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
Tech specs and comparison
Dimen- sions mm
Pro- duc- tion
2013 918 Spyder
4.6V8 447kW + electric motors 95kW/210Nm front and 115kW/375Nm rear
4643x 1940x 1167
918 incl. Weissach Editions
2013 918 Spyder Weissach
4.6V8 447kW + electric motors 95kW front and 115W rear
4643x 1940x 1167
2010 911 997 GT2 RS
4469x 1852x 1285
2004 Carrera GT
4613x 1921x 1166
1997 911 996 GT1 street version
4710x 1950x 1170
1996 911 993 GT1 street version
1125 kg 2480lbs
1987 959 Sport
4260x 1839x 1280
Please note: year is the year for the start of production, not model year. All the 918 had 2015 model year VINs, even the cars produced in 2013.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2012 March 26: Rolling chassis
2012 May 15: Road-legal prototype and optional Salzburg livery
2012 July 5: optional Martini livery unweiled
2012 July 18 (or earlier) test drive on Nürburgring
2012 September 18: Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7:14 achieved by Marc Lieb
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!
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'.
2013 September 4: Nordschleife record 6:57
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.
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
The last one
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