Porsche 918 Spyder concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
The Porsche 918 Spyder is an impressive vehicle in almost every conceivable way. The stunning, production-approved drop-top should be motivated by something close to the concept's 500-horsepower V8; almost weak by supercar standards but the still-powerful mill is only part of the powertrain story. The 918 concept also featured a pair of 109-hp electric motors powered by a lithium-ion battery capable of EV-only propulsion that theoretically enables the 918 to drive 16 miles on electricity alone. Then there is perhaps the most awesome statistic: the 918's rumored €500,000 ($650,000 in U.S. dollars) price tag.
What could make the 918 still more impressive? How about a 7:20 lap around the famed Nürburgring? That's the word coming out of the Teamspeed forums, where an image quoting the 'Ring time (see it here) was allegedly used in a presentation by Ferdinand Piëch. If true, the 918 would best 'Ring kings like the Corvette ZR1 and Nissan GT-R. A lap time of 7:20 would even best the time of the last exotic Porsche, the Cerrara GT, by eight seconds.
Such a quick lap isn't out of the realm of possibility, especially since we're talking about a $650,000 Porsche, but we're not inclined to believe it until we see some in-car video. For one, we don't even know if the 918 Spyder has actually been to the 'Ring yet, let alone laid down such quick times. If it had, we would expect our spy photographers to have caught it on film, which they haven't... yet. Second, the forums are also claiming that Piëch once said his hybrid supercar did a simulated lap of the Nürburgring in 7:30, which further adds to the confusion. Finally, the 7:20 lap time could also just be a target for the production 918 Spyder, something not yet achieved but that Porsche hopes the car will do on the other side of its development.
Whatever the case may be, even the mention of being that quick around Germany's Green Hell implies that Porsche is developing the production 918 Spyder to compete like no Porsche has before.