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918 - 3,500 mile report

 
Old 09-19-2015, 04:50 PM
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stefan einz
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Default 918 - 3,500 mile report

I picked up my 918 in April of this year, and have now completed 3,500 miles in the car. So I thought I'd share some early experiences and views on the car.

I don't know about you, but whilst I enjoy running in a new car, I can't help but be impatient to feel what it can really do. Well, the 918 re-wrote that rule for me - the car's pace even at part throttle and part revs was - and remains to this day - shocking. My early drives were done in Sport mode (with the NA engine running all the time) and with a 4,000 rpm rev limit; the car was still faster across the ground that just about anything I've driven!

Shortly after running in the car, I had the chance to join PCGB and some other 918 owners on a trip to Le Mans. It was my first time to Le Mans, and what a way to do it. Our organiser chose some excellent routes, and it was possible to open the car up at last. In Race mode, you get full electric boost (in Sport mode it's about 2/3rds, if the manual's diagrams are to be believed). The exhaust note also hardens and frankly the first time I pinned down the throttle to the red line, I just could not help laughing. The sound is scalpel sharp; not sonorous like the CGT, but incredibly purposeful.

(The 918s lined up en route to Le Mans)

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Most recently, I took the car to the Nurburgring, to watch the WEC race. It was a chance to take the car on some de-restricted roads, and to try it on the Nordschleife.

Unfortunately, the weather out to the 'Ring was appalling - rain non stop from Calais to Nurburg. So any high speed runs were off the agenda, and to be honest it was a horrid journey as the Cup 2s - whilst better than previous generations - are not confidence inspiring in standing water. 50 mph was often the order of the day on those sodden (or is that sodding?) Belgian motorways.

However, the weather improved once there and I was able to take the car on the Green Hell for a few TF laps. I was definitely taking it easy in the car - driving massively below its potential. But even so, I was left with the indelible impression of the car's supreme stability at high speed; outstanding damping control and of course it's crazy pace. Leaving Adenau Forst one time, I was able to keep up with two well-ridden super bikes as they accelerated to Metzgefeld.

One of the strange things about the acceleration is that the first "hit" after you press the throttle feels the strongest. No doubt that is the effect of the e-motors delivering their torque low down; after that, you then have the amazing, screaming top end of the LMP2 derived engine. I love the fact that, like the CGT before it, the NA engine is massively over-engineered for a road car.

One of the more unusual things about the car to get used to is the brakes. The e-motors provide up to 0.5g of deceleration before the hydraulic brakes are needed. So on the public road, you are rarely using the PCCB's in anger. The pedal feel is ok, but takes some getting used to. On track, however, when braking hard the feel is excellent.

At the 'Ring, I stayed at Sabine's brilliant wild-west inspired saloon:

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Outside Manthey Racing:

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I am acutely aware how fortunate I am to be able to own one of these cars. It's a sensational car, and to my surprise the hybrid tech really adds to the experience. I love whispering along silently in e-mode in towns; the car is delivering over 23 mpg (giving it a half decent range, unlike some other recent supercars); and the sheer dynamic breadth of the car never fails to excite and engage.

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(Also posted on Pistonheads in the UK.)
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Old 09-19-2015, 07:35 PM
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So awesome.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:45 AM
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awesome
congrats
and bravo for DRIVING not just talking or staring at the artwork
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Old 09-21-2015, 12:07 AM
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Nice work. Keep driving it
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:35 AM
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As others said before me; awesome. How are the tires holding up? I am sure they will outlast SuperSofts on the streets of Singapore (I was watching the F1 this last weekend) but I wonder by how much, particularly when one drives in a spirited and energetic manner.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mooty View Post
awesome
congrats
and bravo for DRIVING not just talking or staring at the artwork
+1.

Unless I win the lottery, I'll likely never own a car like the 918 and there's a part of me that's taking a great deal of pleasure knowing that someone is actually using their car rather than just letting it sit in a garage.

Many happy, safe miles and thanks for this post. I loved it.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:06 AM
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Cool that you have some 918 owners that want to do some trips like Le Mans and Wec. What a great way to enjoy your car.
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FastCarNut View Post
As others said before me; awesome. How are the tires holding up? I am sure they will outlast SuperSofts on the streets of Singapore (I was watching the F1 this last weekend) but I wonder by how much, particularly when one drives in a spirited and energetic manner.
The tyres are holding up really well - still nearly 5mm left on the tread, which if I am honest surprises me. It clearly puts the power down very cleanly and of course 4WD helps in that regard.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:12 PM
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Very nice write up.
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for sharing!

Great to read threads like this.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:23 PM
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Great write up I think you captured the car very, very well!
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Old 10-08-2015, 11:13 AM
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Gorgeous car in a great color. Thanks for sharing your impressions.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:13 PM
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Great thread... What color is that? Looks perfect
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Old 12-24-2015, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by j777 View Post
Great thread... What color is that? Looks perfect
Would love to know the color as well. Looks gorgeous!
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:38 AM
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Very nice, thanks for sharing !
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