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History of the 2014-2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
A decade after Porsche’s last hypercar, the Carrera GT, the company introduced their next performance benchmark at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Like the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1 that were its direct competitors, the Porsche 918 utilized a gas-electric hybrid powertrain in order to boost performance and amplify the output of the internal combustion engine. Behind the driver sits a 4,593 cc V-8 that is partly based on the all-conquering RS Spyder that Porsche campaigned in LMP2 racing. The engine is mated to an electric motor at each axle that supports the V-8 when it is making less than optimal power.
The total system output is 887hp and 940 lb-ft of torque, which goes to all four wheels through a 7-speed PDK gearbox. Suspension is by aluminum double wishbones up front with a multi-link setup in the rear, and the 918 features rear-wheel steering and torque vectoring. The brakes are carbon ceramic discs, and the 918 has regenerative braking.
The sprint from 0-60 mph takes about 2.5 seconds, the quarter-mile takes 9.8 seconds, and a lap around the Nurburgring takes less than seven minutes, but the 918 can still return 67 mpg. But even though the 918 is a savage performer, Porsche designed it to be a comfortable and usable car. Options included cupholders and a front axle lift system to get over bumps, plus the car can drive on electric power alone for short distances.
One major option that adds significantly to desirability is the Weissach Package, which was essentially a weight savings package that replaced certain aluminum components with carbon fiber and featured lighter wheels, windshield frame, roof and mirrors. In total, 918 Weissachs weigh about 100 pounds less than the standard car and boosted the price from $845,000 to $929,000. Some 918s also wear special order paint, and these cars can be particularly desirable as well.
Porsche built a total of 918 examples of the 918 over a 21-month production run. It is therefore quite a bit more common than its rivals from Ferrari and McLaren and therefore generally worth a bit less on the collector market. Porsche also issued recalls for the front lower and rear control arms as well as one for a wiring harness, but most cars should be fixed by now. Since the 918 was an instant collectible, nearly all have fairly low mileage and are in essentially like-new condition.
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Info
8-cyl. 4593cc/887hp Bosch EFI Hybrid
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