No, the big news is that, while Porsche was preparing to take the wraps off the car here in Frankfurt, elsewhere in Germany a team was setting a blistering lap time at the Nürburgring. And not just any blistering lap time, but a new world record.
Porsche claims that, on the morning of September 4, a team of three drivers (including former rally champ Walter Röhrl and Porsche test drivers Timo Kluck and Marc Lieb) broke the Nordschleife lap record, Lieb finally setting the best time at 6:57 at an average of 111 miles per hour.
That's over four seconds faster than the Dodge Viper ACR that has held the record for street-legal production cars for the last two years. It's also faster than the Gumpert Apollo, and just behind the barely-legal Radical SR8. And maybe best of all, it gives McLaren something to keep gunning for. Go ahead and scroll down to watch a video of the 918's 'Ring adventure.
Super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive takes the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6.57 minutes
918 Spyder tops global debut with a Nürburgring lap record
Stuttgart. As the first vehicle to boast global road homologation, the Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 20.6-kilometre lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of exactly six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sportscar equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous record. Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say: "We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word."
As is always the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sportscars. It is currently making its global début at the International Motor Show (IAA). With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the sportscar is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche's pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles. "The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible" says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. "The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sportscar. 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 even broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4. All three drivers – Former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving the two 918 Spyder models used, and 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 179.5 km/h, as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of sportscar magazine "sport auto", was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs. The two sportscars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional "Weissach package" to increase the driving dynamics, and lead out on the standard Michelin tyres developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.
* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79–70 g/km