Porsche 918 Spyder (2013-2015)

Premiere: concept car on March 2, 2010 Geneva Motor Show (Salon international de l'automobile de Genève), production model on September 10, 2013 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show
Market launch: November 2013

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Tech specs and comparison

Power unit kW Torque Gearbox 0-60 mph 0-100 km/h 0-200 km/h 0-300 km/h Vmax Weight Power-to-weight Dimen-
sions mm
Pro-
duc-
tion
Nord-
schleife
2013 918 Spyder 4.6V8 447kW + electric motors 95kW/210Nm front and 115kW/375Nm rear 652 917+Nm
674+lb-ft
PDK
7-speed
2.7 sec. 2.8 sec. 7.7 sec. 22.0 sec. 345km/h
214mph
1675kg
3692lb
389 W/kg 4643x
1940x
1167
918 incl. Weissach Editions
2013 918 Spyder Weissach 4.6V8 447kW + electric motors 95kW front and 115W rear 652 917+Nm
674+lb-ft
PDK
7-speed
2.5 sec. 2.6 sec. 7.2 sec. 19.9 sec. 345km/h
214mph
1634kg
3602lb
399 W/kg 4643x
1940x
1167
6:57
2010 911 997 GT2 RS 3.6B6 bi-turbo 456 700Nm
515lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.4 sec. 3.5 sec. 9.8 sec. 28.9 sec. 330km/h
205mph
1370kg
3020lbs
333 W/kg 4469x
1852x
1285
500 7:18
2004 Carrera GT 5.7V10 450 590Nm
435lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.8 sec. 3.9 sec. 9.9 sec. 330km/h
205mph
1380kg
3042lbs
326 W/kg 4613x
1921x
1166
1270 7:28
1997 911 996 GT1 street version 3.2B6 bi-turbo 400 600Nm
441lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.7 sec. 3.9 sec. 10.5 sec. 308km/h
191mph
1150kg
2535lbs
348 W/kg 4710x
1950x
1170
20
1996 911 993 GT1 street version 3.2B6 bi-turbo 441 653Nm
480lb-ft
manual
6-speed
1125 kg
2480lbs
392 W/kg 4683x 2
1987 959 Sport 2.8B6 bi-turbo 331 500Nm
368lb-ft
manual
6-speed
3.6 sec. 3.7 sec. 13.0 sec. 317km/h
197mph
1350kg
2976lbs
245 W/kg 4260x
1839x
1280
292
Please note: year is the year for the start of production, not model year. All the 918 produced between 2013-2015, had 2015 model year VIN codes.


The work of 100 Weissach technicians, who developed the 918 Spyder concept car, received deserved honour on July 28, 2010, when the supervisory board of Porsche AG decided to develop the concept car into series production car. 8 pilot vehicles for testing different components aswell as 25 prototypes were made. Michael Drolshagen was appointed as the director of the 918 production. On March 21, 2011 Porsche started taking orders and on September 18, 2013 making of the first production 918 started. 918 was produced at the Porsche's main factory in Stuttgart (for comparison, the Carrera GT was produced in Leipzig, with only the engine made in Stuttgart). The last, 918th, order was taken in November 2014 for the car to be finished by the middle of 2015. Of the 918 cars 297 were ordered for USA. Buyers both in Germany and in China ordered around 100 cars.

Body

The Spyder's body is fully made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and has a two-piece Targa roof. The car has a 43/57 weight distribution.

Rear-axle steering

Basically, this comprises an electro-mechanical adjustment system on both rear wheels. The adjustment is speed-sensitive and executes steering angles up to 3 degrees in both directions. At low speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels - this makes cornering easier and reduces the turning circle. At higher speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels and the car virtually changes lanes sideways. It is more complicated when power sliding as then the ground speed is not high, but the rear wheels should steer at the same direction with the front wheels.

Petrol engine and top exhaust pipes

In contrary to the 2010 concept car where the exhaust pipes exited in the sides, the pipes of the production model exit just above the engine. The top pipes’ greatest benefit is that the hot exhaust gases are evacuated as quickly as possible and the exhaust gas back pressure remains low. This design required a new, thermodynamic air channelling concept: the exhaust manifolds are located inside in the cylinder V and the intake tracts are outside. There’s a further benefit: the engine compartment remains cooler. Just that when filling the car at the gas station, extra care has to be taken into account as the fuel filler neck is not too far from the hot exhaust pipes.

Weissach package

With this package the weight was added by rear side fins and 6-point harnesses, but reduced thanks to many features, including:
• magnesium wheels (minus 14.9 kg/32.8 lb). The wheels were in the same sizes as the ones on the standard car: 9.5x20" in front with 265/35 tyres and 12.5x21" at the rear with 325/30 tyres.
• film-coating instead of body paint (minus 2.3 kg/5 lb)
• lighter brake system (minus 2.0 kg/4.4 lb)
• titanium chassis bolts (minus 0.8 kg/1.7 lb)
• ceramic wheel bearings (minus 0.7 kg/1.5 lb)
• less sound isolation
• deleted Speed Charging onboard equipment
• deleted automatic function for AC
• deleted Burmester sound system
In total the package shaved off up to 41 kg/90 lb (from 1675 kg/3692 lb to 1634 kg/3602 lb). Parts of the interior were upholstered with Alcantara instead of leather, and visible CFRP replaced much of the aluminium. The frame of the windscreen, roof, mirror housings and rear wing were also of visible carbon fibre reinforced plastic. The Weissach package costed about 10% on top of the car price, which meant you could get another Porsche for it.

Weight

With the concept car the announced target weight for the production car was under 1490 kg /3285 lb. This was not achieved. It was the same with the Carrera GT - the target weight was 1250 kg, but the finished car weighed 1380 kg. The engine capacity was increased in order to keep up with the higher weight. With the 918 the initial weight target was 1490 kg and the V8 had 3.4-litre capacity. The production car weighed at least 1634 kg and the new 4.6-litre engine was needed.

Electricity

The 918 Spyder can brake using both electric motors and thus recuperate energy for the battery. The electric energy is stored by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery comprising 312 individual cells with an energy content of 6.8 kWh. The 140 kg / 308 lb battery provides best performance at temperatures 20-40°C / 68-104°F.
The plug-in interface enables the battery to be connected directly with the home mains supply. For example, the battery can be charged within 4 hours from a 10 A power socket on the 230 V mains supply. A compact charging station is also supplied with the car. This can be installed permanently in the garage. It permits rapid and convenient charging within approximately 2 hours. The battery is covered with 7-year warranty. The power steering and air conditioning system are both run on electric motors. There is no need for the strong 12V battery, so it is a 20 Ah lightweight lithium-ion unit.

A button on the steering wheel allows the driver to choose among five different running modes.

E-Power mode

It is for running the car under electric power alone, with a range of about 25 km / 16 miles. When the vehicle is started up, this mode is the default operating mode as long as the battery is sufficiently charged. Acceleration to 62 mph/100 kmh takes 7 seconds in electric mode and top speed is 93 mph / 150 km/h. When the charge state of the battery falls below a set minimum value, the vehicle automatically switches to hybrid mode.

Hybrid mode

Uses both the electric motors and the V8. At the speeds over 146 mph / 235 km/h the front drive is decoupled.

Sport Hybrid mode

The V8 is now in constant operation and provides the main propulsive force. Most of the drive power goes to the rear wheels, with Torque Vectoring serving to additionally improve the car’s driving dynamics.

Race Hybrid mode

Meant for race track use, the drive systems are focused on pure performance. The combustion engine charges the battery when the driver is not utilising the maximum output. With the battery sufficiently charged, the push-to-pass button can be used to exploit the full power of the car, for example when overtaking or for just the maximum acceleration. In contrast to Sport Hybrid mode the electric motors run at their maximum power output limits.

Race Hybrid Hot Lap mode

The “Hot Lap” button in the middle of the map switch releases the last reserves and can only be activated in “Race Hybrid” mode. Similar to a qualification mode, this pushes the battery to its maximum power output limits for a few fast laps. This mode uses all of the available energy in the battery.

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235 LEDs were totally used in the car and no single incandescent bulb © Porsche
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The windshield and rear window are of lightweight thin glass as well as are of thin glass the hydrophobically coated side windows© Porsche
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The Liquid Metal coating in Silver or Chrome Blue costs as much as a new Boxster. Please note, it is not a paint, but a layer of metal applied on the carbon fibre. The layer is many times thicker than paint.© Porsche
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Magnesium wheels © Porsche
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In Porsche's vocabulary 'e-' means 'plug-in' © Porsche
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Standard forged wheels © Porsche
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Marked with red paint to detect the possible failure of central locking nut© Porsche
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Exposed CFRP mirror housings of the Weissach Edition © Porsche
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Aerodynamic part that reduces the wind vortex and this way keeps the exhaust gases away from the open cockpit © Porsche
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Fuel filler cap is on the left and charging socket on the right side of the car (was vice versa on the concept car) © Porsche
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Make sure you tank the car by yourself and be cautious with the fuel fumes near the hot exhaust pipes. The 70 liter tank is made of aluminium. © Porsche
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The wing moves up and in an angle © Porsche
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US-versions have red side lamps (32% of all the 918 made)© Porsche
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USA-version with German number plates in Spain (Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Valencia)© Porsche
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On the snow and ice in Levi, Finland © Porsche
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Weissach aerodynamic package and Salzburg livery© Porsche
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Single arm wiper system© Porsche
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The design is perfect from any angle - praise goes to Michael Mauer and Anthony Hatter teams!© Porsche
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The 4.6V8 can rev up to 9150 rpm © Porsche
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Porsche uses Acid Green contrasting color to distinguish the hybrid models from the others© Porsche
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The rear view camera can be used also as a rear view mirror - it works also when driving forward© Porsche
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Raised rear wing© Porsche
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Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 - the best cannot be the best without the best. The tyre pressure monitoring system has Normal and Performance air pressure monitoring.© Porsche
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1: standard equipment, 2: wheels painted Platinum, roof panel removed, 3: Weissach package (includes magnesium wheels) © Porsche
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Designed by the Porsche Design Studio and developed by Porsche in Weissach, the luggage collection is an ideal match for the interior. The luggage set was available in the same color combinations as the interior: Garnet Red-Silver, Onyx Black-Acid Green, Onyx Black-Silver, Mocca Brown-Silver and Mocca Brown-Orange.© Porsche
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Active aerodynamics: the ribs are closed when the cooling is not needed in order to reduce aerodynamic drag© Porsche
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Active aerodynamics under the car © Porsche
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Proudly sideways on this photo, but actually the middle-engined cars (incl. 918) are not easy to keep steadily sideways © Porsche
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On the public road that once in a year transforms into the Le Mans 24 hour race track © Porsche
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Salzburg livery decals and Weissach package © Porsche
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Pluged-in © Porsche
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American version can be told by the front amber turn signal lenses. The full LED headlamps have the Race Light function - the faster you go the brighter they go. © Porsche
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The unusual form of the specially designed trolley means that it leaves enough space in the luggage compartment to stow the removable roof halves© Porsche
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Seduction...© James Herne / Stuttcars.com
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The steering wheel is only longitudinally and manually adjustable to save weight. The visual 'aluminium' is not real aluminium because it is too heavy, it is CFRP covered with a layer of metal - wow!© Porsche
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M-button inverts the PDK to manual mode © Porsche
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Number 904 or 918 © Porsche
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No more PSM (Porsche Stability Management), now ESC (Electronic Stability Control) © Porsche
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Can you find the gear selector (R-N-D)?© Porsche
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Cupholder © Porsche
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A carbon case for the centre console was included in the luggage collection. The box fits into the centre console and opens on the passenger's side. The storage box for the glove compartment is opened and closed using the flap of the glove compartment. © Porsche
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The luggage collection was available in 3 versions: as a 5-piece set (2 storage boxes, 2 garment covers and a trolley), a 3-piece travel set or a 2-piece stowage set © Porsche
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Cloth seat (Weissach edition only, without contrasting piping), leather seat with alcantara center part and full leather seat© Porsche
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Burmester sound system has 11 speakers and 500 watts of total power© Porsche
2013 September 10, IAA Frankfurt Motor Show: project leader Frank-Steffen Walliser and design leader Michael Mauer explain the 918
Active aerodynamics and other technology
Hot lap with Patrick Long at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
Jay Leno interviews Daniel Eastman, 918 Client Relationship Manager Porsche Cars North America. The 918 is covered with Liquid Metal coating.
Carlos Lago tests the 918 at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Spain
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Liquid cooled high-voltage lithium-ion battery is placed between the seats and the engine © Porsche
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Front electric motor © Porsche
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6.8 kWh capacity at 385 V nominal voltage, 312 individual cells of 3.7 V© Porsche
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The air is sucked in through the CFRP headers on the outside of the engine and the exhaust gases leave through the exhaust system made of Inconel© Porsche
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Porsche 918 hybrid engine
© Porsche

Based on the information from the rear axle recall conserning 45 cars built between May 7, 2014 and June 18, 2014 - in 42 days - it tells us that approximarely one 918 was completed every day. The second recall was announced on December 23, 2014, concerning 205 cars. The press release said the cars would be taken in for 2 days for chassis components replacement.


Concept car


The following photos and videos show the concept car with side exhaust pipes and side cameras instead of mirrors. The combustion engine in the concept car was the 3.4V8 unit from the RS Spyder LMP2 racing car. The weight target set by the development team was under 1490 kg / 3285 lb.

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Wolfgang Hatz, board member for research and development, at the wheel © Porsche
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Photo of a concept car. The production model had its exhaust pipes on top, not on the sides © Porsche
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Cameras instead of side mirrors © Porsche
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No steel brake discs, only ceramic © Porsche
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The car was named 918 probably due to Porsche running out of the 9xx numbers and because the 917 was the most powerful Porsche and most powerful racing car ever made. So, 918 is the perfect name for the absolute top weapon.© Porsche
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Michael Macht (CEO of Porsche AG in 2010) and Walter Röhrl unweiling the Porsche 918 Spyder concept car on the first press day of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show on March 2.© Porsche
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(1) Power electronics, (2) Electric drive, (3) Lithium ion battery was very small in the initial design, (4) V8 engine, (5) PDK, (6) Electric motor (weighing ~135 kg/~300 lb), (7) Power electronics© Porsche
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© Porsche
2010 March 2, Geneva Motor Show, Chris Harris interviewing Wolfgang Dürheimer, Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Porsche AG
2010 August 13, Head Designer of Porsche AG, Michael Mauer drives the 918 in Carmel Valley, California during a secret video shoot
2010 August 15, Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach, California
918 Spyder driving on petrol power and on electric power


2012 March 26: Rolling chassis


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Many body parts used from 911 racing cars to cover up the 918 rolling chassis© Porsche
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Dr. Frank Steffen Walliser, 918 Spyder project manager and Wolfgang Hatz, board member for research and development of Porsche AG© Porsche
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Boxster instruments © Porsche
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Rear bumper of 911 991 cut in halves© Porsche
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Exhaust system is made of thin, high-strength steel called Inconel © Porsche
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2012 February, Nardo, Evo magazine's Editorial Director and Founder Harry Metcalfe does a walk around the 918 rolling chassis
2012 February, 28 minute film shot at Nardo

2012 May 15: Road-legal prototype and optional Salzburg livery


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Optional Salzburg livery shown for the first time. It is inspired by the 1970 Le Mans winning 917 of the Porsche Salzburg team. On the prototype the livery is white on black and on the production car it is red on white.© Porsche
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The headlamp and the side turn signal clearly show it is a prototype© Porsche
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Rear lamps still those of the 991 © Porsche
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Prototype mimicking the psychedelic livery of the 1970 Le Mans 917. This livery didn't make it to the production.© Porsche


2012 July 5: optional Martini livery unweiled


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The Martini Racing livery is optionally available for markets where advertising alcohol companies is not prohibited. Advertising alcohol might have been cool in the seventies, but not nowadays. Come on, Porsche!© Porsche

2012 July 18 (or earlier) test drive on Nürburgring



2012 September 18: Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7:14 achieved by Marc Lieb


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 © Porsche

918 was initially designed to be able to lap Nordschleife in 7:22. Considering its heavy weight, it would be a good result, but as Porsche already had a faster car, the 911 997 GT2 RS with it's 7:18 lap record, the Weissach engineers had to push the 918 further. The Weissach edition of the 918 Spyder was able to lap the Nordschleife in only 7:14 on September 18, 2012. This of course with the street legal Michelin tyres. And this time even from the standing start!

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The fins behind the rear wheels are part of the Weissach racing package© Porsche
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The 991 rear lamp used on the 918 prototype© Porsche
2012 September 18: 918 Spyder prototype achieving a 7:14 lap time on Nürburgring Nordschleife. Video shows Walter Röhrl and Chris Harris among the others.
Filmed on September 18 and aired on October 2, 2012 by Chris Harris On Cars. Video shows Holger Bartels, Porsche chassis engineer and Frank Walliser, 918 project leader.

2013 May 9: journalists get to drive the near production ready version


With the May 16, 2013 press release the power was raised: for the 4.6V8 from 426 to 449 kW, front electric motor from 80 to 95 kW, rear electric motor from 90 to 115 kW, combined power up from 585 to 652 kW, torque up from 750 Nm/551lb-ft to 800 Nm/588 lb-ft. This meant the acceleration 0-100 kmh went down from 2.9 to 2.8 seconds, 0-200 kmh down from 8.9 to 7.9 seconds and 0-300 kmh down from 26.9 to 23 seconds. Top speed was up from 203 mph / 326 km/h to 211 mph / 340 km/h. Nice! The journalists got to drive the last, 25th prototype, number '25'.

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Wing up, roof down© Porsche
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Wing down, roof up, front inlet ribs closed© Porsche
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Near production version, front inlet ribs open. Project leader Dr. Frank Walliser at the wheel. © Porsche
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Production headlamps and side blinkers not seen on the earlier prototypes© Porsche
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Production rear lamps not seen on the earlier prototypes© Porsche
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Rear side fins come with the Weissach package © Porsche
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2013 May 14: Chris Harris's video about his experience behind the wheel

2013 September 4: Nordschleife record 6:57


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Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 looks very simple compared to the Cup 1© Porsche
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Minimal lift-off at this jump proves the car has huge downforce© Porsche
2 cars and 3 drivers were used for the record attempts© Porsche
Head of 918 project Frank Walliser, Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb and Porsche test driver Timo Kluck. Walter Röhrl was the third driver, but naturally younger boys are now faster.© Porsche

Marc Lieb's 6:57 around the 20.8 km Nürburgring Nordcshleife track means his average speed was 112 mph / 180 km/h. This is truly an unbelievable result. Especially for those who have been in the Green Hell and understand what it means to go that fast. Of course the optional Weissach package was used together with the standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres to achieve this. Compare to Marc Lieb's 7:14 achieved a year ago in a 918 prototype or to the Carrera GT's record of 7:28.

2013 September 4. This is probably not the fastest lap, but a very quick one indeed (seems to be around 7:02)

The many 918 prorotypes were tested for a total of 1.500.000 km (900.000 miles) before the car was ready for the customers. The prototypes were tested in Italy, USA, South Africa, Scandinavia, again in the USA, then in France and naturally in Germany on the Nürburgring's North Loop.



The making of


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This photo is actually from 2012 and prototype building, but it says all about the weight of the monocoque © Porsche
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Carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque was made using resin transfer moulding (RTM) technology© Porsche
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The bigger inlet valves have 'E' written on them (Einlassventil in German) and the exhaust valves have 'A' (Auslassventil) © Porsche
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It takes 20 hours for one technician to assemble the 140 kg/308 lb engine © Porsche
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First V-engine with the exhaust manifolds between the 'V' and inlet channels on the outside of the engine © Porsche
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Side air curtain with pyrotechnics shown © Porsche
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An interesting novelty with the 918 production were the Bluetooth-equipped wireless screwdrivers which transmited the actual torque values of safety-important screw connections into the database.

The last one


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2015 June 19: number 918 of 918 © Porsche

Suppliers


Building the 918 Spyder needed the cooperation with over 250 suppliers. Here are the most important ones:
• Alfing Kessler GmbH (Aalen-Wasseralfingen, Germany): lightweight crankshaft with central oil feed
• c2i s.r.o. (Dunajska Streda, Slovakia): rear mounting bracket featuring RTM tech-nology, luggage compartment tray in prepreg format and CFRP radiator frame for the front and rear
• Connova AG (Villmergen, Schweiz): heat protection
• Eissmann Cotesa GmbH (Mittweida, Germany): CFK components such as central control unit and glove compartment fitting, dashboard carrier and door panel car-rier made from visible carbon fibre
• GKN Driveline GmbH (Offenbach, Germany, and Brunneck, Italy): front axle module (clutch and drive shaft)
• Magna Steyr Battery Systems GmbH & Co OG (Graz, Austria): 12 V lightweight main power supply battery featuring LiFePO4 technology
• MHG Fahrzeugtechnik GmbH/Proseria (Heubach, Germany): INCONEL® exhaust system, coolant expansion tank
• Mubea Carbo Tech GmbH (Salzburg, Austria): carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque made using resin transfer moulding (RTM) technology
• S1nn GmbH & Co. KG (Stuttgart, Germany): HTML5-compatible infotainment system with tuner, media player, telephone, navigation system and vehicle functions (ADR Automatic Distance Regulation – display and domain controller)
• Simfy AG (Berlin, Germany): APP based flat rate for music
• Oerlikon/Metco AG (Winterthur/Wohlen, Switzerland): Plasma coating for the crankcase


Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


Continue to 918 RSR
Anniversaries
Oct, 29 – 77th birthday of Hans-Peter Porsche (1940)
Nov, 15 – 42nd birthday of the 924 (1975)
Nov, 19 – 9th Birthday of the Cayman 987.2 (2008)
Nov, 19 – 9th birthday of the Boxster 987.2 (2008)
Nov, 26 – 54th birthday of the 904 (1963)