Development of Porsche’s upcoming supercar, the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid
, is progressing nicely, with the company moving from concept to test mule to final prototype stage in rapid fashion and with things so far remaining on track.
In the past year or so we’ve spied prototypes for the car
undergoing hot weather testing in Spain and proving durability and speed at the Nürburgring, and we bet we’ll see some running across frozen lakes near the Arctic Circle in the winter time.
Today, Porsche has revealed the car in vintage Martini Racing livery and confirmed that engineers are seeking a lap time at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife of less than 7:22.
We suspect the 918 Spyder will lap the arduous German circuit considerably faster than that considering Porsche’s own 911 GT2 RS will do it in just 7:18. Other production supercars with impressive ‘Ring times include the 2012 Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition (7:14.64), 2010 Dodge Viper ACR (7:12:13) and the Gumpert Apollo Sport (7:11.57). The Carrera GT, meanwhile, the car being replaced by the 918 Spyder, has a Nürburgring lap time of 7:28.
As previously confirmed, the 918 Spyder is scheduled to enter production in September of 2013 before starting delivery soon after. Only 918 examples will be built, each priced from $845,000 (not including destination and taxes)--as a bonus, Porsche is also reportedly developing a special track pack for the car
For this money you get a sexy looking supercar with an advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 4.6-liter V-8 and seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission matched to a pair of electric motors in parallel. This means the 918 Spyder will be able to run in either electric-only, gas-only or hybrid modes. And since there are power units on both axles, it will also have an all-wheel drive mode.
Owners will be able to top up the car’s 6.8 kWh lithium-ion battery at home and this should provide an electric-only driving range of about 15 miles and top speed of 93 mph. A brake-energy recovery system working in conjunction with the standard carbon ceramic brake discs will be able to increase that driving range, however.
Overall, Porsche is predicting 0-60 times for its 918 Spyder of under 3.0 seconds and a top speed in excess of 202 mph when all power sources are working. The best part is that fuel economy could be as high as 78 mpg. Not bad for a car that will output close to 770 horsepower and lap the Nürburgring in less than 7:22.
In case you were wondering, the Martini Racing livery similar to that seen above was used on numerous Porsche race cars throughout the years, particularly from the 1970s--Martini was the official partner of the Porsche factory team between 1973 and 1978. One of them was the 917 race car, which precedes the 918 and has inspired much of the new look. To honor these legendary racers, Porsche and Martini have signed a new partnership agreement to create a modern Martini Racing design that customers will be able to order on the 918 Spyder.