Does familiarity breed success? Porsche certainly hopes so. Right now, as you’re trolling the Interwebs, a Porsche 918 Spyder is preparing to attack the 20.8km of the Nürburgring. That’s right, that racetrack where tyres and James May’s patience go to die.
After all, when Porsche first announced the hybrid supercar, one of the earliest mission statements was always a supremely quick lap time around the circuit once described by Sir Jackie Stewart as the ‘Green Hell’. In fact, Stuttgart’s finest have targeted a very specific ‘quick’ time around the ‘Ring: less than 7m 22s. How very Porsche.
That time would make it comfortably quicker than the Porsche Carrera GT’s lap of 7m 28s, if of course, the Internet is to be trusted (usual caveats about ‘Ring times apply here). And so it should; it takes that car’s premise of hyper-power and elevates into a new stratosphere. The 918 Spyder features a 4.6-litre V8 producing 570bhp that’s able to rev to a rather bonkers 9,000rpm. Coupled to a pair of electric motors producing 270bhp in total, you’re looking at over 800bhp.
It does of course, come with fully variable aerodynamics, adaptive rear axle steering and, as a dandy touch, exhaust pipes which exit where the original show car’s air intakes where. That’s right behind your head. As TG”s Paul Horrell noted when he got a chance to ride shotgun in a prototype a few months back, “it sounds beyond awesome. Even though in my ride they were rev-limiting it, the noise was bouncing around my cranium for hours after.”
Porsche has decided to deck out the ‘Ring prototypes in classic Martini Racing colours. For those of you able to remember – or those who take an interest in – such things, this is a rather delectable livery. Think the Le Mans-winning 917 in 1971, the back-to-back Porsche 936 victories at La Sarthe in ’76 and ’77, and the victory at the Targa-Florio in 1973, all in Martini Racing colours.
Familiarity? Porsche knows a thing or two about success…