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918 Spyder sets 1st Sub 7min Nürburgring production lap

Porsche News

8 Feb 2008
Porsche 918 Spyder sets Nürburgring lap record

The new Porsche 918 Spyder has lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 6min 57sec, a time that's 14 seconds faster than the existing 'Ring record. Such a quick lap was only possible because of the 918 Spyder's hybrid powertrain, says Porsche, and the new Nürburgring record is claimed to prove the potential its new supercar.

Who is the new Nürburgring lap record holder in the Porsche 918 Spyder?

Porsche had two 918 Spyders at the Nürburgring for record attempt, and former rally champion Walter Rà¶hrl, Porsche test driver Timo Kluck and Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb on hand to set the times. Apparently all three drivers posted sub-7min laps, but ultimately it was Lieb who set the record 6:57 time at an average speed of 112mph. 'We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine driving pleasure, efficiency and performance,' said Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz. 'We have kept our word.'

Porsche claims that the Nürburgring record demonstrates the 'enormous potential that lies in Porsche's pioneering plug-in hybrid concept' but until we've driven LaFerrari and the McLaren P1 too, we won't actually know which of the three new supercars is the most fun and exciting. And that, we think, is more important than lap times.

Remind me, why is the Porsche 918 Spyder so fast?

The 918 Spyder is powered by a 4.6-litre naturally aspirated V8 that revs to 9150rpm and produces 599bhp. But it's also boosted by two electric motors, one for each axle, which brings the total outputs of this Porsche supercar to 875bhp and 944lb ft. The chassis and body are made from carbonfibre, there's agility enhancing rear-wheel steering, adaptive dampers and adaptive aerodynamics, and torque vectoring thanks to the two e-motors. The 918 Spyder hits 62mph in 2.8 seconds and the top speed is 214mph.

'The radical hybridisation of the 918 Spyder from the very outset is what made this lap record possible,' explained 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.'

Both 918 Spyders at the 'Ring were fitted with the optional Weissach Package (which includes magnesium wheels, carbonfibre aero aids, six-point race harnesses, and a lightweight wrap for the bodywork instead of paint) and Porsche also points out that the time were set using the standard Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, rather than any trick slicks. The lap time has been independently verified too, so there can be no claims of foul play.

Is the Porsche 918 Spyder the fastest ever road car to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife?

Sort of. Road-going versions of the Radical SR8 have previously dipped below the seven-minute mark, and a SR8 LM driven by Michael Vergers in 2009 went round the 'Ring in 6:48. But the wider automotive industry prefers to only recognise the times set by vehicles which meet full type-approval. The Radical needs single-vehicle approval to be road legal, so even though the SR8 LM was driven out from the UK for the record, and used the same tyres for the record as well as the journey, Porsche and other manufacturers choose to overlook the Radical's lap.

With that in mind, the previous benchmarks have been the Gumpert Apollo Sport (7:11.57), the Dodge Viper ACR (7:12.13) and the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Package (7.:14.64) – and which the 918 Spyder has now blitzed. But with Nissan readying a Nismo-tuned version of the GT-R, and both the McLaren and Ferrari claiming their P1 and LaFerrari can dip below seven minutes, will the new 'Ring record stand for long?
On-board footage of the sub 7 min lap

Amazing footage.

It's a shame that most of these will never see a race track! Poor little porkies... :(

Wow, what a lap......speed everywhere is simply immense, but ''big balls''
corner entry and exit is something else !!! 8)
Thats worth a watch :thumb:

ETA link to production ready car at FF motor show, its a stunning looking thing.

nick w said:
Wow, what a lap......speed everywhere is simply immense, but ''big balls''
corner entry and exit is something else !!! 8)

Although down the main straight he was saving boost and cruising sub 290kph, whereas in the run to Schwedenkreuz he hit 300kph.

Clearly it can go faster, since I was expecting to see 320kph + on the main straight.... :?: but it looks like it had run out of boost ...
911UK said:
Although down the main straight he was saving boost and cruising sub 290kph, whereas in the run to Schwedenkreuz he hit 300kph.

Well - he wouldn't be saving boost, he would be out of it. Quite possible that he was trying to coax more power out by switching out of the 'hot lap' mode? The other thought would be whether there was a switch to lean out the rear aero for the straight or soften the dampers which would both also make some sense.

Do remember how steeply downhill the run to SX is and how uphill DH is though. It is not impossible that a car with that kind of mid range acceleration might reach VMax on the run to SW but not be able to haul the weight up the hill as fast on DH.
I wonder what the P1 will do it in? How else could I decide which one to buy first :floor:

The 918 Spyder embodies the essence of the Porsche idea: it combines pedigree motor racing technology with excellent everyday utility, and maximum performance with minimum consumption. The task faced by the development team was to create the super sports car for the next decade with a highly efficient and powerful hybrid drive.

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