Presented by RM Sotheby’s – Images by Greg Keysar – Competing against the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder proved to be able to hold its own against the very best that the automotive industry could muster. Utilizing premium materials, top-quality components, and cutting-edge technology, Porsche created a car that was not only stunning in its performance, but one that was equally stunning in its looks and sheer attention to detail.
Cradled in a chassis constructed almost entirely of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic composite, the 918’s heart is a 90-degree V-8 based upon that found in Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 Le Mans prototypes. Thanks to its flat-plane crankshaft, titanium connection rods, four valves per cylinder, and dry-sump lubrication, it can rev to an ear-piercing 9,000 rpm. As a result, it puts out a 608 horsepower, which equates to an incredible 133 horsepower per liter of displacement.
In addition to this, the 918 Spyder’s combustion engine is supported by a pair of electric motors, with one being mated to the engine itself and another providing drive to the front axle. These electric motors produce an additional 284 horsepower, bringing the 918 Spyder’s total output to 887 horsepower and 994 pound-feet of torque. All this horsepower is managed through Porsche’s tried-and-true PDK seven-speed transmission, and its delivery can be further refined through five driving modes, ranging from full electric to “Hot Lap,” which utilizes every ounce of available performance from the powertrain. Sixty miles per hour can be reached from a standstill in under 2.5 seconds, a time faster than both the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari, leading towards a top speed of 211 mph. Comparing performance figures between “the big three” showed that not only was the 918 the fastest to 60 mph, it also boasted the furthest electric-only range, lowest carbon dioxide emissions, and lowest fuel consumption.
Of course, the brakes utilized to bring the car to a halt are just as mighty as the 918 Spyder’s gargantuan powertrain. Massive carbon-ceramic discs sitting behind the car’s lightweight alloy wheels measure at 410 millimeters in diameter at the front with six-piston calipers and 390 millimeters in diameter at the rear with four-piston calipers. Assisting the car’s handling and downforce are a handful of active aerodynamic features, including an adjustable rear wing, a pair of under-floor flaps in the nose, and further adjustable flaps in the headlamp area.
SERIAL NO. 337
This 918 Spyder, serial number 337, has been beautifully outfitted from the factory with a number of desirable options—all of which brought the original retail price to nearly $900,000 USD. Clad in the classic Porsche color scheme of Meteor Grey Metallic over Garnet red leather with silver piping, this Spyder features a smattering of additional interior furnishings which include heated lightweight seats, an Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, and Porsche’s “glare reducing packaging.” Other desirable features include the front-axle lift system and set of distinctive, 21-inch lightweight magnesium wheels. The consignor ordered serial number 337 new through Porsche of Towson in Towson, Maryland. Delivered in December 2014, it now indicates just under 2,620 miles driven at the time of cataloguing.
Accompanying invoices show a standard two-year intermediate maintenance regimen completed in March 2017 by Porsche of Towson which included a full fluid flush, new filters, am oil change, and a set of spark plugs for this Spyder’s combustion engine. 337 received its four-year major service in December of 2018 at the same dealer; accompanying invoices show that the car received a full suite of new transverse control arms, spark plugs, ignition coil packs, filters, and a complete fluid flush to the tune of nearly $8,000 USD. An annual oil change at Porsche of Towson followed in April of 2020, marking the most recent service to this meticulously maintained and rarely enjoyed 918 Spyder.
The 918 is a unique example from within the Porsche portfolio as it bridges the gap between traditional, combustion engines and completely electric powertrains. Before the successful introduction of the totally electric Taycan for 2020, Porsche seemed unsure as to whether buyers, and especially enthusiasts, would seize on an electric car from Zuffenhausen. The company undoubtedly utilized the 918 to introduce electric power to enthusiasts, invigorate them, and also adapt its lessons to the development of the Taycan.
With very few examples produced, the 918 Spyder’s collectability and allure seem destined to increase with Porsche’s continued successes in their electric vehicle development.
This vehicle will be offered at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island auction, taking place 22 May during the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. In-person and remote bidding options are available; contact RM Sotheby’s to register to bid.