Tuesday 17th September 2013


What would the 918 Spyder be like without the hybrid gizmos? Slower, perhaps, but still rather lovely

So after lapping the Nordschleife in less than seven minutes, there's been a fair bit of excited chatter round these parts about the Porsche 918 Spyder. It has perhaps served to allay a few of those nagging doubts about the potential of a hybrid 1,640kg Porsche.

But then it's not a situation unfamiliar to Porsche's hypercars. When the Carrera GT was launched a decade ago, there were quite widespread criticisms about its tricky ceramic clutch, unforgiving on the limit handling and generally quite uncompromising nature.

And today? It's revered as a bastion of the analogue supercar, where those flaws have become unique traits and values reflect the high esteem in which it's held. You only have to look at how much less a Mercedes SLR McLaren can be purchased for compared to a CGT for proof of this.

Actually, that appraisal isn't entirely accurate. A new compound of Michelin Pilot Super Sport specifically for the GT has reputedly made the handling rather less savage, and the clutches on later cars are easier to modulate. You can even get it rolling without any throttle to avoid the awkward balancing act.

See here for 'driver-focused interior'
See here for 'driver-focused interior'
Then of course the Carrera GT's stand-out feature can be enjoyed; that glorious Le Mans-derived 5.7-litre V10. The 918's V8 is undeniably wonderful, making 580hp at 8,500rpm from 4.6-litres, but there's always a sense of it being sullied by the presence of the electric motors. To echo Mr Harris, you can't help but wonder what a 918 Spyder with just that engine and less weight (an R perhaps?) would be like.

But then a CGT isn't too far from that, remember. It makes 620hp at 8,000rpm and a 1,380kg kerbweight, figures comparable to the 458 Speciale. With a manual. This sort of spec will probably keep values up as the analogue supercar age become replaced by hybrid hypercars. Although the GT was fairly old school even at launch; the Enzo had already introduced a plethora of steering wheel buttons and a paddleshift-only gearbox.

Speaking of values, Carrera GTs refuse to budge from the c. £300K, not much less than new. This black GT warrants its high price by dint of its low miles (4,100) and late production date (2006). Even with the arrival of the 918, we suspect cars like this will be in demand for a while yet.

5,733cc V10
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 620@8,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 435@5,750rpm
MPG: 16
CO2: 432g/km
Price new: £330,000
Yours for: £332,750

See the original advert here


Author: Matt Bird
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