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2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/20/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The Porsche 918 Spyder is a new limited production supercar that features a plug-in hybrid powertrain derived from racecars such as the 911 GT3 R Hybrid. The 918 Spyder features a carbon fiber monocoque for reduced weight and a lower center of gravity.

Research

Vehicle Summary

Serving as the Porsche brand's halo car, the 918 Spyder is a powered by a 4.6-liter hybrid V-8 with a total system output of 887 hp and paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission mounted in the car's rear transaxle. Fuel economy is surprisingly good at 20/24 mpg city/highway, while its electric only range is estimated at around 12 miles. The car's roof is also removable and can be stowed in the cargo area up front.

Overview

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder provides excellent performance, delivering outstanding acceleration and impressive driving dynamics thanks to its track-ready chassis and suspension. An available $84,000 Weissach Package improves performance by making the car 77 pounds lighter with carbon fiber parts on certain components such as the roof, rear spoiler, windshield surround, mirror caps, and rear anti-roll bars. The car's paint is also replaced with a foil wrap, and adds ceramic wheel bearings, titanium brake pads, and backing plates. Inside, the standard upholstery is swapped with non-flammable cloth, has less carpeting, and deletes the glove box. Two paint "Liquid Metal" exterior schemes in silver or blue shade are also available for $63,000.

Despite its performance-minded tuning, the 918 Spyder is a pleasant road car with good ride quality and a well-appointed cabin without the Weissach Package. However, since comfort isn't its primary mission, the car's seats are upright and don't have many adjustments while the steering wheel only telescopes.

What We Think

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is a technologically advanced hybrid supercar that provides impeccable driving dynamics and acceleration that surpasses early iterations of the Bugatti Veyron. In a First Test review, a 918 Spyder ran from 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds thanks to its torquey hybrid powertrain. However, the brakes proved problematic because during a lap around Willow Springs, we noted that it provided good stopping power in one turn but was too weak on the next, making them unpredictable. The car's handling on the other is impeccable and is "stable and impressively balanced," making the 918 more accessible than its predecessor, the Carrera GT. Comfort levels, despite the upright non-adjustable seats, are good for such a high performance car with a ride quality that is "surprisingly supple for its track duties."

You'll Like

  • Outstanding driving dynamics
  • Surprisingly good ride quality
  • Insanely quick acceleration

You Won't Like

  • Unpredictable brakes
  • Non adjustable seating
  • Hard to read switches and graphics

Key Competitors

  • McLaren P1
  • Ferrari LaFerrari
  • Pagani Huayra
  • Lamborghini Aventador
  • Bugatti Veyron

Rating

5 star

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