918 expletives deleted
There are fast cars. Seriously fast cars. Then there is what many petrolheads would regard as the holy trinity of superfast cars. LaFerrari, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918. Each a virtuoso act employing the very latest technologies to extract mind altering performance. Which of these cars will take the crown is still up for debate. But whichever ultimately does, we’re in a happy place because under each bonnet (well boot lid really), they share one component in common. NGK spark plugs.
Right now though we’d like to focus on the candidate from Germany. Porsche’s latest tour de force, the Porsche 918 Spyder. Let’s take it for a spin with Porsche Test Driver, Patrick Long…
Quick isn’t it? Packing 944lb ft of torque means that it accelerates to 60 with alacrity. Officially alacrity equates to 3.1 seconds. Or around as fast as you would say “three point one seconds”. Maybe a smidgen more. And sub seven minute times for a lap of the Nürburgring are being talked of too. So it certainly is no slouch.
Interestingly those performance numbers let the side down when it comes to footballers bragging rights in the dressing room.
Both McLaren and Ferrari are claiming faster acceleration times. But hey, in the real world of us mere mortals, what does the odd tenth mean? And would most of us be able to tell the difference anyway? Not that we wouldn’t love the opportunity to try!
Of course what these cars are about isn’t simply how much and how fast? But more about how? People are always banging on about how the technology in Formula One finds its way eventually into the road cars. These are in part classic examples of that philosophy in action. Of course Porsche don’t dirty their hands in the Piranha Club of Formula One. No they prefer the heroics of long distance sports car races like Le Mans where the real men go racing. But the principle still holds good.
So how does this technology transfer manifest itself? Well their approach involves a mix of ‘traditional’ internal combustion V8, topped up with emotors front and rear. The idea being their torque fills in the ‘flat’ spots!! Did we say flat spots? Well everything is relative…
Even the 600w hi fi sounds as if it could propel the car along quite nicely if you could point all the speakers rearwards!
Add four wheel drive and four wheel steer and you start running out of ands to describe how feature packed this car really is. Of course what we all want is to see it in the flesh. And that may happen sooner rather than later…
The rumours making the rounds at the moment is that it might be making a special guest appearance on the hill at Goodwood this June. Maybe with Mark Webber at the wheel? McLaren seems odds on to bring a P1 to the party. So it just remains for the boys from Maranello to make everyone’s day by letting LaFerrari out of its cage. And with Kimi Raikkonen confirmed as attending that could well be on the cards. So all one can say is roll on the Festival of Speed.