The Porsche 918 Spyder: History, Photos, Specifications
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Porsche 918 Spyder Essential History
Despite Porsche's history of producing some of the quickest, fastest, most outrageous performance cars the world has ever seen, the number of actual supercars to wear the Porsche crest can be counted on one hand. Yes, modern 911 Turbos, GT3s, and GT2s inarguably possess the performance of a supercar, but in ethos, they're closer to an ultra-high-performance sports car rather than a supercar. Officially, Porsche's pantheon of supercars is filled with just three pedestals—the 959, the Carrera GT, and most recently, the mighty Porsche 918 Spyder.
Much like the 959 did in the late 1980s, the 918 Spyder stands as one of the most cutting-edge, tech-forward vehicles the German automaker has ever produced. Previewed in a 2010 concept and launched for the 2013 model year, the 918 Spyder was a landmark hypercar for the industry; the 918 is considered the first hybrid hypercar, and is credited with partially inspiring the current wave of high-performance hybridization sweeping through the industry.
Based on a proprietary mid-engine architecture, the 918 incorporated race-bred tech from the automaker's extensive motorsports program. Like the Carrera GT got its 5.7-liter V-10 from a stillborn Le Mans Prototype project, the 918 pulls much of its power from a naturally aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 based on the 3.4-liter unit in the highly successful Porsche RS Spyder LMP2 car. The gasoline engine produces 608 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, augmented by dual electric motors—front and rear—that add an additional 279 horsepower, pushing total output to 887 horsepower and a stunning 944 lb-ft of torque. A 6.8-kWh battery provides the juice for the motors, and allows an EPA-rated 12 miles of all-electric range.
This tremendous power, when coupled with Porsche's insanely quick seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission and an all-wheel drive powertrain, returns performance figures that remain spectacular seven years later—which in supercar terms, might as well be a century. Zero-to-62 mph takes a claimed 2.6 seconds, though independent testing returned zero-to-60 times as low as 2.2 seconds (it turned in a still-better-than-stated 2.4-second run when MotorTrend tested it), a zero-to-100 mph sprint in 4.9 seconds, and zero-to-180 mph in 17.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 9.8 seconds.
Porsche 918 Spyder Highlights
For the three model years of production between 2013 and 2015, the Porsche 918 Spyder—and subsequent Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1—captured the imaginations of enthusiasts the world over. It didn't quite rewrite the performance handbook like the McLaren F1 did in the early 1990s or the Bugatti Veyron did in the 2000s and 2010s, but the 918's hybrid drivetrain, face-ripping acceleration, and shocking around-town tractability made the 918 an instant superstar.
Here was a car that dispatched quarter-miles in under 10 seconds, all while remaining as easy to drive as the contemporary 911 Turbo around town. Mouthwatering to look at, heavenly to listen to, and if you were one of the lucky 918 individuals to order yours new, rather profitable if you flipped it soon after it left production.
Now, with more hybrid hypercars on the way and Porsche's confirmed all-electric supercar in the works, the 918 Spyder stands as a near-flawless first step toward hybridized super-performance, proving electric motors aren't just for saving the planet.
Porsche 918 Spyder Buying Tips
Compared to a good number of classic cars and investment-grade vehicles we discuss in these vintage vehicle pages, picking up a 918 Spyder is relatively easy. Despite the initial buy-in of around $845,000, Porsche sold 918 units of the 918 Spyder, so you should be spoiled for choice on online auctions and private sales.
Porsche is still very much servicing and supporting the fleet of 918s, so parts supply and service availability isn't an issue. For the most part, a good portion of the 918s that do come up for auction are in great, almost-new condition, so you should be able to buy without worry. If you get the chance, we always suggest a pre-purchase inspection and shakedown from a specialist, but given the typical light use and young age of 918s, there shouldn't be any nasty surprises—yet. Check back with us 10 years from now when the 918's batteries begin to burn out, tires dry up, and the model's weak spots begin to rear their heads.
If you are interested, snap one up now before it's too late. With prices hovering between $1.1 million and $1.7 million, we don't expect values to go anywhere but up. Get in now, or regret it later.
Porsche 918 Spyder Auctions
There aren't as many Porsche 918 Spyders coming up for sale as there were in the past, but you still have plenty of chances to snap one up in private sales. Here's a few recent 918s that sold at auction.
- This yellow 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder sold for an impressive $1.6 million at Bonhams' Bonmont sale last year.
- A dark blue 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder claimed a relatively low $1.1 million last year.
- A Martini-liveried Porsche 918 Spyder with desirable Weissach package took home $1.5 million.
- Liquid Chrome Blue looks great on the 918 Spyder that sold for $1.1 million last year.
Porsche 918 Spyder Quick Facts
- First year of production: 2013
- Last year of production: 2015
- Base Price: $845,000
- One of the three Porsche supercars
- Brought supercar and hypercars into the age of the hybrid
- Unbelievable performance, stunning design
- Get one now before prices triple
Porsche 918 Spyder articles on Automobile
Porsche 918 Spyder FAQ
You have questions about the Porsche 918 Spyder. Automobile has answers. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked Porsche 918 Spyder queries
How much is the Porsche 918 Spyder?
If you were able to snag one back when it was new, the base price was an eye-watering $845,000. Fast forward to today, and you're not sliding into one for under $1 million, with some well-optioned examples claiming close to $2 million at auction.
Is the Porsche 918 Spyder street legal?
Absolutely! The 918 was designed, tested, and legalized as a street-legal road car, so you won't have any problems registering the car at your local DMV office.
What is the top speed of the Porsche 918 Spyder?
Find a long enough straight, and keep your foot in it, and the 918 can hit a top speed of 211 mph.
How many Porsche 918 Spyders are there?
With only a few written off in crashes, floods, or fires, there's probably more than 900 of the original 918-unit run still blasting around mountain passes.
2013-2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Specifications
|ENGINE||4.6L DOHC 32-valve V-8/608 hp @ 8,700 rpm, 390 lb-ft @ 6,600 rpm; two synchronous permanent magnet AC motors/129/156 hp (front/rear axle); 6.8-kWh battery/887 hp, 944 lb-ft combined|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 2-passenger, mid-engine, AWD convertible|
|L x W x H||182.8 x 76.4 x 45.9 in|
|0-60 MPH||2.6 sec|
|TOP SPEED||211 mph|