This week I drove the Porsche 918 Spyder, and my goodness, was it worth the wait. There are many reasons for this, but here are the top 10...
1. In the metal, and without the garish Martini paint job (which costs an additional 20,000 euros by the way) it looks stunning. There’s a simple purity to the styling of the Porsche 918 that makes both the McLaren P1 and the LaFerrari look fussy and over-complicated by comparison. In silver, especially, it looks knee-tremblingly beautiful in the raw. And while I appreciate that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, you really do need to see this car in the flesh, in amongst other ordinary cars, to understand just how elegant it is.
2. Forget the 94.1mpg claim for the combined cycle because no one is ever going to get that sort of economy out of it in the real world. But what you will see, and what Porsche’s test drivers have recorded time and again during the zillions of development miles they’ve covered, is a genuine 28-30mpg in normal driving. That’s nothing short of phenomenal for a car with this sort of performance. A Bugatti Veyron, for example, will quaff more than twice as much fuel on the same journey, sometimes three times as much if you open the taps properly.
3. Talking of 918 versus Veyron, Walter Röhrl – who has extensive experience driving both – reckons the 918 is “quite a lot faster than the Veyron” up to about 180mph. When we road tested the uber version of the Veyron, the 1183bhp Supersport model, in March 2011, it did 0-60mph in 2.6sec and 0-124mph in 7.1sec. Porsche says the 918 will do 0-60mph in 2.5sec and 0-124mph (200kmh) in 7.2sec. Crikey.