All good things must come to an end and so, after 21 months of production, the last Porsche Spyder 918 has rolled off the assembly line in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, The production run was always limited to 918 units, meaning that the last chance to grab one of these beautiful cars in a newly minted state has now passed.
If you’re unfamiliar with the 918 Spyder, it was previewed in concept form at Geneva in 2010, then launched in late 2013 to great acclaim. Combining a high-performance combustion engine with two electric motors, it’s essentially a performance hybrid with plug-in technology. Demonstrating the Porsche flair for innovation, the rear electric motor is cooled through a unique use of air and water. It can also convert far more kinetic energy into electrical energy than other hybrid vehicles thanks to intelligent control of generator functionality and conventional brakes, which boosts efficiency and driving range. A similar form of this recovery system is implemented in the LMP1 prototypes of the 919 Hybrid which Porsche raced to an impressive 1-2 victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans.
As well as using an innovative all-carbon body, every attention was been made to increase the 918 Spyder’s aerodynamics, which are fully variable. In addition, the car has five different operating modes – activated by a map switch on the steering wheel – that maximise efficiency and performance.
It’s not only the car that displays made great leaps forward in automotive engineering; according to Porsche, the marque has also applied for patents to cover the changes it made to the manufacturing process. Many of these related to ergonomics: for example, the entire assembly process takes place with wireless tools, and the almost soundless screwdrivers are controlled via Bluetooth to ensure that specified torques are reliably achieved.
The Porsche 918 Spyder has clearly resulted in useful innovations across the Porsche world and we’re excited to see how these are applied and developed on whatever follows next off the marque’s production line.