Porsche built an empire on a tradition of challenging convention and never resting on its laurels, a tradition that continued in the Porsche 918 Spyder, and further with the Weissach Package integrated into this 2015 example, No. 712 of 918 produced worldwide. Introduced in concept form at the March 2010 Geneva Auto Show, the 918 was a drastic departure from its Carrera GT predecessor, a conspicuously analog machine with a naturally aspirated V-10 and a manual gearbox. The 918 is based on a similar carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) chassis using double-wishbone suspension with coil springs, and carbon-ceramic disc brakes, but its hybrid drivetrain was a distinctly different approach for Porsche.
In today’s world of rapidly advancing technologies, it is amazing that almost a decade after its inception, the 918 remains at the cutting edge of hypercar performance. It has the advantage of two decoupled power sources; one electric motor drives the front wheels, while a naturally aspirated V-8 and another electric motor power the rear through Porsche’s PDK 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
As is common practice in hybrid hyper-machines, the driver can select from several different driving modes, each one chosen by thumbing a red button conveniently positioned on the leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 918 can be started and driven in Electric Only mode for up to 19 miles. Switch to Hybrid mode or floor the throttle and the 4.6L V-8 barks to life, but just as suddenly quits when the driver lifts off the accelerator. Sport Hybrid mode keeps the engine running, the electric motors always ready to deliver extra boost for up to 20 seconds.
Race Hybrid mode fulfills the 918’s promise of mind-bending performance, awakening the car’s active aerodynamics and bringing to bear the full effect of the 80 linked onboard computers. The front radiator flaps open for maximum cooling, front diffuser intakes open up to increase dynamic balance, the speed-active rear wing assumes a more effective stance, and upshifts tighten to 50 milliseconds.
Derived from that of Porsche’s Le Mans-winning RS Spyder LMP2 racer, the 918’s sophisticated V-8, an all-aluminum DOHC engine with direct fuel injection and a carbon-polymer dry-sump oiling system, is a powerhouse all by itself, developing 608 HP at 8,700 RPM. Add the two electric motors’ combined 285 HP into the mix and the 918’s output crescendos at a glorious 887 HP, its flat-plane crank-induced song bellowing from twin tailpipes exiting heavenward right behind the cockpit. The 918’s spectacular power is complemented with Porsche’s Active Suspension Management, electric power rack-and-pinion steering and a rear-axle steering system, producing uncommonly precise control all the way up to its 217 MPH top speed.
This Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach’s impressive range of options includes carbon-fiber removable roof panels, lightweight bucket seats, Garnet Red leather upholstery, carbon floor mats with silver piping, glare-reduction interior package, Burmester high-end surround sound system, Homelink connectivity and back-up camera, front axle lift, Acid Green brake calipers and Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires on gold Cinel forged wheels (a set of 918 Spyder wheels is included). The car also features a black-gray film wrap.
The $84,000 Weissach Package shaves almost 100 pounds from the 918 through the use of ceramic wheel bearings, lighter brakes and titanium chassis bolts, all contributing to a 6-minute, 57-second lap at the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit in 2013, the first sub-7-minute time ever attained in a production car.
At just 999 miles, this 918 Spyder Weissach is an exceptional automobile that advances the state of the automotive art, one that will give its owner the extraordinary driving experience only a Porsche can deliver.
Images by David Newhardt, courtesy of Mecum Auctions.
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