Porsche 918 Spyder Review

Touted as the "ultimate hypercar," the Porsche 918 Spyder specs are those of the first production-based road car that broke the 7-minute barrier at the legendary Nurburgring. This plug-in hybrid supercar debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and was built from 2013–2015. Each Porsche 918 production number of 918 cars built appears on the hood, as well as in several spots inside the cabin. With an unprecedented combination of performance and efficiency, the 918 Spyder marked the beginning of a new era for supercars.

The Porsche 918 Spyder is powered by a combustion engine and two electric motors. When it comes to performance, the numbers are stunning: 0-60 in 2.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 4.9 seconds, 1/4 mile time of 9.8 seconds, and a top speed of 217 mph. All this performance and cutting-edge technology cannot come cheap, though. The Porsche 918 price for a new car was $845,000, but options like the Weissach package ($84,000) and Liquid Metal paint ($63,000) could push that price to over $1 million. Since Porsche stopped producing this model in 2015, the asking price for a used Porsche 918 Spyder has skyrocketed — it can easily exceed $1.6 million.

Driving the Porsche 918 Spyder is a pure delight. If you don't need a symphony from the V8, the front electric motor offers 12 miles of range. It is powered by a 6.8 kWh battery that forms the basis of the hybrid system. Charging the system can be done by the integrated 154 horsepower motor-generator inside the transmission. Alternatively, a 120-volt AC inverter and a high-voltage DC transformer are included. The final way to keep the batteries topped off is through regenerative braking. Instead of burning the brake pads, the front motor is used as a generator.

Porsche 918 Spyder Engine

To blast to over 200 mph, the 918 Spyder relies on a 4.6 L V8 engine and two electric motors. The fossil-fuel-fed Porsche 918 Spyder specs an engine that produces 608 horsepower. The total horsepower of the 918 Spyder is 887 hp, thanks to the performance boost from the two electric motors. The rear electric motor sends 154 horsepower into the transmission.

The second electric motor on the front axle makes 127 horsepower. Without help from the electric motors, the rear-mounted V8 engine, which is derived from the 2005 RS Spyder race car, revs to 9,150 rpm. The combustion engine reaches 398 lb-ft of torque at 6,700 rpm. The rear electric motor features innovative hybrid cooling with air and water. You can't easily admire the engine or e-motors, though. As the hood doesn't open, you'd have to take your Spyder to the dealer to take a peek at your Porsche 918 engine.

While the hybrid systems receive most of the notoriety, the V8 is worthy of serious praise. Porsche dusted off a racing engine originally designed in 2005. Filling it with titanium and forged steel allowed the piston speeds to rival Formula 1, with a redline of nearly 9,200 rpm. Not only does it make use of a flat-plane crankshaft, but the firing order is also reversed. The intake charge enters outboard and the exhaust fires upward from the engine valley directly into the mufflers. The accessories are crank-driven so there are no belts to break. At only 297 lbs, the Porsche 918 Spyder engine would be perfect for a one-make series so we hope they are reading this.

Porsche 918 Spyder Specs:

Price: $845,000
Engine: 4.6-liter V8 & Dual Hybrid Drive
Horsepower: 887
Torque: 944 lb-ft
0-60: 2.2 seconds
Top Speed: 217 mph
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch

Porsche 918 Spyder Transmission

The Porsche 918 Spyder specs an engine mounted so low down that Porsche engineering had to mount the 918 transmission upside down, for better weight distribution. The rear motor runs through the 7-speed PDK dual-clutch, while the front axle electric motor has only one gear. Surprisingly, the gear selector is a tiny lever mounted just to the right of the steering wheel. At high speed (over 164 mph), the 918 Spyder becomes rear-wheel drive only. That's because a decoupler disconnects the front electric motor to avoid over-revving. There are five driving modes: electric, hybrid, sport, racing and Hot Lap. The latter uses full engine power but depletes all-electric reserves. The beauty of the system is in the electric motors powering the car between the gear shifts. Obviously, the 918 offers brutal acceleration in any circumstance.

Porsche 918 Spyder Brakes

Because the Porsche 918 Spyder horsepower is 887 hp, it needs a matching high-performance braking system. The 918 Spyder has Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB). They have six-piston monoblock calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear. The ceramic discs at the front have a diameter of 16.1 inches. Those at the rear have a diameter of 15.4 inches. Through brake regeneration, the Porsche 918 Spyder specs that the brakes capture most of the energy that would be otherwise wasted as heat during braking. Furthermore, the electromechanical brakes of the 918 Spyder then store that energy in a battery and feed it back through the electric motors. Additionally, daily driving and light braking won't even invoke the hydraulic system, as both electric motors become generators when the brake pedal is pressed. So every week you need to do a few spirited stops to keep condensation out of your brake lines.

Top Porsche 918 Spyder Colors

Porsche 918 Spyder Design

Inspired by Porsche's previous supercars, the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque chassis of the 918 Spyder is lightweight and high-strength. The design of the Porsche hybrid 918 stands out thanks to the top-mounted exhaust pipes and massive rear spoiler. Both are adjustable from the control panel. The Porsche 918 Spyder specs a Targa roof, but you have to remove the top panels manually. They are easy to stow in the trunk. Another distinctive feature of the exterior design of the 918 Spyder is its "Acid Green"brake calipers.  Therefore, Porsche chose to add accents in the same color on the carbon bucket seats, seat belt, and steering wheel ensure design coherency. The Weissach Package adds several pieces of exposed carbon fiber along with gorgeous magnesium wheels. Unquestionably, the differences save over 80 lbs and make it easily distinguishable at a distance.

Porsche 918 Spyder Standout Features

The pinnacle of decades of engineering, the Porsche 918 Spyder blends high-tech, efficiency and performance in a weight-saving design. The standard version of the Porsche 918 Spyder weighs 3,691 lbs. With the optional 918 Weissach pack, which improves the driving dynamics, the car is lighter, weighing 3,602 lbs. The 918 Spyder with the Weissach package is the version that made the Porsche 918 Spyder Nurburgring time of 6:57 a reality.

Concurrently, the two electric motors draw their power from a 6.8 kW·h liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. It has a 20-mile electric range and a total range of 420 miles in hybrid mode. The Porsche Universal Charger takes seven hours to charge the battery when connected to a 110-volt household AC socket. Or only two hours with a 240-volt power supply. An optional HVDC Speed Charging Station can fully charge the lithium-ion battery in 25 minutes. The Porsche 918 Spyder specs are an incredibly fast hybrid for technology aficionados.

For those who demand the ultimate from every situation, the Porsche 918 Spyder standout features make it truly unique. Starting with exterior pleasantries, the Porsche 918 was offered in several classic liveries. Potential owners tried to outdo each other with several references to the 917, with sponsors including Marlboro, Martini, and Gulf Oil. As those cars were built with motorsports in mind, they most certainly arrived with the Weissach Package.

Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package

Named after their development center, the Weissach Package was a shrewd way to make a Porsche 918 Spyder for sale stand out from the crowd. For only $84,000, your car would arrive 90 lbs lighter. Every detail was scrutinized inside and out, starting with the bolts. Instead of steel, every fastener was machined from titanium. The RS-Spyder magnesium wheels, titanium brake pads, and lack of sound insulation are details we enjoy because they make the driving experience much more rewarding.

To summarize the greatest Porsche to date, it can be an eco-friendly green machine, or tear up the Nurburgring. While the Porsche 918 Spyder price may be high, it's worth every single penny.

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Image Source: Porsche