Porsche’s hybrid hypercar is go! With fuel consumption of 94mpg, but a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, the 918 Spyder is set to blur the line between performance and economy as never before. Only 918 examples will be made in total at Porsche’s flagship plant in Stuttgart, with production beginning on 18 September 2013 and first deliveries planned for two months later.
The price has been set at £678,000, which is nearly three times that of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, and almost £250,000 more than the 918’s predecessor, the Carrera GT.
Unlike the Geneva Motor Show concept, the production model will feature a manual roof system with removable panels that stow in the front luggage compartment. The side-exit exhausts have been deleted, and now emerge from pods behind the headrests. The rear wing will extend upwards for more downforce at high speed.
In keeping with the 918 Spyder’s eco-friendly approach, weight will be kept to a minimum. At the heart of this strategy is a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque carried over from the Carrera GT. Magnesium and aluminium will also be used throughout, ensuring the 918 weighs in at less than 1,500kg.
Under the skin, the plug-in hybrid powertrain is identical to the layout shown on the concept. It features a high-revving mid-mounted V8 and two electric motors – one on each axle – which brings the benefits of four-wheel drive.
The engine is derived from the racing unit used on the RS Spyder and will have a displacement of “more than four litres and an output of in excess of 500bhp”. Power is transmitted through a seven-speed twin-clutch PDK gearbox. The two electric motors have a joint output of 215bhp.
The lithium-ion battery pack can be charged from a normal power socket in as little as three hours and provides a range of 16 miles in electric-only mode, at speeds of up to 94mph. It’s this electric-only function that allows the 918 to achieve such remarkable fuel economy of 94mpg, and corresponding emissions of 70g/km.
Although it potentially puts out less CO2 than a Toyota Prius, performance is expected to be scintillating. Porsche claims the 0-62mph sprint will take 3.2 seconds – on a par with the McLaren MP4-12C – with a top speed of around 200mph. Simulations have also calculated that the 918 will be able to lap Germany’s famous Nürburgring circuit in seven minutes and 30 seconds – a few seconds quicker than the V10-powered Carrera GT.
Customers putting down a deposit will get the chance to buy the ultimate accessory – in the shape of a special 911. The Turbo 918 S Spyder Edition comes as a coupé (£125,865) or a cabriolet (£133,553), and will also be limited to 918 units.
Mechanically identical to the 523bhp 911 Turbo S, the limited-run model features acid-green highlights on the seats, instrument dials and illuminated door sills. There’s also higher-grade leather on the interior and additional carbon elements inside and out.
A badge on the glovebox will bear the same order number as your 918 Spyder, plus it can be ordered in the exact same colour. But Spyder Edition will be available to the public, too, with deliveries starting in June.