The Verdict Is In
What The Experts Said…
The world is full of armchair commentators when it comes to cars. At Supercars.net, we have a number of journalists and automotive publications we rely on when we want to get unbiased opinions from people we admire.
Below, we’ve outlined some of the things these experts had to say about the Porsche 918 Spyder. We have included snippets only, so definitely dive deeper into their content to find out the details behind their assessments. Please support these awesome publications because they invest a lot in the details, amazing product photographs and great writers.
Autocar – “Be in no doubt: it walks tall, even in the highest of performance leagues…”
First t ogiv their take on the 918 Spyder in our reviews roundup is Autocar. This review kicks off by noting that Porsche have gone for understatement in marketing the 918 Spyder, highlighting that at no point in this car’s press material is the word ‘hypercar’ mentioned – despite the car’s obvious capabilities.
The review considers the 918’s heritage and rivals, tracing its roots back to the early naughties Carrera GT and, before that, a street-legal 911 GT1, before cross-examining the car in great detail.
Most intriguingly is the piece’s way of summing up the 918’s split personality; “The 918… probably has more power than a 2015 Honda-engined F1 car… yet emits less CO2 than a Honda Insight economy saloon.”
More: Read the Full Review
EVO – “Throttle response and the engine’s exploitability help the Porsche stand out.
Henry Catchpole makes no bones about the benchmark for the Porsche 918 Spyder in his review – it’s spelled out in the title for one thing that the car this has to beat in his book is the McLaren P1.
The Porsche’s mighty torque figure and all-wheel-drive system gives it the edge on traction off the line, allowing it to beat the P1 and LaFerrari off the line on paper. “Porsche is famously conservative with its performance claims, so when it lists a 0-62mph time of 2.6 seconds for the 918 Spyder, it gives you some idea of just how monstrously quick it is…”
More: Read the Full Review
Wired – “..the Spyder scoots along with the requisite Jetsons-era whooshes and whines…”
Wired’s review, penned by Basem Wasef, does a great job of exploring the 918 Spyder’s technical achievements, revelling in its comparative understatement from the outside – a rarity at this level – while celebrating its green credentials.
Basem sets off in electric-only mode – with near silent running being one of the more curious side effects in a car of this type of the inclusion of the plug-in hybrid system. All the way, he takes the reader on a journey that builds to the moment he lets rip the 4.6-litre V8 in the car’s ‘Hot Lap’ driving mode in tandem with the e-power. “..the system goes for broke, squeezing the highest possible energy out of the batteries.”
More: Read the Full Review
Top Gear – “..fiercely complicated car in the places you can’t see, but operating one is bizarrely straightforward…”
This piece by Jack Rix for Top Gear pays tribute to the 918 Spyder long after the launch hype has subsided and all 918 examples have been sold.
He unleashes the 918 Spyder on some back roads in the Scottish highlands with the help of Porsche instructor Matthias Hoffsümmer three years after the car had been launched. Less a critical review and more a tribute piece, this one is worth clicking through for the photography alone, while the words pay meaningful homage to the hybrid hypercar.
More: Read the Full Review
Alternatives & Rivals
The Porsche 918 Spyder entered the fray at a time when the competition at the top level of hypercar royalty was about to heat up – with two other hybrid hypercars to contend with. We’ve included the other members of the ‘Holy Trinity’ for your consideration, as well as a few other rivals that could be considered worthy of taking on the 918 Spyder.
McLaren’s entry to the hybrid hypercar face-off is the P1. Like the Porsche, it is capable of running on electric-only power – boosting its green credentials.
With 727bhp from a turbocharged V8 mated to a 176.6bhp e-motor, that’s not all it’s boosting. The McLaren is the lightest of the Holy Trinity however, which has compelled many journalists to name it as having the edge out of the three in the corners. Not as accessible as the 918 Spyder, but in the right hands the P1 is an absolute weapon.
Both LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder are the absolute embodiments of their respective manufacturers’ attitude and philosophy towards the super sports car.
LaFerrari is rear-wheel drive, for purity and an edge when it comes to showing off; the 918 Spyder is four-wheel drive, for absolute grip off the line and through the bends. The Porsche’s hybrid system has been lauded for bringing mid-size sedan economy to an almost 900hp-output hypercar; Ferrari prides itself in the fact that LaFerrari’s hybrid system is present simply in the pursuit of speed and performance.
I guess this one comes down to a matter of personal preference… unless you can afford both, that is.
Arriving shortly after the hypercar triumvirate was the successor to one of the most legendary cars this century. The Bugatti Chiron had big boots to fill after all that the Veyron accomplished, but with this car Bugatti set out to provide a new benchmark, “redefining ‘the best’” as the company put it at launch.
You’ll find no hybrid system here – instead the Chiron relies on a specially-developed two-stage turbocharging system, with a pair of turbos spinning up from rest, with two more chiming in above 3800rpm.
This results in an output of 1500bhp and 1600nM of torque from 2-6000rpm. Tasty to say the least.
The One:1, based on Koenigsegg’s Agera platform, is all about the numbers. More scarce than any of the other cars above (only seven plus one prototype were made), with the Swedish hypercar lunatics chasing one ratio: a one-to-one power-to-weight ratio.
Aptly, this 1,360kg machine is fitted with a 1360bhp V8, promising unhinged levels of performance and a sonorous 8250rpm rev limiter to allow full exploration of its ballistic capabilities.
Others Rivals: Pagani Huayra, a racecar with indicators stuck on maybe, very little else that is allowed on the road
Our Final Verdict
Setting itself apart from its contemporary rivals by providing the all-out performance along with a raft of creature comforts and the backing of decades of Porsche expertise and experience in refining sports cars, supercars and the odd hypercar, the Porsche 918 Spyder managed to represent relatively good value, undercutting its main rivals at launch by a significant chunk of their asking prices.
Seen as the sensible, silent member of the trio of hypercars for its more muted styling and ability to run in electric-only mode, the 918 Spyder came out to prove it still had a bit of a wild side a la its predecessor, the Carrera GT.
Underneath the crisp business suit exterior, the 918 Spyder is muscular, brash when it wants to be, and capable of all-out fury comparable to the best the world of cars has to offer. What Porsche has done that is so remarkable is made that fury completely accessible to almost anyone sat behind the wheel.
Find A Porsche 918 Spyder for Sale
Considerably more Porsche 918 Spyders were produced than either McLaren P1s or LaFerraris, meaning for the most part auction prices have not crept quite as high on used examples.
That doesn’t mean the Porsche wasn’t a wise investment at the time; rates have still broken through the $1 million mark, meaning that in many cases the 918 Spyder has added 50% to its monetary worth since launch.
Most sought after are the Weissach package cars; these included extra weight-saving measures and featured magnesium wheels, less sound insulation, and opened up some unique visual options to buyers speccing the package – as well as shaving three seconds off the ‘standard’ 918 Spyder’s time round the Nordschleife.
Despite the Porsche pay-more-get-less philosophy being at play here (Weissach package added $84,000 to the price of the car), around 25% of buyers ticked the box.
James Edition lists at the time of writing six examples of the Porsche 918 Spyder, based in the US, Europe and the UAE, including a rather fetchingly Martini-decalled example, due to go under the hammer at Mecums shortly, and a Dubai-based car that’s described as ‘brand new’.
A glance at Auto Trader throws up several examples, including this car with striking decals and a price tag that’s more than double what the car was offered for from the factory.
Another Martini liveried 918 Spyder, described as unique as the only example to wear the colour Voodoo Blue featured at Barrett Jackson’s 2017 Las Vegas auction, sold for $1,760,000.
On duPont Registry, this striking red 918 Spyder with Weissach package caught our attention. Situated in Atlanta, GA, the car has covered just 525 miles from new and is price on request only.
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