Porsche recently posted a picture on twitter of the mighty Spider 918, the hybrid supercar that shall challenge the likes of a Ferrari and a McLaren P1 in the future. It was however, instantly clarified that the image represents an updated pre-production version and that the ultimate version will be unveiled at Frankfurt. The updated prototype has been ambitiously priced at $1.7 million with the option of availing a Weissach pack. But then prospective buyers will get an exclusive kit and here is why.
Porsche has found more from the race-oriented V8 engine of the 918 Spyder. It has also turbo-charged the electrical systems. As a result, the 918 Spyder has a total power rating of 887bhp, almost 100bhp more from previous models and designs. The breakup of the power distribution is 608 bhp from the V8 engine, 149 bhp from the back electric motor and 129 bhp from the front one. Meanwhile, the aggregate weight has been substantially reduced to 1640 kg in the pre-production variant, thanks partly to the weight saving Weissach Pack.
The zero-to-100 mph acceleration is achieved within eight seconds, which is a second better than Porsche's original estimations. Such an agile engine would normally result in drastic loss of engine torque, but thankfully the 918's electric motors, which spring to action at low revolutions, come to the car’s rescue. With a hybrid engine combination, torque is available everywhere. At around 4000rpm, the car’s engine is already generating faster speeds; so that downwards shifting of gears are something can be done at ease without requiring an obligation to do so.
It is slightly larger than a Cayenne and difficult to get into and has such poor back visibility that it really does need the traditional rear-view camera, but essentially the 918 is not as menacing as it may appear. For example, forward and horizontal visibility is good. Occupants of the car can sit fairly upright, and the screen pillars are slender and well positioned. In addition to that the attractive curl of the front section swells up into a driver’s field of view, so that the person gets a strapping sense of the car's proportion at all times while being maneuvered or driven at an angle.
The cockpit’s design is prudent too, boasting of swish navigation-communications-entertainment system, with an exquisite touch-to-heave, pinch-to-zoom screen. The interiors are substantially comfy, having a perfect infotainment interface, and it has got an easily detachable roof. It's even got a cup-holder. The electric-mode makes it eerily quiet for people desirous of a cool and serene driving atmosphere. The batteries can be charged from a special wall embedded box within half an hour, which will enable the car to run a cumulative distance of 15-20 miles per duration of charge. During e-mode mode, the Spider 918 delivers 268 horsepower, distributed equally amongst the four wheels. It's a soft, hurried and comparatively quiet mode, and reaches zero-60 in about eight seconds. However, during test drives it is found that the E-mode is hardly athletic and in future it may just happen that the e-mode be used only for cantering to city centers where gasoline driven cars are banned. E-mode is nothing but a mere add-on, a tool to get attention-grabbing carbon dioxide numbers, and an endeavor to improve the car's liveliness when the V8 is running.