The Porsche 918 Spyder together with its archrivals, the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1, mark a stunning turning point in sports car development. All three seamless integrate hybrid electric technology into their performance envelope, thus mapping the way for future generations of supercars.
Eminently capable of mind-bending speed and astonishing driving dynamics, the 918 Spyder is not quite the antithesis of its uncompromising, analog predecessor, the Carrera GT, though it is indeed far less of a hard-edged track-weapon. Its hybrid powertrain and other attributes made it more well-rounded than the singularly focused Carrera GT, with astounding everyday useability. Additionally, it boasted the furthest electric-only range, lowest carbon dioxide emissions, and lowest fuel consumption when compared to its direct competitors, the LaFerrari and P1. It was also the most understated of the three in terms of design.
Cradled in a chassis constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced composites, the mid-engine 918 Spyder’s heart is a 90-degree V-8 based on the engine from the Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 Le Mans prototype. Thanks to its flat-plane crankshaft, titanium connection rods, four valves per cylinder, and dry-sump lubrication, it revs to an ear-piercing 9,000 rpm and delivers 608 horsepower, which equates to an incredible 133 horsepower per liter of displacement. With its pair of electronic motors, the 918 Spyder’s total output reaches 887 horsepower and 994 pound-feet of torque. Zero to 60 mph comes in less than 2.5 seconds—quicker than both the P1 and LaFerrari—while top speed reaches 211 mph.
Power gets routed through Porsche’s wonderfully adaptable PDK seven-speed automated manual transmission, capable of firing off lightning-quick shifts with paddle flicks or unobtrusively selecting gears on its own in automatic mode. Five driving modes tailor chassis, engine, and transmission dynamics to road conditions or the driver’s mood, ranging from the lulling full-electric mode to “Hot Lap,” which employs every ounce of available performance from the powertrain.
The car’s brakes are as mighty as its incredible powertrain. Front carbon-ceramic discs as large as other cars’ wheels measure 16 inches in diameter and feature six-piston calipers, while the rears measure 15 inches and make use of four-piston calipers. Active aerodynamic features, including an adjustable rear wing, a pair of under-floor flaps in the nose, and flaps in the headlamp area, combine with the car’s all-wheel-drive system to provide uncanny stability and grip at any speed.
Only 918 examples of the 918 Spyder were produced. The one offered here is number 488 and has a production date of 15 March 2015. It is one of only four 918 Spyders finished in the stunning factory paint-to-sample color of Mexico Blue, which beautifully offsets the car’s understated beauty. The Onyx Black leather interior features piping and other details in Acid Green, the color Porsche uses to highlight its hybrid-electric models, which is featured on the brake calipers and exterior badging. The cabin is further enhanced with the desirable Carbon Fiber Interior Package, which complements the optional exposed carbon-fiber mirror caps and rear wing. To make daily driving less stressful, the car was also equipped from the factory with the optional stone guard to protect the lower bodywork, the front-axle lift system to help negotiate speed bumps and inclines, the HomeLink system to ease garage entry, and the 25-foot cable to conveniently charge the 6.8 kilowatt-hour battery. In addition, the car has been fully wrapped in paint-protection film to preserve its unique finish.
For marque enthusiasts and collectors who have been wanting to own Porsche’s landmark hypercar, this example is highly compelling with its low mileage, numerous desirable factory features and ultra-rare Mexico Blue livery.