Porsche 918 Drives The Australian Outback: Video
Many regard the Australian Outback as home to a variety of things that would like very much to kill you, including crocodiles, venomous snakes, toxic spiders, and roid-raging kangaroos on their cycle. But there’s something else out there just as capable of landing a fatal sucker punch if you aren’t careful – the unrestricted two-lane tarmac of the Northern Territories. Luckily for us, Kiwi pro driver and Carrera Cup champ Craig Baird fears no highway, even when Porsche hands him the keys to a 918 and instructs him not to lift.
Given the undulating, cracked and debris-strewn nature of this public road, you wouldn’t necessarily expect anyone to attempt such a risky stunt. Surface conditions aside, all it takes is a single bit of wayward down-under fauna to turn the whole show into a crumpled ball of exotic German engineering. However, fortune favors the bold, and Baird pushes his hybrid chariot to the absolute max, hitting an astonishing 350 km/h (217.5 mph) on the top end.
Part of the equation is his 918’s equipped Weissach performance package, which trims 80 pounds from the base model’s 3,700-pound curb weight, yielding a downright feathery 3,620 pounds. This is accomplished thanks to a carbon-fiber roof, rear wing, side mirrors, and windshield surround, not to mention the go-faster livery that is sure to be good for at least a few extra mph.
Seeing this ultimate Porsche blast to the top of seventh gear is just insane, and even though the road is straight, you can see Baird working to keep all four tires planted. At 200 mph plus, things happen quickly, and the vibrations in the cabin are immense. Press play and prepare to be impressed.
By combining a 4.6-liter V-8 with two parallel electric motors, this monster from Stuttgart lays down 887 horsepower and 940 pound-feet of torque at all four wheels, endowing it with a 2.8-second 0-to-60 time and 85 mpg (albeit not at the same time). Keeping it glued to the road are adaptive suspension components that automatically adjust to the given road condition, whether it’s a silky smooth race track or a gravel-laden back road. Porsche’s renowned ceramic brakes shed the speed. Pricing starts at $845,000, making the 918 the least expensive hybrid hypercar compared to the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari.
Read our full review here.