Porsche 911 Edition 918 Spyder

Exclusive supercar is a taster for buyers of hybrid

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

What sets this 911 Turbo S apart is not the neon green paint nor the savagely quick and civilised way it tackles any road. In fact, because it costs the same as the standard car, the £125k price is irrelevant. The fact Porsche has sold one to every 918 Spyder Hybrid buyer so far proves that, while this is purely a commercial exercise, it’s a successful one. As a mouth-watering appetiser it’s hard to fault, and it should be an entertaining daily driver when the main course arrives.

Another day, another special-edition 911 – but this one is a bit different. Auto Express was first behind the wheel of the Edition 918 Spyder: a restyled version of the 523bhp 911 Turbo S.
Porsches don’t come any more exclusive than this. The car is available only to customers awaiting delivery of the stunning £672,000 918 Spyder Hybrid, which is due in 2013. So does the Turbo S have enough to keep them entertained in the meantime? We drove it at the company’s factory in Germany to find out.
Porsche might be accused of capitalising on its elite clientele’s impatience, but this is a shrewd move. Every single 918 Spyder customer has also plumped for the £125,000 Turbo S: a trinket 
to accompany the ultimate prize.
Our silver car came with 19-inch black rims that matched perfectly with the acid green detailing on the huge brake calipers. More logos on the wings and the green ‘S’ on the engine lid let everyone know you’re set to become the owner of one of the world’s first – and fastest – hybrid supercars.
Inside, the special leather trim is stitched in luminous green thread, and the colour is also used on the needles on the main dials and the big Sport Chrono stopwatch mounted in the centre of the dash. Extra carbon fibre in the door sills complements the mirrors and huge air intakes, and a numbered plaque will match the corresponding 918 Spyder’s.
On Germany’s autobahns and the blemish-free B-roads around Stuttgart, the Turbo S was mind-bogglingly quick. By pressing the Sport Plus button, then flooring the throttle, we covered 0-62mph in just under three seconds, and the mountain of torque helped the newcomer storm towards its 196mph top speed with ease.
There’s a real precision in the way it slices through corners, and the excellent seven-speed PDK dual-clutch box – with proper steering wheel-mounted shift paddles – is, as always, a pure pleasure to use. It offers superb feel and instant downchanges whenever required.
However, as the mechanicals are all identical to those of the standard Turbo S, that’s hardly surprising. In fact, we suspect the real thrill of driving this car is the anticipation it builds for the expectant owner – as with each mile, the driver edges closer to possessing what promises to be a real automotive milestone.

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