In the months since its debut at the Geneva Auto Show one thing has become clear: the Porsche 918 Spyder is perhaps the most jaw-dropping, beautiful and salivatingly-green piece of automotive artwork to ever grace the face of the earth. It represents a sliver of hope to even the most environmentally-hardened among us that the joy and thrill of driving will still be alive even after we run out of oil.
With a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds, a lithium-ion battery that can take the car 16 miles on battery power alone, a maximum fuel efficiency of about 78 mpg, and a combined 718 horsepower, this plug-in hybrid supercar seems to have it all. Thankfully, last month the Porsche board greenlighted the production of the 918 after receiving interest from more than 2,000 potential customers—even to the tune of a greater than $400,000 sticker price.
And now, in a video produced and released by Porsche, Michael Mauer, the company’s design chief, takes us on the 918’s first in-the-wild drive prior to the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Montery, California.
In the video Mauer brings up some salient and stark points saying, “Due to the environmental discussion, there were big, big question marks about the future of this type of car, and therefore as well, of the future of the Porsche brand.” To the world of automotive enthusiasts—even though many do care about things like preserving the environment and weaning ourselves off of oil—the clear direction of the future of emissions and fuel economy requirements was a shot across the bow of an obsession with all things vehicle-related.
But, as Mauer remarks, “The most important message is that there is no contradiction anymore between performance, between having fun driving a car and this whole environmental discussion.” So rest easy automotive enthusiasts, there is hope for a future with limited oil and stricter regulations. Just one listen to the sound of the 918’s growl is enough to rest your twitchy, apprehensive muscles.