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£704,000 when new
There’s nothing like a bit of needle from the opposition. In the face of the astounding outputs now announced by the rivals McLaren P1 and LaFerrari, Porsche has found some more poke from the race-bred V8 engine in the 918 Spyder. It has also juiced-up the electrical systems. Result, it’s now rated at a total 887bhp, almost 100bhp up from the original expectation. That’s 608bhp from the engine, 149 from the rear electric motor and 129 from the front one. Meanwhile, the weight has been cut, to 1640kg in this production-intent prototype, thanks to the kg-shaving ‘Weissach Pack’. The rest is as we’ve reported before. Which, because of the 4WD as well as the plug-in hybrid system and four-wheel steering, makes it the most complicated car I can think of. But right now, strapped in, behind the wheel and pushing the throttle on the corner that flows into the straight at Porsche’s Leipzig track, I’m occupied not with complication but with acceleration. Of a pure and savage kind. The zero-to-125mph number is under eight seconds. That’s a whole second better than Porsche’s original prediction. The flat-crank V8 jettisons its exhaust from a pair of upward-aiming pipes just behind your head. It’s hollow and gutteral at low revs, then yowls with primal urgency as it approaches the 9150rpm limit. It makes 132bhp per litre, by the way. Without a turbo or supercharger in sight.