Porsche 918 Spyder Production Version Details, Pricing and 911 Turbo S Companions Announced
Around this time last year we, along with much of the rest of the motoring world, were forcibly divorced from our textile foot coverings by a slinky, silver bullet of a concept car from Porsche, the 918 Spyder. Powered by a slightly tamed version of the 3.4L V8 found in the RS Spyder LMP2 racer that was paired with a tag team of electric motors and a plug-in lithium-ion battery pack, the 918 Spyder Concept was arguably the biggest hit of the last auto show season. When Porsche followed it up with a racing-oriented coupe version – the 918 GTS Concept – last fall, whispers of a production version grew louder.
Now those whispers are normal conversation voices, as Porsche has officially confirmed that the 918 Spyder will be going into production, albeit on a pretty limited basis. The fact that very little has changed relative to the concept car is a bit of a surprise, but it’s not half as surprising as the bonus being offered only to 918 Spyder buyers.
But first the business of the 918 itself. There’s a 4.0L normally-aspirated V8 mounted behind the cockpit and kicking out a perfectly healthy 500hp. It’s paired with Porsche’s 7-speed dual clutch PDK transmission. They’re joined by two electric motors – one for the front wheels and one for the rears – that add a total of 218hp. For the arithmetically-challenged, that’s a total of 718hp. What’s more, powering the front and rear axles separately makes adjusting the power split for-and-aft to optimize handling a breeze.
All that power means staggering speed numbers. Porsche says the 918 will bolt to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.1 seconds, and max out at about 199 mph. But the big news is Porsche is still claiming a 16-mile range on battery power and 78 mpg overall on the European driving cycle. EPA numbers are likely to be lower, but there’s a good chance they’ll still make a modern 6-cylinder family sedan look like a V10 Ford Excursion towing a HALO jumper’s parachute.
However, even without the staggering speed and efficiency, the 918 Spyder is still a stunner. If the renderings are any indication, the biggest visual changes versus the concept are the conventional side-view mirrors, front sidemarker lights, and a removable multi-piece targa top. It still has the big side scoops, pop-up rear spoiler and wild-looking wheels.
Now normally, this is where we tell you how much this thing costs, and we’re going to do exactly that: The 918 Spyder will retail for $845,000, with $200,000 of that covering the down payment. We’ll also tell you that production will begin on September 18, 2013 (9/18, geddit?) and production will be limited to 918 copies. What we don’t typically do in this part of the article is tell you about the vehicle’s options. Well, the 918 Spyder is offered with one of two very sweet (but very pricey) extras. Turns out that 918 Spyder buyers will also be offered the exclusive right to purchase a special 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder Coupe (seen below) or Cabriolet – replete with a matching silver with black and green accents color scheme and a numbered dash plaque – to be delivered later this year and, thus, help make the wait for your 918 Spyder a little more bearable. Be ready to front an extra $160,700 for a coupe or $172,100 for the droptop.
Don’t delay, operators are standing by. Of course, calling your local Porsche salesperson an operator might hurt his or her feelings, ergo we don’t recommend it. But we genuinely do recommend getting your keister in the queue, because there are definitely more than 918 pro athletes, oil sheiks, rappers and insufferable reality TV stars in the world.