It was daft to expect too little. But, as the old man still says to me, “expect nothing, son, and you’ll never be disappointed”. Ever the optimist. 

On paper, though, the bald figures suggested that a Porsche 918 Spyder would arrive at the MIRA proving ground for our road test too overfed and under-muscled to get near the sharpest end of these hypercar shenanigans. 

Porsche’s typical nonchalance implied that they wouldn’t be pushing to squeeze every last ounce out of it, either. “Hope you don’t mind,” they said, “because I know we don’t usually; but we thought we’d bring a technician with us, in case anything goes wrong. Is that okay?”

“Of course,” we said, because ‘a technician’, singular, is nothing compared with the army of engineers and advisory racing drivers and tyre pumpers that accompany some extremely fast cars from elsewhere. 

(We don’t mind that, either, I should say; although the rush sometimes flusters the sandwich assembler in the MIRA canteen.)

But the 918 is a Porsche, of course, and Porsche hasn’t won nine out of 26 of our Handling Days, and come achingly close 
to winning several more, without good reason. There’s a reason, too, that, during the past decade or so, the number of former Autocar staffers who’ve gone on to spend their own money on a Porsche is, I think, into double figures.