Porsche’s radical 918 plug-in hybrid sports car has recorded a remarkable 7 minute 14-second lap of the infamous 20.6km Nurburgring Nordschleife – one of the fastest ever by a street-legal car running on standard production tyres.
But what’s even more impressive was that the hot lap was completely unplanned.
The Porsche development team were testing a package of performance tweaks and go-fast goodies that will be available as a factory-fit option, to be called the ‘Weissach’ package, when the super-hybrid with its 4.6-litre V8 and two electric motors totalling more than 585kW goes on sale in September 2013.
ONE HOT LAP
Then they were unexpectedly offered just one clean lap, with nobody else on the normally busy circuit, but without a sighting or warm-up lap – they would have to start from a standstill in pit lane.
So they went for it; the Porsche release doesn’t say who was driving, probably to protect him from the bean-counters at the factory, but the result was electrifying, at least 10 seconds quicker than even project leader Frank Walliser was expecting.
“By turning in this fabulous time after just a few months of development,” he said, “the 918 Spyder prototype has fully confirmed its viability.”