On the eve of its global public Motor Show debut this week at Frankfurt, the Porsche 918 Spyder has conquered the 20.6 kilometre Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany in less than seven minutes. At the same time, it set a new lap record for a vehicle with global road homologation.
Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sports car equipped with a plug-in hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record. Wolfgang Hatz, Porsche AG Board member responsible for Research and Development, said: “We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word.”
As has become the tradition at Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in a line of super sports cars. With its unique spread of attributes, the new Porsche blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. And today in Frankfurt, the 918 Spyder makes its global début at the IAA International Motor Show.
By taking the Nürburgring record, the 918 Spyder demonstrates the enormous potential that lies in the pioneering plug-in hybrid Porsche concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company plays in developing sporting hybrid vehicles. “The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible” said Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. “The lap time on the Nordschleife is, and remains, the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team – and at Porsche as a whole – is rightly proud.”
The record, which was previously held for four years, was broken during the first attempt in the test drive programme on the morning of 4 September. All three drivers – Former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory race driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap, driving the two 918 Spyder models used. Each driver posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions. Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of over 111 mph (179.5 km/h), as measured by Wige Solutions.
Marcus Schurig, Editor-in-Chief of sports car magazine sport auto, was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs. The two sports cars, which deliver a combined output of 887 hp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional ‘Weissach package’ to further emphasise the circuit driving dynamics, and were also fitted with the standard Michelin tyres developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.