Porsche has been beavering away on its 918 Spyder Nürburgring programme. Two days ago, a 918 Spyder prototype set a 7:14 (minutes:seconds) on the Nürburgring, which Porsche says is amongst the best for a street-legal vehicle on production tyres.
In fact, it’s just 4 seconds faster than the time Porsche claimed for test driver Timo Kluck in a 911 GT2 RS on Michelins back in 2010, but almost 30 seconds slower than road-legal Radicals. If you’ve ever experienced a Radical, you’ll know it is hardly the same. Still, half a minute’s a bit of a gap.
With this lap time set one year ahead of the Spyder’s launch date, Stuttgart delights in the 918’s progress. “By turning in this fabulous time, the 918 Spyder prototype fully confirms the viability of its future concept, after just a few months on the road,” said Dr. Frank Walliser, overall 918 project leader.
Surprisingly, Porsche notes that, as they only had one clear lap available, the time was set from a standstill. It also notes the Michelin tyres and an optional Weissach package, which “integrates modifications to boost driving performance”. I don’t know why the über-Porsche to beat all others has a standard non-sport configuration, but it just goes to prove that everything’s an option on a Porsche price list.
There’s a ton of Youtube video of the 918 at the ‘Ring. Here are two of my favourites, starting with a some video of a 918 unload, and shots of Walter Röhrl driving EVO’s Harry Metcalfe et al ’round the track. The second has some great tracking footage of the 918 in motion on the lanes around the circuit, including one of my favourite routes out.
Youtube vids show how every notable European pressman has run ’round the ‘Ring in this now. It’s not due out for a year and it’s already everywhere. By the time it gets interesting and heads to Le Mans, we’ll be burnt out on Spyder.