Want to buy a Porsche 918 Spyder? Just hop in your private plane and come on down to the 918 Spyder dealership!
On the Thursday evening of the annual car-celebration weekend on California's Monterey Peninsula, Porsche hosted a group of international media at the Monterey Jet Center at the Monterey airport for a private viewing of the Porsche 918 Spyder concept from this year's Geneva Motor Show. This is the car's U.S. debut, but we scribes weren't the first to see it Stateside: knowing its audience for the recently confirmed future production version of the 918 Spyder, Porsche had already set up the car on a well-lit stage in a big white airplane hangar for prospective customers to have private viewings. Why here, at the airport? So that the very well-heeled folks who might decide to buy this car could simply fly in, taxi over to the hangar, hop out, see the car and hear the spiel, and then hop back in and fly away. "We had one couple who flew here directly from another state, spent 45 minutes looking at the car, and then got back on their plane and went home," says David Pryor, Porsche Cars North America's Marketing VP.
"Most of the people who've seen the 918 aren't concerned about what the production version will cost," Pryor continues. "The main things they want to know are, one, when will it be available? and, two, how many are we going to make? This is how they're deciding whether they want to make the investment in this car."
Pryor, a 12-year veteran of Porsche Cars, says that Porsche has been observing the process by which Lexus is selling its upcoming LFA supercar, whereby buyers lease the car for the first two years before being given full title. Lexus's intention is to prevent speculators from scooping up the cars and reselling them at huge profits, but Pryor notes that, according to recent media reports, both Lexus dealers and prospective LFA customers have expressed dismay at this process, and Lexus seems to be reconsidering the means by which LFAs will reach consumers. Lexus also had been asking prospective LFA buyers to go through an application process to be considered for one of the LFA leases, and in regards to that, Pryor declares that "We have no intention of hand-selecting our buyers."
So, there you have it, folks: Step right up and get; your Porsche 918 Spyder supercar! Just as long as you have a reported half-million-dollars-plus. And as for those two main concerns of prospective 918 customers? Porsche remains tight-lipped on both the timing of the 918 Spyder production car and on how many of them will be made. But Pryor stresses that it will definitely be a defined number, as it's clear that buyers want to know that they are getting a limited edition. "We learned our lesson on the Carrera GT," he says. That supercar's production number was open-ended through its production run.