214 mph never looked so effortless.
Long before the all-electric Taycan, Porsche showcased its electrification expertise in the hybrid 918 Spyder. It combined a 4.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 and two electric motors for total system outputs of 887 horsepower and 944 lb-ft of torque. Porsche claimed a top speed of 214 mph and the folks from Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds wanted to find out if they could reach that figure with a five-year-old 918.
The top speed test was run over 2.3 miles, just enough to see the 918 touch the 214-mph mark less than a minute after taking off. We suggest watching the entire video, but if you're the impatient type, the 918 reaches its maximum just after the 1'00" mark.
Even though it's a couple of years old, this 918 still accelerates with incredible force. It flies through the 100 mph barrier in no time and the rapid increase in speed only starts tapering off at about 170 mph. The final gear change takes place at 183 mph and from there, the 918 took another 28 seconds to reach its top speed.
Despite Porsche's claims of 0-62 mph in 2.6 seconds and 0-200 mph in 7.2, independent tests improved on those numbers, shaving a tenth off the sprint to 62 mph and with 200 mph coming up in just seven seconds. Back when it was released, these were groundbreaking numbers for a plug-in hybrid and they remain phenomenal today.
With only 918 units of the 918 Spyder produced, the car has begun fetching stunning amounts at auctions, as is typical with limited-run Porsche models. Just two months ago, we set eyes on an Acid Green 918 that was expected to fetch about $1.5 million. Along with the first-generation Panamera S Hybrid, the 918 showcased that Porsche's legendary performance credentials could be maintained - and even improved - by turning to electric power.
Even though we once asserted that top speed runs don't mean much at all, the boy racer in all of us still gets a kick out of living vicariously through the lucky drivers of these high-speed tests - and even more so when it's a rare Porsche.