Attending a recent Porsche driving day at the compact but versatile Aldenhoven proving ground near Dusseldorf, I was lucky enough to hitch a passenger ride in the new Porsche 918 Spyder.
On Aldenhoven’s 1.3-mile oval circuit, Porsche’s man in the hot seat demonstrated the hybrid hypercar’s numerous show-stopping skills: electric-only mode (super-stealthy, yet swift enough to reach 62mph in 6.2sec), launch control (0-62mph in 2.6sec, then on to 124mph in another 4.7sec), ultra-flat cornering (with significantly greater body control than the almost equally heavy 911 Turbo) and, finally, the high-Wattage kidney punch delivered by the electric motors under full throttle.
During demonstration of the latter, which takes effect when engaged in the drivetrain’s most aggressive modes, in-gear acceleration from low revs was strong from the 4.6-litre V8 alone, but then a flex of the right foot brought on the electric beans. Cripes. So that’s what 944lb ft of torque feels like. As the electric motors kicked in with their technical-sounding whine, the revs shot up (this extraordinary engine has 9150rpm to exploit before the red line) and we were flung down the home straight in a surging blur.
I tried to recall the last time I felt pinned back into my seat with such force, and one memory stood out. In our special issue to celebrate 5000 Autocar road tests (2 March 2011), we featured a 1988 Porsche 959 as part of our never-tested ‘Ones that got away’ group (alongside a Ford GT40 and Ferrari F50).