Porsche confirms Spyder 'Ring time'

Last updated 14:31 20/09/2012

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Porsche has announced an official Nurburgring lap time of 7 minutes 14 seconds for its upcoming 918 Spyder following a series of tests with prototypes of the advanced new petrol-electric hybrid supercar at the famed German circuit this week.

Although Porsche isn't prepared to confirm who was driving the early version of the 918 Spyder at the time, it does say the lap time was achieved with a prototype boasting what it describes as an optional Weissach package that brings a six-point racing harness, upgraded brakes and various weight trimming measures and on standard Michelin road tyres.

"With a time of 7 minutes 14 seconds the 918 Spyder has confirmed the potential of its future orientated driveline concept after just a few months of testing," beamed Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder development, who was on hand to witness the new car's hot lap.

The official lap time for the 918 Spyder is among the fastest for a road legal car at the Nurburgring's northern circuit, undercutting the fastest time of its predecessor, the Carrera GT, achieved back in 2004 by some 18 seconds.

As well as confirming the 918 Spyder's testing pace at the Nurburgring, Porsche has also revealed its new range topping model's hybrid driveline boasts an official 585kW.

Power for the carbon fibre bodied two-seater hails from a mid-mounted 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine based on the unit originally used by the Porsche RS Spyder race car as well as a pair of electric motors mounted within the front axle assembly, with drive going to either the front wheels in pure electric mode, the rear wheels (when powered by the petrol engine) or a combination of all four (when accelerating hard). 

By comparison, the Carrera GT's naturally aspirated 5.7-litre V10 petrol engine kicked out 450kW.

A leaked brochure for the new 918 Spyder has surfaced onto the internet (see above), with buyers able to choose from several unique colours and two "wrap" finishes, including the Martini Racing Design finish or the Salzburg Racing Design strip.

Perhaps the most intriguing hues, however, are the Liquid Metal Grey or Blue finishes, which reportedly add US$65,000 (NZ$74,000) to the price tag.

It's not just colours that buyers will be able to choose, however. Porsche will also offer an optional "Weissach Package" (named after the town in which Porsche's research centre is located), which will add six-point racing harnesses, bigger brakes and a raft of weight cuts including the removal of items like the door pockets, armrests, stereo and airconditioning. Total weight saving is estimated at 35 kilograms.

With Matt Campbell



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- Sydney Morning Herald


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