The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder has made its debut as the fastest ever car in production. Not only is it the quickest Porsche on the road, it’s the quickest road car by any maker. It reaches 60 miles per hour in an incredible 2.2 seconds and can go a quarter mile in just 9.8 seconds. No other production car tested by Car and Driver experts has such a powerful accelerating ability. If two of these vehicles started accelerating from rest at either end of a mile-long tunnel, they would be traveling at more than 350 miles per hour when they passed each other in the middle.
Shaving Tenths of Seconds Off the Next in Line
Cars with this kind of power are hard to come by. The quickest production car of 2008 took 2.5 seconds to reach the 60 mph mark. This was the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, and it took 10.1 ticks to do a quarter mile. This was impressive at the time, and still is. In fact, the Bugatti Veyron is actually equal to the Porsche 918 when the miles per hour mark is raised to 180. Nonetheless, in just seven years, Porsche has raised the bar in a huge way. Three tenths of a second sounds like very little – in fact, it’s about the amount of time it takes for a person to blink – but it becomes an even more amazing achievement as the overall values shrink, since it becomes a much larger percentage of the whole.
Other production cars that are among the most powerful accelerators include the McLaren 12C, the Lamborghini Aventador, the BMW M4, the Honda Accord Coupe V-6 EX-L and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.
A Sleek and Imposing Figure
As is befitting such a powerful vehicle, the Porsche 918 has a sleek and muscular body with wheels prominently featured. Looking at its very best in a scintillating silver, it brings to mind a fierce jungle cat poised to pounce on its prey more readily than it does a spider. The driver sits low to the ground behind a supply curved front.
Design Goals Met and Surpassed
The 918 Spyder was designed to represent the Porsche ideal, which is to merge motor racing technology with the practicality that everyday drivers require. The team tasked with developing this automotive masterpiece was instructed to maximize performance while keeping consumption to a minimum, and create the look, feel and power of a first-rate sports car by means of an efficient hybrid drive. The team started with a completely blank sheet of paper, and they sought to create from scratch the car that would be the premier production sports car for the coming decade.
The design team more than met this goal. With a hybrid drive as the focus for the design, the 918 Spyder will set the standard for Porsche sports cars in subsequent decades just as the Porsche 911 has done for the past 50 years. The Spyder’s hybrid drive was developed to a degree of perfection never seen before, and it has accomplished the goal of improving both performance and efficiency without sacrificing either of the two. Experts expect the Spyder to set the standards for an entire generation of sports cars.
The Power of Hybrid Drive
The key to the Spyder’s success is hybrid drive. In fact, Porsche has become a true pioneer in the arena of hybrid drive through its achievement with this top-of-the-line sports car. The driving dynamics of the vehicle have been greatly enhanced by this innovative technology and drivers will enjoy the unique feel of the combination of electric motor and combustion engine on the rear axle and the front axle’s second electric motor.
The engineers who designed, crafted and produced the 918 Spyder tapped into their expertise from working on race cars. They partnered with specialists in series production to pool insight from Porsche race car development. Several design components from the Porsche race cars developed for the 2014 Le Mans race have been incorporated into the Spyder. The highly successful 911 GT3 R Hybrid was the basis for the groundbreaking hybrid technology used in the Spyder. Thanks to the highly sophisticated “boost” technology, drivers can tap into the Spyder’s full power simply by depressing the accelerator as far as it goes. This allows people with little or no motorsport expertise to feel the full thrill of advanced transverse and longitudinal dynamics.
The 918 Spyder is truly a record breaking vehicle, and it certainly looks the part as well. It will be quite a challenge for future vehicles to surpass the astonishing 2.2-second race from 0 to 60!