Alas, the patent images have nothing to do with a 918 successor.
Porsche fans rejoiced last week when new patent images discovered online seemingly previewed a new hypercar successor to the Porsche 918 Spyder. Prepare to be disappointed, however, because it turns out the patents were for a car we've already seen.
Designs submitted to the German Patent and Trademark database showed a mid-engined Porsche supercar that looks very similar to the 917 Living Legend concept unveiled last year to celebrate the legendary Le Mans racer's 50th anniversary. Unlike the concept, the patent design features road car headlights and less aggressive aero, sparking speculation that we could be looking at an early design of a 918 Spyder successor.
After all, the Porsche 918 Spyder ended production five years ago, so it isn't unreasonable to imagine that Porsche has started working on a successor. Car and Driver contacted Porsche about the mysterious patent, but a spokesperson confirmed the patent filing was actually for the 917 Living Legend concept.
"There is no connection with a potential future sports car," the spokesperson confirmed. Mystery solved. Don't despair, however, because it's no secret that Porsche is plotting a 918 Spyder successor. Whereas the Porsche 918 Spyder was a groundbreaking hybrid hypercar that formed part of the holy trinity alongside the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, its successor could be fully electric.
A final decision about what form it will take hasn't been made yet, but it would make sense for Porsche to launch an electric halo hypercar positioned above the Taycan, especially as the automaker has a 15.5 percent stake in Rimac. Porsche is also targeting a lap time of six minutes and 30 seconds at the Nurburgring for its next hypercar. This would be a significant improvement over its predecessor, which lapped the Green Hell in six minutes and 57 seconds, setting a new production lap record back in 2013.
Unfortunately, we still have a long time to wait because Porsche's halo models usually launch around every 10 years. The Porsche 918 Spyder went on sale in 2015, so the German automaker's next hypercar might not arrive until 2025.