The Porsche 918 Spyder* has conquered the 12.8-mile (20.6-kilometer) lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes. Achieving a time of six minutes and 57 seconds, the super sports car equipped with a hybrid drive shaved 14 seconds off the previous Nürburgring record for a street-legal automobile, and 17 seconds from its run last September.
Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, had the following to say: "We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance. We have kept our word."
As is the case with Porsche, the 918 Spyder is also leading the way for future generations as the latest in the line of super sports cars. It is currently making its global debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. With its unique spread, the model blends maximum driving dynamics with minimal fuel consumption. By taking the Nürburgring record, the 918 sports car is demonstrating the enormous potential that lies in Porsche's pioneering plug-in hybrid concept, and is underpinning the leading role the company enjoys when it comes to developing sporty hybrid vehicles.
"The radical hybridization of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible," says Dr. Frank Walliser, head of the 918 Spyder project. "The lap time on the Nordschleife is and remains the toughest measure of a super sports car. Posting a time of 6.57 minutes, we achieved a result of which everyone in the development team and at Porsche as a whole is rightly proud."
The record, which was previously held for four years, was broken during the first attempt in the test drive on the morning of September 4. All three drivers – former European Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb – were quicker than the existing record with each lap driving a different 918 Spyder, and posted lap times of less than seven minutes on numerous occasions. Ultimately, it was Marc Lieb who posted the absolute best time of 6.57 minutes, driving at an average speed of 111.5 mph (179.5 km/h), as measured by Wige Solutions. Marcus Schurig, editor-in-chief of the sports car magazine "Sport Auto," was on hand as an objective observer of the record-breaking runs. The two sports cars, which deliver an output of 887 bhp (652 kW), were equipped with the optional "Weissach package" to increase driving dynamics and the standard Michelin tires developed specifically for the 918 Spyder.
The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2014 at a base MSRP of $845,000.
* 918 Spyder: combined fuel consumption: 3.3–3.0 l/100 km; combined energy consumption: 12.5–13.0 kWh/100 km. U.S. EPA Fuel Economy figures will be available closer to the car's availability – early in 2014.