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Porsche 918 Takes a Bow at Frankfurt

Supercar / 112 Comments

Sets new Nurburgring lap record of 6 mins 57 secs.

There's not much to say that hasn't already been said about Porsche's hybrid hypercar. Having debuted at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in concept guise, two-and-a-half years later the production-ready 918 Spyder is visually virtually unchanged with only minor differences made to the plug-in hybrid drivetrain. A race-bred 4.6-liter V8 featuring carbon-fiber components rated at 608 hp is paired to a 154 hp electric motor at the rear and 127 hp motor up front for a combined output of 887 hp and 940 lb-ft of torque.

Although less than the 903-hp McLaren P1 and 949-hp LaFerrari, at $845,000 the Porsche will be cheaper, and comes with comparable performance figures, up to a point. The dash to sixty comes in at 2.8 seconds, 0-124 mph is clocked at 7.7 seconds, but the 918 labors to 186 mph in 22 seconds, a good seven seconds slower than the LaFezza. It is, however, awesome as a hybrid. On electric power alone, it can reach 93 mph, hit 0-62 mph in seven seconds and manage up to 20 miles per charge that can take just 25 minutes to juice with a DC fast charger. From E-Power to Hot Lap there are five modes, set using a control on the steering wheel.

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At the extreme end of the scale, the battery is no longer charged while everything is cranked up to the max, designed to set lap records. The 918 Spyder also has three aerodynamic modes to aid performance, however there's no getting away from the fact it weighs in at a hefty 3,715 pounds. That said, at 6.57 minutes, the 918 Spyder now holds the Nurburgring lap record for a production car, shaving 14 seconds off the previous record while driving at an average speed of over 111 mph. A state-of-the-art interior is as modern as the 918's drivetrain, sporting LED panels and a glass and aluminum-trimmed center colomn housing a tablet for t/he controls.