2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
First shown as a concept at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, the 918 Spyder combined classic Porsche virtues with groundbreaking technical capability. It featured an innovative hybrid drivetrain that promised otherworldly performance with high fuel efficiency and an extended battery range. The 918 Spyder prototype was met with a rapturous reception from both media and customers, and a production model debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, followed by a short production run of 918 examples assembled at the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory.
Inspired by historic Porsche racing cars, the 918’s Michael Mauer-designed bodywork was predominantly crafted from carbon fiber reinforced plastic and defined by a sloped nose, exhaust pipes exiting from the rear deck lid, and detachable roof panels that converted the cabin to open-air motoring. The driver-focused cockpit was swathed in leather, Alcantara, aluminum, and carbon fiber and dominated by a bold, flying-buttress center console. The 918’s monocoque chassis and subframe were made from CFRP for extreme torsional rigidity and lightweight construction. Featuring a double-wishbone suspension in front and a multi-link arrangement in the rear, the handling was complemented by a speed-sensitive rear-axle steering system, which improved cornering.
Derived from the famed Le Mans-winning RS Spyder endurance racer, the 4.6-liter V-8 used a carbon-reinforced polymer dry sump lubrication system. It was fitted with titanium connecting rods, thin-wall castings on the crankcase and cylinder heads, a high-strength lightweight crankshaft, and a performance Inconel exhaust system. For optimal driving dynamics, the drivetrain and major components were precisely positioned within the chassis, creating a low center of gravity and mass centralization.
Developing 608 hp at 8,700 rpm, the V-8 worked in tandem with two electric motors mounted to the front and rear axles. The AC motors recuperated energy from the ceramic composite disc brakes and sent it back to the battery, providing additional power. Connected to Porsche’s seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, the sophisticated plug-in hybrid system combined for a total maximum output of 887 hp and 940 lbs./ft. of torque. Furthermore, the car could be run solely on electric power with a range of 19 miles. The 918 received much acclaim for its high performance and efficiency, with Porsche providing figures of 0–60 mph in 2.5 seconds, 0–120 mph in 7.2 seconds, and a top speed of 217 mph. Independent tests proved the 918 even quicker, with Car and Driver reporting 0–60 mph in just 2.2 seconds in August 2014 – the quickest car the magazine had ever tested.
The example offered here, chassis 596, is one of 162 US cars equippedwith the optional Weissach Package, which is named for the Porsche R&D facility in Germany. The $84,000 package includes lightweight magnesium wheels, reduced cabin insulation, ceramic wheel bearings, titanium chassis hardware, and six-point racing harnesses. The resultant 90-pound weight savings shaved two-tenths of a second off its 0–62 mph times. Porsche used a similar Weissach 918 to break the standing lap record at the Nürburgring with a remarkable 6:57 time.
Ordered new in Rhodium Silver Metallic with contrasting carbon fiber panels and Acid Green brake calipers, this 918 Weissach was also optioned with the front-axle lift system, carbon fiber floor mats, accented stripe seat belts, and custom tailoring option. It was delivered new through Park Place Porsche in Dallas. The car retains its factory-issued accessories, including the car covers, windscreen deflector wing, tow hook, first-aid kit, air compressor, battery charger, and charger mounting station. Some items are still in the original wrappers and packages.
Showing only 92 miles at the time of cataloguing, this pristine example presents like new. The car is complete with its original window sticker, books, dealer service documentation, and safety recall compliance records. It has been residing in a climate-controlled private storage facility, seeing regular service, exercise, and attention from its fastidious owner.
A powerhouse of innovative technology, this factory-lightweight 918 Weissach puts Porsche’s racing prowess into a beautiful Spyder body, which is destined to be remembered as a modern masterpiece. The example offered here represents a low-mile, well-optioned, and strikingly handsome car in which to experience the cutting edge of Porsche’s formidable performance engineering.