martini 918 2

The battle of the hypercars has begun, even before any of the three contenders start production. Porsche fired the first salvo, claiming that its upcoming 918 Spyder will be faster than the Ferrari LaFerrari and McLaren P1. And that’s despite being down on power and weighing more than both its archrivals.

Porsche’s product manager James Eastwood told CAR UK the 918 Spyder’s combined 887 hp hybrid powertrain and through-the-road electric four-wheel drive make it more than capable to match its 900+ hp rivals, citing a technological advantage in its favour.

Its rear-wheel drive rivals will have to brake in a straight line, compromising corner-entry speed. The 918’s torque vectoring and independently-driven front wheels can maintain better drive and achieve higher entry and mid-corner speed. Four-wheel steer increases agility too, and is worth an extra 50 hp or 100 kg weight saving over a racing lap claims Eastwood.

As it is a prototype 918 Spyder has lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 14 seconds – much quicker than the Carrera GT and the latest 911 Turbo S – and that car was driven by an engineer rather than a racing driver. Expect it to improve on that as well as the sub-3 seconds 0-100 km/h time and 325 km/h claimed top speed when it reaches its final production form.