In the 21st century, more than ever, cutting-edge automotive technology has been playing a massive role in the design and development of supercars. While the century’s first batch of supercars — the Porsche Carrera GT, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and Ferrari Enzo — all sported large, naturally aspirated engines, the next 10 years would see sweeping changes and developments in hybrid technology.
Manufacturers quickly realized that hybrid powertrains could not only be used to reduce emissions and create highly fuel-efficient vehicles but could also be used to increase performance in ultra-high-performance sports cars. By using the electric powertrain to support the conventional powertrain at its weakest, performance could be pushed to boundaries never thought possible, all while decreasing emissions in an industry becoming ever more scrutinized for carbon pollution.
The 918 is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine, producing 608 brake horsepower, and the electric powertrain, powered by two electric motors, producing 279 brake horsepower, making for a total hybrid output of 887 brake horsepower. Mated to the Porsche’s incredible Doppelkupplung 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, performance is breathtaking, to say the least. It could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 2.6 seconds, onwards to a top speed of 345 km/h (214 mph). Furthermore, the car can be run solely on electric power, with a maximum range of 31 km (19 miles).
In an effort to further intensify the 918’s driving experience, buyers could opt for the Weissach package for their 918. For a price of $80,000, numerous modifications were made to make the car as light as possible. Many parts of the interior normally swathed in leather were replaced with lighter Alcantara, and carbon fiber replaced a large portion of aluminum components. Super-lightweight magnesium wheels were fitted, and the windscreen frame, roof, rear wings and rear-view mirrors were also made out of carbon fiber. This accounted for a reduction of 99 pounds of weight over the standard 918 Spyder and an instantly discernible increase in performance.
Produced in late 2014 as a 2015 model, this particular 918 Spyder is an incredibly highly optioned example. First and foremost, it is outfitted with the desirable Weissach package, further increasing its performance. Its exterior color is a “paint to sample” Metallic White that is unavailable as a standard color, and the interior is black with Acid Green highlights with Alcantara and seat belts with matching Acid Green accent stripes. Furthermore, the car is fitted with the front-axle lift system, the glare-reducing interior package, automatic air conditioning, Porsche’s wonderful Burmester surround sound stereo system, and the optional cup holder.
It was delivered new to the United States and is currently in the hands of its second owner. Sparingly driven, the car’s odometer reads less than 1,500 miles from new. Following a full clear-bra wrap, the car remains in flawless condition inside and out.
As Porsche’s most high-tech supercar since the 959, the 918 Spyder is sure to become a future collectible. Yet as a fully roadworthy and capable automobile with four-wheel drive, it is considered by many to be the easiest to drive of the hybrid-hypercar trio and could be driven on a daily basis if so desired.