I was able to snap these photos at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show as Porsche unveiled the much-anticipated 918 Spyder supercar. As you can see it’s a beautiful vehicle, but the real story here involves the plug-in hybrid engine and performance elements.
This concept was designed to be a high-performance hybrid, with 887 horsepower and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds. Like the Ferrari supercar announced earlier this year, the 918 Spyder features a combustion engine combined with an electric motor-based drive to optimize the dynamic performance of the vehicle. The electric motor allows for the faster acceleration from zero and then the gas motor kicks in.
This is the new reality of supercars. They are obviously becoming much more exotic, and in a way we’re seeing a real departure from traditional sports cars with a traditional stick shift. For that reason, cars like the new Corvette that still embrace the stick shift and powerful gas engine will probably still command a legion of fans.
But for sheer performance, these new hybrid supercars will be a beast on the track.
Little was known about the sub-Boxster model Porsche was planning to produce. Some, like myself, saw it as a successor to Porsche’s 550 Spyder and 356. Others pointed to the parts sharing between Porsche, VW, and Audi, and saw the car as a successor to the dreadful 914. We may never know how good it may or may not have been however, since reports out of Germany say that Porsche is stalling its development.
Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller sat down with German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche to discuss the automaker’s future. When pressed about the 550 successor he stated, “Possibly we need to wait until the next generation of customers before the idea of a small roadster will work for Porsche,” and that it would “dilute the brand image.” This reason is complete nonsense. He might have well said, “These are not the droids you are looking for.”
Alongside the 911, it was easy to forget that the Porsche Boxster is also due for a refresh. Porsche has not forgotten about its enty-level sports car, though, and has delivered a brand new Boxster that is wider, lighter, and more powerful.
The 2013 Boxster can be distinguished at a glance by its newly refined exterior and interior. The exterior sports some flamboyant side scoops, new lights similar in shape to the 918 supercar concept, and an overall tightening of its appearance. The interior sports q center console inspired by the Panamera and better materials. Also, the car is slightly widened to increase interior volume. This redesign bodes especially well for the new Cayman as well since the Cayman is basically a Boxster with a roof.
On the mechanical side, the non-S Boxster get a horsepower bump to 265hp and the S models get an increase to 315hp. Both models recieve either a 6 speed manual transmission or a 7 speed PDK option. Weight has also been dropped by 77lbs.
Lighter, leaner, and meaner, the new Porsche Boxster sets its sights on driving out from under the 911’s shadow.