It’s the end of an era, or at least the end of the road for a legendary Porsche. The final Porsche 918 Spyder rolled off the production line this week. After a mere 21 months in production, the limited number of 918 sportsters is now filled and sold. What remains to be seen is what future cars will benefit from the technological inroads it paved as both a supercar and a sports hybrid.
The newly retired 918 Spyder hybrid debuted in 2010 at the Geneva International Motor Show. It received an enthusiastic reception prompting Porsche to greenlight production and get it into showrooms by late 2013. With that, it became the next in Porsche’s line of greats that runs from the 904 Carrera GTS, the 959, the 911 GT1, and the Carrera GT.
The 918 Spyder is all about performance with its 4.6-liter, eight cylinder engine that cranks out 608-horsepower. This high performance combustion engine is mated to two electric motors. The first is a hybrid module located on the rear that features a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that’s good for 154-horsepower. The second is an electric motor on the front axle that gets 127-horsepower. Together, these three units crank out a whopping 887-horses.
Its advanced hybrid system is future casting with a thermal management design that uses five separate cooling circuits. It also uses a controlled intelligent generator that converts the kinetic energy from the brakes into electric energy more effectively than other hybrid systems.
Part of the legacy also includes its unbroken track record. In September 2013, the Spyder set the lap record for a street-legal vehicle on the North Loop of the Nürburgring clocking in at six minutes and 57 seconds.
“The radical hybridization of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this record possible. The Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6:57 minutes, we have achieved a result of which the development team and everybody at Porsche can be rightly proud,” says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project.
One thing is certain, all eyes are on Porsche to see what 918 Spyder technology might make it into future vehicles.