be optioned in a number of race-inspired liveries.

Built around a CFRP monocoque, power for the 918 comes from a mid-mounted 4.6 litre V8 which sends 447kW to the rear wheels. A pair of electric motors completes the deal and sends 210kW to the front axle, which is decoupled at speeds in excess of 235km/h.

It’s very fruity and very frugal as well. The rated fuel consumption is as low as 3.0l/100km and less than 80g/km of exhaust emissions escape from the high-mount exhaust pipes.

Of course, we can’t end this precis without reminding you the 918 Spyder can lap the Nürburgring in 7 minutes 14 seconds.

UPDATE: Porsche has just confirmed, or at least claimed, the 918 Spyder has become the first production-based road car to break the 7 minute barrier at the Nürburgring. The lap time claimed is 6:57 and was set last week. We’ll bring you more detail regarding this new record soon.


Porsche confirms 918 Spyder for Frankfurt

Porsche 918 Spyder

It seems the Porsche 918 Spyder has had more announcements and reveals than a Hollywood wannabe, but it’s about to have its final and complete unveiling at Frankfurt next week.

We’ll bring you more then, but first here’s what Porsche has to say:

The 918 Spyder is the continuation of the traditional Porsche DNA in a ground-breaking sportscar concept. Designed from the start to be a high-performance hybrid, the 918 Spyder boasts an unprecedented combination of performance (offering the 887-bhp output of a super sportscar) and the virtually silent locomotion of an electric vehicle. The vehicle is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds and offers an average standard fuel consumption of between 3.0 and 3.3 litres/100 km. The 918 Spyder concept also allows a combustion engine to be combined with an electric motor-based drive to further optimise the dynamic performance of the vehicle.

Joining the 918 Spyder in Frankfurt will be the new Panamera, the 50 years 911, and the 911 Turbo.

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Latest tech specs on the Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder

Here’s the follow up from Porsche on their 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar after the preview given by motoring journos last week.

Things have changed since Porsche last gave an official preview in September last year. You can download the latest tech specs from Porsche, and read the embellished press release, after the break. Before you do here’s a quick snapshot of the key figures.

  • Engine power (combined): 657kW/887hp (up from 795hp)
  • V8 engine: 447kW/608hp (up from 580hp)
  • Electric power: 115kW rear; 95kW front (up from 95kW; 85kW)
  • Maximum revs: 9150rpm (up from 9000rpm)
  • Maximum torque: 800Nm+ combined; 530Nm V8 engine (up from 780Nm; 500Nm)
  • Kerb weight: 1640kg (down from 1700kg)
  • 0–100km/h: 2.8s (down from 3.0s)
  • 0–200km/h: 7.9s (down from 9.0s)
  • 0–300km/h: 23.0s (down from 27.0s)
  • Consumption (NEDC): 3.3l/100km (up from 3.0l/100km)
  • CO2 emissions: 79g/km (up from 70g/km)
  • Pure electric range: 30km (up from 25km)

Of course, none of these changes/improvements have been made in response to the more powerful and faster competition in the shape of the LaFerrari or the McLaren P1. No, not at all.

Porsche Video

Porsche gives the 918 Spyder more, but is it enough?

Porsche 918 Spyder prototype

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.


Even more details on the Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder prototype

The world of motoring forums once again provide the source of some tasty industry fodder, as apparent production specifications for the highly anticipated Porsche 918 Spyder have been leaked.

Much of the technical spec has already come your way, but today’s info includes pricing and deeper levels of specification.

Sadly, we’re unlikely to see the 918 Spyder officially on Australian roads as it seems it will be built only in left-hand drive. But with Euro pricing starting at €768K, or €840K if you choose the Weissach package, we dread to think what Australian pricing would be. Far enough into seven figure territory to make your eyes water we suggest.

The official launch for the 918 über hybrid is still around 12 months away, so who knows how accurate these specs will prove to be. For now, at least, they make seductive reading. Check them out in full after the break.

[Source: Rennteam]

Green Machines Porsche

More details on the Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder prototype

When Chris Harris filed his video on the Porsche 918 Spyder he also wrote his usual summary for PistonHeads. Buried in that article was a link to the press kit supplied by Porsche when the 918 was at the Nürburgring. It’s not been made available to the general Porsche press outlets so we were keen to grab it and have a read. Now it only seems fair to continue sharing it.

Interesting things we’ve learned from reading through the info is that the 918 weighs 1700kg, or 1665kg for the Weissach package. Standing acceleration times are pretty rapid, knocking off 100km/h in 3.0 seconds, 200km/h in only 9.0 seconds and you’ll need 27.0 seconds to make it to 300km/h. We like the sound of the ‘Hot Lap’ button, which can only be activated when the 918 is in ‘Race Hybrid’ mode.

The very last line in the document also caught our attention; the 918 Spyder comes with a four year factory warranty.

[Source: PistonHeads]