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2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Convertible Review

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Convertible Exterior More Photos

Today's Deal - Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche 918 Spyder Convertibles for sale near you

What Edmunds Says

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder will prove that hybrids and ultra high-performance motoring are not mutually exclusive.

Pros

Blistering horsepower and acceleration; unique hybrid drivetrain; multiple driving modes for different environments; no more hybrid jokes.

Cons

Unless you're a wealthy comedian, talk-show host or oil baron, you're probably not getting one.

Available 918 Spyder Models

Base

  • 4.6L V8 hybrid engine 
  • Automated manual transmission 
  • All-wheel drive 
  • Bluetooth 
  • Side/Curtain Airbags 
  • Stability Control 
  • Traction Control 

View All Features & Specs

MSRP unavailable

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder Convertible

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder is an all-new model.

Introduction

Can a hybrid be a supercar? Or vice-versa? Porsche will soon give us an answer. The 2015 Porsche 918 promises to pick up where its predecessor, the Carrera GT, left off. Notably, the 918 will do so with a gasoline/electric powertrain capable of nearly 900 horsepower. It will sprint to 60 mph in about the cycle of a single breath.

The 918 Spyder starts with a one-piece carbon-fiber-reinforced body and frame, covering a 4.6-liter V8 engine mounted behind the cabin. Porsche says it's an entirely new engine capable of delivering 608 horsepower at up to 9,150 rpm. It drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. Two additional electric motors -- one for the rear wheels and one for the fronts -- boost total system output to 887 hp and 944 pound-feet of torque.

That's from a package that weighs less than a BMW 5 Series sedan, does zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds (according to Porsche) and hits a top speed of 214 mph. Should you still want for a greater performance edge, an optional Weissach package reduces weight by about 77 pounds by stripping some sound insulation, using Alcantara instead of leather for some interior parts, swapping in magnesium wheels and adding a carbon-fiber roof and rear wings.

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder will be able to operate solely on gas or electricity, or some combination of both. On electrons alone, it can cover 18 miles at speeds of up to 93 mph.

Five driving modes give 918 owners additional control over consumption. "E-Power" mode is fully electric, but kicks on the gas engine if the battery charge falls below a specified amount. "Hybrid" is what it sounds like: both gas engine and electric motors providing the push. "Sport Hybrid" mode prioritizes the gas engine and enlists the electric motors when the driver asks for more power. "Race Hybrid" does much of the same, but allows the battery charge to fluctuate for peak power. Finally, "Hot Lap" is a sub-mode of Race Hybrid and unleashes all of the battery's remaining power for a few fast laps.

Kinetic energy reclaimed during braking will be stored in the 918's liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, but owners will also be able to plug in the 918 to their local power supply. Porsche claims recharging times ranging from 2-6 hours.

Although primarily rear-wheel drive, the 918 Spyder is capable of all-wheel drive depending on which engine/electric motor combination is active. At 146 mph or above, however, electric drive to the front wheels is disengaged to improve high-speed stability.

Unlike the Carrera GT, which used a racecar-like pushrod suspension setup, the 918 Spyder will feature a more conventional front wishbone/rear multilink suspension. The 918 will also feature an adaptive suspension and electrically assisted steering. Porsche purists bemoaned the arrival of electric-assist on the 911, but the new system's quickness and transparency have largely silenced the critics. The 918's system will also provide a small degree of steering angle to the rear wheels, reducing the turning circle at low speeds.

Porsche's stated goal with the 918 Spyder is to redefine driving fun, efficiency and performance. Only oil and Internet tycoons are likely to enjoy this redefinition, though. Porsche plans to produce only 918 units, naturally, of its new supercar, starting at $845,000. Check back for more information on the 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder as it becomes available.

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