In an interesting turn of events, Porsche has once again returned to the Nürburgring with its most recent hypercar, the 918 Spyder. Why is this so interesting? The Porsche 918 Spyder exited production in 2015, yet, here the company is, flogging the car during industry test runs.
The 918 Spyder is also wearing the same Martini livery as the car that set the blazingly quick 6:57 time at the ‘Ring in 2013. So, what gives? Porsche told Road and Track the 918 Spyder is being used as a benchmark and reference point for an undisclosed vehicle. Talk about answering one question and opening up a floodgate of so many others.
As a reminder, the 918 Spyder uses a 4.6-liter V-8 engine paired with two electric motors. The hybrid system makes a combined total output of 887 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque. With that refresher in mind, it is worth noting that the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid uses a similar hybrid system, though nowhere near as potent. The Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid produces 680 hp, and it’s possible that car is the aforementioned undisclosed vehicle.
Another potential candidate is the 2019 Porsche 911, which will arrive with a more flexible platform to add a hybrid system. The 918 Spyder’s technology could trickle down to the more commonplace 992 chassis 911. However, the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 engine that’s in the 991.2 911 will be present, which is currently capable of delivering 420 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque in the 911 Carrera S.
There is one more possibility. The car in this video appears to be running flat out. Could Porsche be attempting to recapture the record lap time at the ‘Ring that was recently claimed by the Lamborghini Huracán Performante?
Whatever the case, Porsche is up to something. All we can do is take a few educated guesses until we have some concrete evidence.