New Year’s Eve – it’s always overrated, right? But for our Munich-based photographer Stefan Bogner, the New Year can’t come soon enough, for there’s been a project in the pipeline that he’s itching to share. The experimental photographic book beautifully documents Porsche’s flagship supercar, the 918 Spyder, on a criss-cross journey across Europe. Locations include the Weissach test facility, the Nürburgring, the almost infinite straights of Nardo, and the pretty Flüela Pass. It might have been the first production sports car to lap the Nordschleife in fewer than seven minutes, but how will it cope on this unfamiliar, snowy terrain?
A unique opportunity at -19 degrees
“We were returning to Weissach from Nardo with the test car when we encountered a snow-covered Engadine,” recalls Bogner. “At -19 degrees, we removed the two roof panels from the car and spontaneously rented a helicopter, for we knew an opportunity like this would not come again. Safe in the knowledge that few owners would even drive their 918s in the winter, let alone bring them to a snowy Alpine pass, it just had to be done.”
Andreas Henke from Porsche Marketing, the man behind the wheel in these stunning photos, recalls the rather sideways experience with pleasure. “Even on snow, you’re able to stay in perfect control thanks to the 918’s electric all-wheel-drive system,” he says. “The only thing you must watch is the carbon front splitter. You can achieve serious slip with the slightest touch of throttle, but even at silly angles the car can always be caught with the front axle. Throttle response is unlike any other sports car.”
An unconventional project
The project will be published on 15 January 2015 – a trilogy including a sumptuous picture book, a story book with the history and development of the 918 Spyder, and a ‘fact book’ with all the relevant data, facts and figures about the hybrid hypercar. As well as Bogner and Henke, Porsche press officer Hans-Gerd Bode and Edwin Baaske from Delius Klasing Verlag were involved in the project that promises to be as passionate and unconventional as the 918 Spyder itself.
Bogner’s dramatic photography of the car in unusual locations is complemented by trusted author Jürgen Pander’s text, which contains insights from behind the closed doors of the Weissach Porsche Development centre, and from personalities such as engineers Gernot Dölner and Frank-Steffen Walliser, design chief Michael Mauer, and rally legend/dynamics expert Walter Röhrl.