Starring at this week's Frankfurt Auto Show isn't all the 2014 Porsche 918 Spyder has been up to lately. The automaker just announced that its stunning plug-in hybrid supercar recently set a new lap record for production cars at the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany. A version equipped with the optional weight-reducing Weissach Package and piloted by Porsche factory driver Marc Lieb blitzed around the 12.8-mile "Green Hell" road course in a stunning 6 minutes and 57 seconds. Not only was it the first time a street-legal car had slipped under the 7-minute mark, Lieb's effort sliced a full 14 seconds off the existing lap record set four years ago by a Dodge Viper ACR -- and was 17 ticks below the time set by a 918 prototype in September 2012.
Porsche brought a pair of 918s to the track for this official attempt, and both were driven by Lieb as well as by former World Rally Champion Walter Rohrl and factory test driver Timo Kluck. While each of the cars recorded several laps below seven minutes, Lieb ultimately carried the day, averaging 111.5 mph over the undulating, 154-turn track used by virtually every major manufacturer to secure bragging rights for their hottest offerings. In commenting on the achievement, Wolfgang Hatz, member of the Porsche AG Board of Management in charge of Research and Development, noted: "We promised a great deal with the 918 Spyder, namely to redefine performance, efficiency and driving pleasure. We have kept our word."
Pairing a mid-mounted 608-horsepower 4.6-liter V8 with three electric motors that pump the total pony count to 887, this dramatically styled and brilliant-handling supercar has already notched a place of honor in the annals of the automaker's illustrious history before even a single vehicle has been delivered. Despite its lofty sticker of $845,000 - or $929,000 for one with the Weissach Package - Porsche will have no problem finding buyers for all 918 examples it plans to build.
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