On our recent trip to Japan we met up with a local mate with the plan to head out to Tatsumi PA, though the weather had other ideas. Greeted with rain only minutes after Ivan arrived we decided to wait it out over coffee at the local Starbucks. Nearing midnight the rain had not eased and it was time to say our goodbyes and head back to the hotel when Ivan insisted it was in our best interest to come with him down to the carpark where he had parked his 335i BMW, with these car park spaces being worth $1,000 per month how could we resist.
The elevator door opened and we were greeted by the elite of the elite. But it was the 918 sleeping shamelessly in the corner that had our full attention! THAT is a Porsche?
I am not usually a fan of the Porsche, apart from the Carerra GT, RS, the 959, and recently the modified RWB collection. I know I may upset a few by saying this, but personally when I hear of a Porsche I only envision the new 911 which I feel is an over-hyped VW beetle seen everywhere. Don't get me wrong it is indeed a beautiful car but not the car for me...
In absolute awe of this amazing machine before me I shot every angle I could with what I had on me, an SLR with a single lens (not my best one) and a tripod. Advised that we may be interrupted and escorted out at any moment I cautiously took my photos and we escaped without a trace.
I had to know more! What did I just shoot? How have I not heard or seen of this Porsche before? Ash mentioned he had only seen one on Top Gear once...So the lust began.
After a fair bit of research I soon realised that this beast was the answer to the McLaren P1 and the LaFerarri, combining high-tech racing features with electric mobility to offer a fascinating range of qualities.
With a starting price of $847,975 off the showroom floor, the now sold out 918 goes for $1.5 Million upwards. (WOW!)
The 4.6L 887hp (652kw) v8 also boasts 2 electric motors, one per axle (yes the 918 is 4WD) these electric motors combined putting out 282bhp which is the highest power output from any production electric motor to date with an all electric top speed of 150km/h, with 475Nm of torque from a standing start, impressive hey?
The 918 is most definitely a super sports car in the form of a plug in hybrid.
The 135kg v8 motor containing 608hp (447kw) supported by a dry sump, and a flat, light weight crankshaft allows this beast combined with the electric motors to accelerate from 0-100 in 2.6 seconds, reaching a top speed of 345km/h with a maximum engine speed of 9,150rmp.
The PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) changes gear automatically, but the 7 speed dual clutch transmission can still be controlled manually by the paddle shift to the desire of the driver with gear changes taking place in milliseconds. With 7th gear reaching a maximum of 1280NM of crankshaft torque! I can only hope that one day I will have the pleasure of driving such a sensational masterpiece.
The removable lightweight 2 piece carbon roof panels fit perfectly into the front luggage compartment surprisingly still leaving room for your bags. This thing breeds class, with one piece moulded seats, 3 point seatbelts, padded interior for ultimate safety protection, and a one piece glass console moulded by the same people who make the Samsung phones.
Suspension can be changed from normal to sports with the press of a button. According to the road conditions the electronic damping control system continually regulates the damping force for each wheel, creating a smoother more controlled ride.
What I found extremely interesting was the engineering put into the wheels and suspension. The 918 uses electric and hydraulic brakes, ensuring constant feedback through the pedal. The low weight ceramic brake discs, front and rear ensure a quick stop when you finally get to unleash the monster beneath your foot. Developed with 6 piston monobloc aluminium fixed brake callipers on the front, 4 piston unit at the rear, these monobloc brakes have had so much engineering involved over the years changing from a one piece to a developed two piece due to the introduction of downforce that I'd need another post just to explain it. But they work good, real good, that good they are highlighted in an aggressive acid Green finish just drawing your attention to them.
Implementing an electro-mechanical adjustment system at each rear wheel this remarkably allows the wheels to turn a few degrees either direction. At low speeds the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front, in effect shortening the wheel base for more dynamic steering into corners. But when you push down on that fast pedal, unleashing the horses the rear will be kept anxiously aligned with the front to increase the stability of your ride.
Oh now I want to hear one!!! (BRB gotta go search YouTube! Link at the end. A must listen!)
The thing that I really loved about the 918 and of course my first instant satisfaction was with the body. It sat there low and phat...yes P H PHAT!
The stolen 917 front wing design, followed by the curves up the bonnet emphasise the seductive width. The side air intake extends up the RS styled b-pillar making the curvy rear look even wider finishing with evil three-dimensional rear lights and another piece of engineering, the wing. The aerodynamics of the 918 are enhanced by the 3 stage extendable wing, raising in race mode (with the front diffusers in the underbody also designed to open up) to ensure maximum down force.
Another amazing fact I had read somewhere was that this car could be purchased with an optional lift system which enables the driver to raise the body up to 30mm at the push of a button for driveways, ramps, gutters and transporters even at speeds. Now that could be real handy, especially in my s14...
I really enjoyed learning about something I had shot, rather then posting photos for a quick hour of e-fame.
I did not care for the other cars in the carpark and knew this was something special even before I did my research. I have honestly left so much out but felt you may be as interested as me, in not only WOW how nice but why so expensive? Will Porsche pursue the true supercar game, I HOPE SO!
Will ever get to drive one? Let's hope so....
Photography and write up by Jasmynne Tudor