Thanks to a power output of 608 hp, the high-performance unit attains the level of a racing engine. That’s what we call motorsport DNA. Its low weight of approximately 300 lbs. and its low position provide the optimum prerequisites to extremely dynamic driving performance and ultra precise power delivery – on the racetrack and on the road. The unit is also equipped with dry sump lubrication with a separate oil tank, scavenge pumps in aluminum and connecting rods in titanium. Not to mention a flat, lightweight crankshaft. All of which means weight down, power up.
For the refined version of Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) shift times and shift programs have been further optimized. PDK changes gear automatically, but you can still take manual control using the gearshift paddles on the sports steering wheel. Gear changes take place in milliseconds with no interruption in the flow of power. Just like in motor sports.
We have adopted a completely new approach, resulting in a new type of thermodynamic air routing concept that has enabled the use of extremely short exhaust gas channels: the gases are expelled from the car through the top pipes directly above the engine. The associated reduction in exhaust backpressure has a positive impact on power output and fuel economy. The audible effect is heard in the resonant Porsche sound that reveals the motorsport genes of the 918 Spyder.
At the press of a button, you can select between two different modes: ‘Normal’ and ‘Sport’. ‘Normal’ mode is designed for sporty driving on public roads and on wet racetracks. ‘Sport’ mode is specially tuned for maximum lateral acceleration and offers the best possible traction on the track.
An electromechanical adjustment system at each rear wheel allows the wheels to turn a few degrees in either direction as a function of driving speed. During low-speed maneuvers, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to that of the front wheels. This has the virtual effect of shortening the wheelbase for perceptibly more dynamic steering into corners. The turning circle is reduced, which makes it easier to maneuver. During high-speed maneuvers, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as that of the front wheels. This virtual extension of the wheelbase helps to increase driving stability.
The 918 Spyder has a front-to-rear axle load distribution optimized for dynamic performance (43 % front, 57 % rear). Consistent lightweight construction keeps the overall weight low. Together, these characteristics help to provide extraordinary agility, a high level of driving safety and stable handling, especially when cornering. A double-wishbone axle is installed at the front. At the rear is a multilink axle designed in accordance with our refined version of the LSA concept (Lightweight, Stable, Agile) and equipped with electric rear-axle steering. Both axles incorporate a race-proven wheel bearing concept with a weight- and performance-oriented wheel location arrangement derived directly from the RS Spyder.
The car is equipped with 20-inch wheels at the front axle and 21-inch wheels at the rear. The black painted finish on the rims contrasts with the highly polished surfaces on the front to create a stunning three-dimensional effect. Thanks to their size, they offer benefits with respect to dynamic performance and rolling resistance.
The domed roof is made from carbon and can easily be removed and stored away in the luggage compartment underneath the front hood. There has been an evolution in space right at the front, too. The luggage compartment of the 918 Spyder has a capacity of 3.7 cu.-ft. Even when both roof halves are stowed inside, there is still room for items of luggage.
It is flanked by the vertically aligned LED headlights. Underneath these are two large air intakes, which give the front a resolute appearance and help to provide sufficient cooling. The LED taillights are shaped three-dimensionally. Above them sits the extendable rear wing. Retracted, it reduces air resistance and also enhances the pure impression that the 918 Spyder creates. Extended, it delivers sportiness and downforce.
These specially developed lightweight bucket seats in carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) feature electric height adjustment for the driver’s seat and offer an extraordinarily low seating position for any super sports car. The contouring of the side bolsters and reinforced shoulder support are especially characteristic and serve a functional purpose. Lightweight CFRP bucket seats with firmer padding are available as an alternative at no extra cost. These are even tighter to provide even better lateral support.
A state-of-the-art control concept with smartphone-style touch and gesture recognition, character recognition and three rotary pushbuttons provide intuitive operation of displays and control functions. Displayed content can be customized to your own preference. Embedded in the exquisite center console, the touch surfaces enable fast navigation and direct operation of functions relating to comfort and convenience, air conditioning, car settings and Porsche Communication Management (PCM), which is integrated as standard.
Fitted as standard, POSIP comprises side impact protection elements and a head airbag in each door as well as a thorax airbag in both seats. The generous airbag volume offers protection throughout the entire seat adjustment range. Padded elements integrated in the door trims also afford extra protection to occupants. Additional safety features include the headrests which form an integral part of each seat, an energy-absorbing steering column, three-point seat belts with pre-tensioners and force limiters and energy-absorbing elements in the dashboard.
The brake system of the 918 Spyder had to be a proven racetrack performer of the kind fitted to cars participating in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, for example. The brake discs have a diameter of 410 and 390 mm at the front and rear, respectively. The six-piston monobloc aluminum fixed brake calipers at the front axle and four-piston units at the rear, all painted in Acid Green, ensure a powerful and, above all, constant braking effect. The key advantage of PCCB is its extremely low weight, with ceramic brake discs that are approximately 50 % lighter than standard discs of a similar design. As well as enhancing performance and fuel economy, this represents a major reduction in unsprung and rotating masses.