Porsche Isn’t Stepping Away From The Hypercar Race
It’ll be on the sidelines for now, but a replacement to the 918 Spyder is still happeningby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1 all ushered in a new era of hypercars when they made their debuts a few years ago. Since then, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin have joined in on the fun with their own 1,000-horsepower machines. Even McLaren has said that it’s up for seconds, and after initially teasing that it’s going to do the same, Porsche has now confirmed plans to develop a follow-up to the mighty 918 Spyder. Just don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.
The confirmation (of sorts) came from no less than Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, who said that the benchmark-setting 918 Spyder would in fact get a next-generation model. The only caveat is that the car isn’t expected to arrive for at least another eight years. “Special models like the 918 Spyder normally we launch every 10 years,” Blume said, indicating that the replacement model won’t arrive at least until 2025 and that any discussion of said model likely won’t take place until 2022.
For now, Porsche appears to be content to sit on the sidelines and spectate on the next wave of hypercars that are scheduled to hit the market in the coming years. One of these models, the recently-named Aston Martin Valkyrie, is scheduled to hit public roads in 2018, right around the same time as Mercedes-AMG’s very own hypercar. There’s also been talk within McLaren circles that the British automaker is in the drawing board for a replacement of its own P1 hypercar, although nothing much has amounted to that.
Even Audi has thrown its name into the hat, even though Audi Sport boss Stephan Winkelmann’s comments on the matter simply suggests that an Audi hyper “might be a good idea.” The point being made here is that a lot of automakers have seen what the Porsche 918 Spyder was able to do for Porsche and they’re not going to sit idly by and let others enjoy the spoils.
There’s legitimate competition brewing in this new segment, and as one of the stalwarts, Porsche appears to be opting for a measured approach on the matter. Let everyone get their turn in the spotlight, and when it’s time, the German automaker will come back with a vengeance.
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It’s a long wait, but if it happens, the wait would be worth it
There’s a mixture of good news and bad news attached to Oliver Blume’s comments. The good news is that Porsche will have a replacement for the 918 Spyder. The bad news is that the timetable is stretched far enough that things could still change depending on what the industry looks like in the future. I’ve been around this business long enough to know that the direction of the wind could change in a matter of seconds and today’s plans are scuttled because they don’t end up making sense anymore.
So I’m taking Blume’s comments with a mixture of optimism and apprehension. I am comforted knowing that Porsche is embracing the development of rival hypercars, saying that it’s a form of competition that allows companies to strive to be better. And in Blume’s words: “we love to have competition because we are coming from motorsport.”
“Competition helps you to be better, even better than the competition, and therefore for us, it’s very important to have a good management and innovations, and at the end have the car with the best driving performance, best driving dynamics and that’s our competition,” he added.
It’s also that same competitive drive that I’m leaning on to help Porsche strive to have a better hypercar offering when the time it comes that it feels ready to plunge into the deep end of the pool. For now, though, Porsche’s involvement in the hypercar race now that the 918 Spyder has sold out is a wait-and-see game. I’d love to say that this new hypercar is already set in stone, but it would be foolish to do so given that Blume himself admitted that Porsche isn’t revisiting the idea for at least another five years.
Still, I’m not losing hope because Porsche has always prided itself on being the best at what it does and if the hypercar market evolves into an extremely competitive one in the coming years, you can be sure that Porsche will be back on the drawing board to get the development of its next hypercar started. If that happens, this whole wait-and-see game would be worth it.
Read our full review on the Porsche 918 Spyder here.
Source: Motoring Australia