NOVI, MI – Motorists in this suburb may have thought last weekend’s Detroit Grand Prix was extended a few days when they caught sight of an exotic supercar stretching its legs for short bursts on local highways.
The Porsche 918 Spyder has a motorsports pedigree (with an interior inspired by Porsche’s iconic 917 race car), but in many ways it’s something much more intriguing than a car dedicated to the track.
The 2-seat 918 Spyder draws its ever-present 887 hp and 944 lb.-ft. (1,289 Nm) of torque from two energy sources: a direct-injected mid-mounted V-8 and two electric motors, one placed on each axle.
But unlike dedicated race cars, the 918 Spyder, which can run for about 12 miles (19 km) on nothing but electricity, carries an impressive EPA fuel-economy rating of 67 mpg-e (3.5 L/100 km).
Also impressive are its performance numbers: top speed of 214 mph (344 km/h), 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.5 seconds, 9,150-rpm redline, 93 mph (150 km/h) top speed in electric mode, 0.8 g of force at launch and a quarter-mile (0.4-km) run in 10 seconds.
Only two Porsche 918 Spyders are in the U.S. currently, and one of them was here last week for the Telematics Detroit conference. German infotainment supplier S1nn arranged to have the car on display at its booth.
A production run of 918 units at Porsche’s plant in Zuffenhausen, a Stuttgart suburb, is set for this model year.
The car’s base price is $845,000, but the model test driven and displayed at Telematics Detroit, which belongs to Porsche Cars North America, carries a sticker of $1,001,000.