Feature Flick: Hot Lap in the Porsche 918 Spyder

The Porsche 918 Spyder is fast. Really, really fast. Few will ever get to experience the surely gut-wrenching sensation of 887 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque at over 213 mph, but a first-person video of Porsche factory racing driver Patrick Long taking a hot lap around Texas's Circuit of the Americas might be the next-best thing.

Long buckles into the Porsche 918 and starts it up, but there are only gleaming lights and a faint whining sound to sample in all-electric E-Power mode. Then, Long switches the 918 into Drive mode, firing up the 608-hp 4.6-liter V-8, conveniently mounted right behind his head. The engine’s exhaust pipes are also in that neighborhood, which deputy editor Joe DeMatio confirmed, “sounds as cool as it looks and looks as cool as it sounds,” when he drove the hybrid supercar. “The car sounds amazing, a rich mixture of whirring and regenerating motors and raw, metallic internal combustion.”

Porsche 918 Spyder project manager Frank-Steffen Walliser told us that the supercar’s roaring grunt was the product of extensive tuning and research. “The sound in the beginning was hard, no real sound, just loud. We threw everything away and started, really, from scratch only a year or so ago,” said Walliser. “You hear not a lot from the mechanics; especially if the windows are down, you hear the throttles and the incoming air, and then you hear the really big exhaust a yard away from your ears, especially with an open top.”

Sliding through the corners at high-speeds like it’s a summer stroll, Patrick Long handles the Porsche 918 Spyder with astonishing confidence as the track lines meld into a pinkish blur. Don’t be fooled though—there’s some serious G-force at play that he appears to be brushing off like a piece of stray lint. When DeMatio sat shotgun in a hot lap with Long during his visit to the Circuit of the Americas, he admitted it was a bit more than he bargained for.

“My abdominal organs feel like they have been shot through the seatback and into the engine compartment,” he said. “I pride myself on having an incredibly strong stomach, but I’m wondering if this was such a great idea.”

Watch the video for the full first-person experience of Patrick Long lapping the Porsche 918 Spyder, which thankfully won’t make you lose your lunch.

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