Porsche has announced this week that production on its 918 Spyder hypercar has come to an end.
The German carmaker set out to build 918, um, 918s, and having reached that number, Porsche plans to build no more.
It took 21 months of production time to reach the 918th example, and a little over five years has passed since the model was officially unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
Owners now know that only 917 other people or thereabouts can consistently experience the 918’s combined 653kW output via a 447kW petrol-powered V8 and a pair of electric motors driving both front and rear wheels.
The 0-100km/h time is just 2.8 seconds, and yet the 918 is arguably the hypercar that one could use every day.
Fuel consumption is rated at a frugal 3.0 l/100km, thanks mostly to a plug-in hybrid system that allows up to 30km of all-electric driving and an optional fast-charger that can replenish the battery’s charge in just 25 minutes.
Once the electric juice is gone, the driver can switch to hybrid mode which engages the petrol engine but maintains the most frugal operation that the powerplants can achieve.
Porsche said the 918’s ‘green’ legacy will be seen in performance cars of the future, but the haste with which Porsche or other carmakers move to bring out their next hero hypercar remains to be seen.
The death of the television program Top Gear, as we know it, and the recent decision by Nurburgring management to ban future lap record attempts may dent the enthusiasm that has led to something of a ‘supercar war’.
The draw Top Gear had on carmakers to present the next big thing in performance motoring to a previously-unreachable global audience is undeniable, and if the show’s new format fails to attract viewer’s eyeballs than that influence will be significantly diminished.
Likewise, a carmaker can easily set a production car lap record at any of the world’s great racing circuits, but few of those circuits carry the same marketing power as the Nurburgring.
But the 918 has some formidable rivals in the hypercar market, including the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and pretty much anything wearing a Koenigsegg or Pagani badge. So there’s plenty of motivation for carmakers to continue the unspoken supercar war for now…
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MORE News & Reviews: Porsche | 918 | Hypercar