Nordschleife-enthusiasts, head for your lists. Still a year away from its official launch, the Porsche 918 Spyder rounded the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 07:14 minutes. Not bad for a plug-in hybrid. The timing however, could have been a bit more high-tech.
According to Porsche, “the lap time of the Porsche 918 Spyder prototype is one of the best ever clocked for street-legal vehicles with standard production tires. The course was only available to the development team from Weissach for one lap, and it had to be started from a standstill. The plug-in hybrid super sports car with over 795 hp was equipped with production tires from development partner Michelin as well as the optional “Weissach” package, which integrates modifications that boost driving performance.”
These lines appear to be written with at least a sideway glance at Wikipedia, where the List of Nürburgring Nordschleife lap times is being kept. The list demands that OEM tires are being used, and that a video is submitted. At the time of this typing, the 918 had not been added.
We asked Porsche about the video, and one was promised for September. With the lap time of the Lexus LFA standing at 7:14:64, we also inquired about the exact time. Porsche spokesman Holger Eckhardt says the 7:14 was “timed by hand, therefore, we only publish an approximation, generously rounded up.” With such inexact and ungerman readings, a place on the list might be a bit shaky – until the proper timing gear arrives.
Currently, the fastest street-legal production car around the Nordschleife is the Dodge Viper ACR (some claim it wasn’t street legal) with 7:12:13, followed by the Lexus LFA. Unless, of course, you believe that a car that needs a 45 minute start up procedure involving a laptop plugged into the ECU, and that needs an engine rebuild every 30 hours is a production car. In that case, the Radical SR8 (which would not get a license plate in Germany) is the top car.
PS: Some blogs that use other blogs to blog claim that veteran race driver Walter Röhrl (65) was behind the wheel of the ring-rounding 918. Not true, says Holger Eckhardt, “it wasn’t Walter Röhrl, it was a test driver.” The man in the picture isn’t Walter Röhrl either. It is Dr. Frank Walliser, project chief of the 918, and a proud man.