October 2, 2012

The coming hyper car battle: Porsche 918

The coming hypercar battle, P1 vs F70 vs 918.

In this clip, Harris goes to a Porsche PR even at the ring, skip the first four and a half minutes or so and go to the interview with 918 project leader Frank Wallinser.
Harris makes a good point about the 959 vs the F40. Years later, the F40 is on every car guy's top 5 list while the 959...Bill Gates owned one right?

This car weighs in at over 3700lbs. Granted modern suspension design has shown weight is not the performance handicap it once was but that is one heavy car, no matter how many evocative stickers you put on it.



  1. great enginnering exercise, I admire it a lot. Great for the environment and the future of the sports cars and all that.
    if you gave me one for free I would sell it and buy an F40 without a second thought ;)

  2. Here are my thoughts:

    Yes, that's a very nice car and will no doubt me quite the performer.

    They really should have gone with the same color pallette as the original 917. The subdued gray is just a cop out.

    Ferrari is going to kick their ass.

    Why? Because, for one thing, they go on and on about the number of years they put into dialing this thing in, about getting this computer to talk with that computer to handle this other parameter.

    When I heard that, all I could think of was, so?

    Ferrari has been doing that for years with their F1 cars while the guys at Porsche were making SUVs for the Carmella Sopranos of the world.

  3. I'm an engineer and even I know... A great engineering exercise does not make a great car.

    1. I find the Panamera Sport Turismo concept more appealing as a hybrid drivetrain study.

  4. Not enough info yet to say either way. All we've got from Ferrari are paper specs and some interesting carbon fiber lay-ups (camo'd spyshots of a test mule don't give us much more than that). I've seen a lot of disdain for the P1 (even here *cough* ) without any actual hands-on.

    I'm just not ready to go either way on any of them (leaning P1. Macca fanboy. yep). The worst part is, few will drive any of them, fewer will drive all of them, and this debate will continue well into the next century, lol.

    Think I'll just stick with the F1 as all-time fav. Sill got some posters some where...

    1. To be fair there was no disdain for the P1 here,,the only comment was that the 12c is superior to the 458 on paper but in real life it did not quite translate.

  5. 959 and F40 were different cars built for different purposes by different companies with different rationales. Sure they were sold around the same time, but it's fruitless to compare them.

    959 was meant to be a rolling demonstration of the cleverest ideas that Porsche engineers could successfully execute. Often these were very complex ideas. The car was unapologetic about its weight compared to a 930.

    F40, on the other hand, had a largely derived drivetrain mated to a push-the-envelope carbon/kevlar chassis. Ferrari was trying to show that it could build not only cushy GT cars (TR, Mondial, 328) but also a full-out race car for the road.

    I'd reckon that guys tend to prefer F40 more because of its styling rather than its mechanicals. 959 just looks like a mushy 911.

    We already know the 918 is a modern execution of the 959 design ethos. We don't quite yet know whether F70 is going to be built in the same vein as the F40.

  6. I join CH in the S"till not convinced" ranks. 3700#s is a lot for this type of car. If it were a 4 seater FF type supercar it would be awesome, but not for a 2 seater Spyder supercar.
    being the first in implementing all this tech, we all know how fast Technology makes progress, so I predict this car will be quickly outdated and look obsolete in a few years just like the 959 did (a 993 Turbo was equally capable and better car within a decade).

    For 2 seater Supercars I stick to the proven formula of low weight, massive power and spectacular design. Just like the new Mc P1, Zonda or the future F70.

  7. Obviously, the 918 is a technical exercise and showcase to allow Porsche to demonstrate some of the design ethos and direction that the company and VW is planning for itself. Some of this technology will trickle down to the various competition and road models. Beyond the technology, it and the other machines are pretty ridiculous and far more expensive than they ever should be, but it guess we all need to dream.

    As far as the Ferrari F40, I have always struggled with the look of the car. Terrible front end treatment and a weird proportion to the wheelbase and overall length of the bodywork. If you parked it next to a VW Beetle chassis faux mid-engine kit car from 1977, it would be hard to tell the difference. Not saying it wasn't a performer, but it was far from any kind of technological marvel and the fit and finish was not even up to Ferrari race car standards of the day.
    The Porsche 959 was the technological benchmark of the day and much of the interesting gadgets with that car are pretty commonplace today on common road cars. Its only fault is the engineers removed the sense of personal accomplishment of being able to wring out the last 10% of the performance from the 911 series. The car was better than 99% of the drivers who could own one. But I guess that is pretty much the case for all of these 1% performance machines these days.


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