How Porsche Hid the 918 Spyder Before its Geneva Debut

Call us old-fashioned, but we miss the days when automakers surprised the world with concept cars and new introductions at major auto shows. Thanks to early debuts and leaked information, there’s little that hasn’t been seen by the time the show itself rolls around.

Porsche, however, took a different route for its 918 Spyder concept. When it bowed in Geneva earlier this month, it surprised virtually everyone.

“We were pleased that we were able to keep it quiet,” Dave Engleman, a spokesman for Porsche North America, told The New York Times.

So, just how did this sexy supercar concept stay under wraps? It didn’t hurt that Porsche maintained an uncanny level of security around the car (even its communications boss had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before viewing it), but how the concept was created didn’t hurt.

As Georg Kacher wrote in our in-depth look at the 918, project XG10 was contrived, developed, and assembled completely in-house. No suppliers or external work forces were involved with the car. Porsche’s engineers were responsible for designing and fabricating the plug-in hybrid system.

Perhaps even more helpful was the car’s timing. The NYT reports the project was born back in August when Porsche Chairman Michael Macht and R&D Vice President Wolfgang Dürheimer were discussing ways to show Porsche that would remain true to its roots, despite the Volkswagen takeover. The 918 was their solution.

It has been frequently noted that the 918 is Porsche’s first true concept since the 1993 advent of the Boxster, and that Porsche hasn’t shown a show car it didn’t intend to put into production. Indeed, executives are more than giddy when asked about the 918’s future. It’s not a matter of if the car will see production, but rather when, along with how many and how much. The company may be able to amortize costs by creating spin-offs; reportedly, a coupe, EV, and RS variants are under consideration, as is a LMP1-spec race car.

Source: NYT; Automobile

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