The Porsche 918 Spyder, one of the members of the hybrid performance-changing hypercar holy trinity of the last decade, is not only one of the brand’s most remarkable vehicles, but also one of the most awesome automobiles of the decade.
The Porsche 918 Spyder, which debuted in 2013, was one of the first three hybrid hypercars and the company’s third road-going supercar, following up where the crazy Carrera GT left off when it was terminated in 2007.
The 918 Spyder, like the beautiful and wild Carrera GT, is a race-bred beast with lineage and a powertrain drawn from authentic Le Men’s racecars.
The 918 Spyder, like the rigorous all-analog Carrera GT, was built with a focus on cutting-edge technology, including exciting hybrid power.
The Porsche 918 Spyder helped to demonstrate the entire potential of a performance-oriented hybrid by establishing the first production car sub-7 minute lap time on the Nürburgring.
The Porsche 918 Spyder is already a classic of the 2010s, with a style that could be mistaken for a brand new car eight years after its debut and performance that remains a legitimate threat despite additional upgrades to the paradigm it helped define.
Overview Of The Porsche 918 Spyder
The 918 Spyder was designed from the start to be a high-performance plug-in hybrid as well as a car that would pave the way for future Porsche supercars.
The extremely sleek 918 Spyder concept began proper development in 2010 and debuted at the Geneva Motor Show the same year, striking an impression with its forward-thinking performance and futuristic looks.
But, like the Carrera GT before it, much of the 918’s development entailed repurposing race technology they already had on hand, and the internal combustion engine powering the 918 Spyder is the first and most magnificent example of that.
After a 6-year sabbatical, Porsche returned to the LMP class of endurance racing with the RS Spyder in 2005, winning many class wins across the American and European Le Mans series.
The RS Spyder, which was powered by a flat-plane crank 3.4 L MR6 V8 specifically created for racing, was phased out of competition in 2011, but its purpose-built engine concept would live on in the 918 Spyder.
The 918 used the engine as a foundation, increasing the displacement of the MR6 V8 to 4.6 L and sending power to the rear wheels, among other changes.
The 918 Spyder, however, featured a unique dual-motor setup based on their design for the 997 GT3 R Hybrid racer to help flip the staid economy-focused image on its head as a hybrid.
The 918 Spyder, which was also based on a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, had an incredible amount of race-tech and drew thousands of potential purchasers at its concept debut, before being delivered as a production car three years later, in 2013.
Excitingly Crafted Exterior and Performance
The exterior design of the Porsche 918 Spyder, which debuted a month before the McLaren P1 and a few months after the LaFerrari, startled the automotive world with an ultra-sleek and futuristic body constructed of carbon fiber, setting the tone for today’s supercars.
The 918’s body is stunning, starting with its sleek and simple front end that’s clearly Porsche and continuing with gorgeous aero-tuned components like the side scoops and peaking in the back with its top-exit exhaust pipes and active-aero spoiler.
The RS Spyder-derived V8 alone creates as much power as the V10 powered 603 hp Carrera GT, providing 608 hp at an astonishing 8,400 rpm. It’s mounted in the middle and visible from the top (with a non-opening hood).
The plug-in dual-motor electric system, which employs one motor up front and one in the back to link to the ICE powertrain through flywheels, adds another 279 hp for a total output of 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque.
Surprisingly, at speeds beyond 165 mph, the electric drivetrain shuts off. The Porsche 918 Spyder, which uses a 7-speed dual-clutch auto PDK transmission to manage the power, is lightning quick, with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds, but was really capable of completing it in 2.4 seconds in a MotorTrend test, and a top speed of 214 mph.
The 918 Spyder compensates its monster speed with even superior handling, utilizing torque vectoring to deliver ideal grip across all four corners and also having rear-wheel steering to go things even further.
Handling the situation correctly The double-wishbone suspension owes its lineage to the RS Spyder, which uses a similar architecture with variable dampers to offer it remarkable agility, due in part to this tech trickery.
The 918 stays rooted because of its flat underbelly and active aero, as well as its super-wide Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires.
All of this contributed to the 918 Spyder breaking the Nurburgring lap record in 2013 with a timing of 6:57, making it the first production car to achieve a lap time under 7 minutes.
Overall, Car and Driver described the 918 Spyder’s handling as a “887 horsepower Miata,” a remark that demonstrates just how great it was.
High Tech Interior
The interior of the 918 Spyder is as basic and utilitarian as it is beautiful, with plenty of exposed carbon fiber and as much advanced performance-oriented engineering and design on the inside as it has on the exterior.
The cabin can be unpleasant due to a lack of insulation, as well as stiff and tight bucket seats, but the noise and harsher feel combine for a genuinely raw experience in the best manner possible.
A suede-wrapped steering wheel provides excellent driver engagement, and a driving mode selection on the wheel allows you to switch between several drivetrain and suspension modes, such as Electric, Hybrid, Sport, and Race.
The 918 Spyder is capable of running entirely on its electric plug-in system, with a range of 12 miles in EV mode, which isn’t very impressive but adequate for a performance hypercar.
A manually removable roof, as befitting a “Spyder,” is also incorporated, as is a big touchscreen that runs across the center console and includes navigation and phone functions.
Practicality is about what you’d expect from a hypercar, with a front trunk that holds 4.7 cubic feet, or about the same as a 2013 Porsche 911 – but there’s no true freight or storage capacity.
The 918’s practicality shows in terms of fuel economy, with a combined 67 MPGe in Hybrid mode and 20 mpg city / 24 mpg highway in pure ICE mode – remarkable numbers considering the performance.
The 918 Spyder debuted in 2013 with a hefty, but justifiable, starting price of $845,000, roughly the equivalent of $960,000 in 2021 money.
The Weissach package, as well as the other choices available, increased the price by $84,000.
Furthermore, only 918 pieces were produced, making it an extremely rare and sought-after beast.
Prices for any 918 Spyder, whether equipped with the Weissach or not, start about $1.2 million today, with some of the more interesting specs reaching $1.75 million and higher.