Porsche 918 Spyder Review
Some annoyingly great-looking people are turning fifty this year. Lenny Kravitz, Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reaves will all reach their half-century in 2014, an age they barely look when combined together. And these folks who’ve never done a hard day’s graft in their life are not the only lookers to be turning fifty; as this year also marks the fiftieth birthday of the Porsche 911.
Car manufacturers are never ones to let a contrived sales opportunity slip through their figures and so Porsche have moved to commemorate this milestone by releasing two new vehicles at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The first is a special limited edition 911 Carerra S, whilst the other is the German manufacturer’s new Supercar – the 918 Spyder which will roar off the end of the production line with a mere 880 horsepower to its name.
The 918 is not simply all about power and pace, key attributes though they may be. Instead the 918 Spyder is effectively Porsche’s answer to the McLaren P1 or the LaFerrari; a new future-minded hybrid petrol-electric supercar. That aforementioned horsepower comes courtesy of both a V8 engine that delivers a hefty 612bhp and a further 270bhp from the hybrid electric motors that deliver power through the front and rear axles.
All this power contributes to some pretty lightening pace, with the 918 Spyder capable of going from 0-62mph in 2.8 seconds, making it from 0-124mph in 7.9 seconds and a whopping 0-186mph in 23 seconds. This power and pace is aided by somewhat fanatical weight-saving including magnesium wheels and body wrap instead of paint – but the electric hybrid engine is not light and so the Spyder still comes in at 1640kg, and that’s before you’ve taken out temporary car insurance and lumped your own significantly hefty frame into the driving seat for a test drive.
The 918 Spyder has all the flash extras you would expect from a modern Supercar. Drivers can select from three modes; ‘Race’ for optional performance, ‘Sport’ for, er, sporty driving and ‘E-Mode’ for reduced fuel consumption. And that fuel consumption remains pretty good for a car of the 918’s power, with an impressive 78 mpg.
Whilst the Porsche 918 Spyder may not have the performance and power of the McLaren P1 or the LaFerrari it does have other things going for it if you’re looking for a more complete vehicle. For the impatient generation that we are the main plus is the ability to charge the Spyder’s batteries in just twenty-five minutes courtesy of Porsche’s bespoke high-speed charger. So though the power may not be at the optimum of others, at least you don’t have to wait as long to use it.
To conclude, it seems the likes of Ferrari, Mclaren, Aston Martin and Porsche are involved ina supercar war, and what makes it more exciting is the upcoming new Honda NSX which is scheduled to undercut all of them whilst providing same driving experience. This should be interesting…