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The Porsche 918 Spyder is a plug-in hybrid of supercar proportions. With a top speed of 211 mph and an 887 hp mid-mounted V-8, this baby has one foot in the world of street muscle and another in the green revolution.
Is it any wonder that the rich and wondrous covet this mix of heart-pounding decadence and environmental responsibility? Is it also any wonder that the low-slung, futuristic 918 has spawned its share of shocking tales?
Live the high life vicariously through the 10 mind-blowing Porsche 918 true stories below.
1. Will Trade Private Island for Porsche 918 Spyder
Want your own private island? A couple years ago a guy named Emilio Cirelli offered up his own private island in trade. If you’ve got a Porsche 918 going spare, you can make his dreams (and yours?) come true. The island? It’s in Florida, so no Caribbean daydreams there. It’s listed at just over $1 million in value. Since the Spyder originally retailed for around that price and has been discontinued, Cirelli would most likely wind up on the winning end of that deal. True story.
2. He Stole a Porsche 918 in Broad Daylight. From a Dealership.
A 22-year old man was able to live the dream of driving the Porsche 918 for six hours after he stole it from the showroom floor. The man, Francisco Gonzalez-Velazquez, took off with the machine from a dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2015. He was later caught by the police, but if you’re picturing a dramatic chase like something out of the Fast and Furious films, don’t. In this true story, the guy was driving slowly when the cops pulled him over. He surrendered instantly and the car was still in mint condition.
via CBC News
3. He Wanted Porsche to Pay Him Back Nine Times What His Car Was Worth
Michael Wekerle, a star of the Canadian Shark Tank knockoff show Dragon’s Den, bought a Porsche 918 as the culmination of a lifelong dream. One problem? The car suddenly burst into flames and burned to a beautifully engineered cinder. Claiming the auto was defective, he sued Porsche for $9.4 million. That’s nine times the car’s original purchase price. One little wrinkle in his lawsuit? Witnesses say the 918 fire started when Wekerle filled its tank to overflowing at a gas station. You can’t make this stuff up.
4. Porsche 918 Spyder Has Actual Balls
If you owned a hybrid supercar, would you let somebody fill it up with balls? For Canadian car tuning company SR Auto Group, the answer was a big “yes.” They hatched the idea of filling a Porsche 918 Spyder with plastic balls for charity. Strange but true. They let people guess how many balls the car held as a way to increase donations to their local food bank. The prize? Alas, not a free Porsche. Sadly, the winner only got a Liberty Walk Lamborghini Aventador. What a gigantic letdown.
5. Oops! Girlfriend Crashes Porsche 918 in China
Here’s a true story about the Porsche 918 with a heartwarming conclusion. A guy let his girlfriend take the million dollar auto for a spin. What a way to score relationship points, right? Well, while the owner was sitting back in the passenger seat and thinking about how awesome she was going to think he was, they hit a little snag. Namely, the girl mistook the throttle for the brake and piled the supercar into a tree. Ouch. The two were on their way back from a shopping trip in the eastern city of Shanghai. After the crash, the car’s owner was reportedly calm. Rather than reading her the riot act, he told the driver it was no big deal, since he was planning to replace it with a Bugatti Veyron anyway. Oh yeah, he’s a multi-millionaire. That helps.
6. Thanks for the Test Drive. Now About That Front End…
How would you feel if you took a Porsche 918 for a test drive and crashed it? That’s just what Walter Rohlr (no kidding, that’s his name) did. If you’ve never heard of him, he’s won two World Rally Championship titles and he’s actually part of Porsche’s development team. He’s held that position for 25 years, but the 918 just proved too much for the 68 year old. He lost control of the muscle machine on a test track and slammed it into a wall. As a representative of the company, he was quick to say the crash had nothing whatsoever to do with any defect in the car. Was it driver error then? Let’s not be hasty. According to Rohlr, a flaw in the track itself bears the blame.
7. Hold My Beer
There’s nothing like the feeling of turning a crowd of people green with envy as you rev up your new $1 million Porsche 918. A beautiful girl in the front seat, no shirt, a pair of shades, and metal horns round out the experience. Of course when you crash the car a moment later and everyone laughs at you as you turn red with embarrassment, the feeling fades a bit. In a video that has since been pulled from Instagram, the unknown driver revved the engine, popped the clutch, and almost plowed into a crowd of bystanders. Moments later, he smashed into the back end of a parked 4WD vehicle. He probably wasn’t feeling quite as chipper as he slunk away with a crumpled hood and steam hissing from the car’s innards.
8. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups of Porsche Driving
There’s nothing quite like that moment when you accidentally back your million dollar Porsche 918 Spyder into someone else’s $90,000 Porsche 911. Unless it’s the moment just after that when the owner of the car that costs 1/10th as much seems more agitated about it than you. Of course, if you can afford a 918, you probably aren’t that worried about putting a dent in the fender, whereas the guy who owns the 911 might have mortgaged his house to pay for it. Luckily there was no damage to either car.
9. A Porsche 918 Got Beat by a Nissan Patrol, Really?
You wouldn’t think a supercar that delivers 944 pound-feet of torque would lose a race to a Nissan SUV. In a 2017 episode of Grand Tour though, that’s exactly what happened. Turns out the Nissan Patrol actually has a good reason for beating the 918 — it had 1900 horsepower under the hood. The soccer-mom vehicle packed an R35 Nissan GT-R VR38 drivetrain and a 4.1 liter engine, put together by T1 Race Development. So it’s not exactly the average drive-the-dogs-to-the-park model.
10. Canada Wants You to Buy a Porsche 918 Spyder
The government of Ontario would like to extend a heartfelt incentive to induce you to buy a Porsche 918. In truth, this is probably one of those, “Whoops, we didn’t see that side effect of our well-intended law coming” moments. The Ontario Government gives car buyers a tax break equal to about 3% of the value of any hybrid auto. The goal? To incentivize environmentally friendly spending habits. They didn’t see this coming though: that means anyone who bought the hybrid Porsche 918 Spyder got a nice $$5,500 credit. They’ve plugged that loophole now, limiting the credit to $3,000 total. In the meantime, five millionaires got a nice bonus with their supercars.