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Porsche 918 Spyder run ends after new car teased

Hybrid super sports car production ends after 918 cars made

Published: June 21, 2015, 8:00 PM
Updated: June 24, 2015, 1:42 AM

Cars for the one=percent

If you’re one of the lucky people hoping to purchase a new Porsche 918 Spyder, you’re out of luck, as the hybrid ultra-performance car has gone out of production.

Maybe you can get one on the used market or … maybe you can wait for its replacement, which may not actually be too far away.

On the heels of its win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche released an image of the race winning 919 Hybrid alongside a covered car emblazoned with the phrase “Mission: Future Sportscar.”

That led many to speculate about a model to slot in between the 911 Carrera and the 918 Spyder, but a more likely scenario is that Porsche was anticipating the final production 918 coming off the line (which happened about a week later) and is assuring enthusiasts that although it’s gone, it doesn’t mean that’s the end of the line.

As expected from the start, the 918 Spyder production run was limited to 918 cars. It reached the finish line after 21 months of line-work at Porsche’s Zuffenhausen facility in Stuttgart, with Porsche announcing the milestone in a release with the statement that “future generations of sports cars will benefit directly from innovations found in the 918 Spyder.”

The plug-in hybrid made its world debut at the 2010 Geneva International Motor Show in concept form, but was soon green-lighted for production. That began in the fall of 2013 and the 918 Spyder officially succeeded the Carrera GT as Porsche’s halo car.

Although many Porsche purists only consider the 911 as a true Porsche, the 918 Spyder adds to the company’s ultra-performance aura with a unique combination of mid-ship 4.6-litre V8 engine and electric motors front and rear. The engine delivers 608 horsepower to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch automatic. Rear wheel power is supplemented by a 154 hp motor, while a 125 hp motor drives the front wheels to create an all-wheel drivetrain.

Notable performance achievements include zero to 100 km/h acceleration in the neighbourhood of three seconds and a record lap of the Nürburgring for a street-legal car on production-series tires, while bearing an economy rating of just 3.5 L/100km.The Nürburgring record will likely stand forever, since the controlling company of the circuit has imposed speed limits in light of a fatal crash this past spring.

But outside of the inspiring performance, the 918 Hybrid also set the stage for future hybrids with its ability to convert kinetic much more efficiently than other hybrids, and its thermal management concept that features an innovative motor-cooling system of air and water. Other notable technologies include adaptive aerodynamics, a rear steering system and all carbon-fibre body.

All of the lessons learned have also been used on the 919 race car, which is makes the photo with the “future” sports car that more interesting. Porsche is also in the process of applying for patents related to innovations in the assembly and quality assurance processes in production. One example is assembly completed with wireless tools such as screwdrivers, for example, which have their torque comply to specifications via a Bluetooth connection.