Porsche has high hopes for whatever new hypercar succeeds the 918, including a 30-second decrease in lap time around the infamous Nurburgring race track.
The Porsche 918 was one of those cars that kids would put posters up on their bedroom walls. It was a mid-engined, plug-in hybrid hypercar that combined the power of a 4.6-L naturally aspirated V8 with two electric motors for a combined output of 875 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque.
Zero to sixty was done in just 2.4 seconds with a top speed of 214 miles per hour.
As with almost any performance Porsche, the German carmaker took the 918 to the Nurburgring to see how fast it could go. It managed a time of 6 minutes and 57 seconds, which was a lap record way back in 2013.
Since then faster Porsches (and other carmakers) have beaten that time, but that still doesn’t make the 918 any less of an incredible feat of engineering. And now we might be in store for a sequel.
Speaking to Top Gear at this year’s Los Angeles Motor Show, Porsche Motorsport chief Frank-Steffen Walliser said that they’re working on a new successor to the 918, but that any replacement car would have to beat the old car’s Nurburgring lap time by at least 30 seconds.
“It must achieve a 6m 30s at the Nürburgring,” Walliser said. “I don’t care about the drivetrain, 6m 30s is the target. Sports cars are defined by their performance, then we have to look how to achieve it. An electric car in 6m 30s is quite a challenge.”
Is it that much of a challenge? The current fastest car to lap the Nurburgring is the Porsche 919 EVO Hybrid, which combines a hybrid powertrain from an LMP1 race car with a few non-road-legal tweaks and achieved a lap time of 5:19.55. One suspects you could add a few legalizing changes to the 919 and only add a minute to the car’s lap time.
But the interesting thing here is the statement that he doesn’t “care about the drivetrain.” Porsche is going all-in on electrification for most of their lineup, and making a new 918 without a hint of electricity would be very off-brand.
We’ll have to wait and see, of course. Porsche is much more concerned with the new 911 than any 918 successor at the moment, so it might be some years before we see another hypercar come out of them.