The 911 Turbo S edition 918 spyder (yes, it's a mouthful) is a car you might not know of but it certainly has an interesting story. Anybody purchasing the upcoming, Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar has the option to purchase this special edition 911 Turbo S.
Just like the 918 Spyder, the exclusive Turbo S model is limited to 918 units. At its roots, it's a "regular" 911 Turbo S, but it gets carbon trim inside and out, plus upgraded leather, along with the 918's Acid Green paint on the brake calipers, illuminated sill plates, interior stitching and instrument needles.
This $160700 option is a beauty, no doubt, and its exclusivity means you'll probably never get to own one. Yet lucky Hawaiian resident, Ken Kobatake, actually managed to locate one at a Midwest Porsche dealership.
It turns out, a 918 Spyder buyer no longer wanted his Turbo S, so Ken purchased it for a marked up $175000 with 1200 miles on the clock.
Sight unseen, he had the 911 delivered to BBi Autosport in Huntington Beach, CA. He wanted the car massaged and tuned, but not overdone. "We just made it more of a visceral driver's car," said Betim Barisha, owner of BBi.
Starting with the motor, they gave the Turbo S the stage 2 package, that included a full BBi turbo-back exhaust with HJS 200CPSI HD cats and quad tips, as well as a large IPD Y-pipe and plenum plus BBi's pump-gas ECU software.
Ken's 911 musters 545hp at all four wheels, with a contact-patch decimating 585 lb-ft of torque at 17psi whenever the Sport+ button is pushed.
Of course, there's no other way to drive this car than with that button illuminated. The exhaust becomes louder, more raw and exotic, throttle response is sharper and more immediate, and the car is a goddamn freight train.
I've driven high horsepower cars in many forms; naturally aspirated, turbocharged, supercharged, nitrous-equipped, but this motor was unlike anything before. It accelerated with explosive violence, and when the boost hits you feel as if your intestines were left in another dimension.
I'm the guy who hates automatic transmissions, too, but the Porsche PDK is phenomenal. When mated to a motor like this, it's the only thing I'd want between myself and the next gear.
Pulling away from traffic by rolling onto the throttle at 70mph means you're doing 130mph in less than 5sec. While this is fun, launch control is where the giggles live.
With Sport+ activated and traction control disabled, place your left foot on the brake and mash the gas. The revs hang around 5000rpm and there's a whistle and flutter from two Borg Warner turbos coming to life, mixed harmoniously with timing retardation and wasted gas; things are about to get exciting.
Release the brake, the radar detector flies off the windshield, my sunglasses lift off my face, flipping over my head and I'm straining my fingers to keep hold of the steering wheel; this is, hands down, the most intense acceleration I've ever felt. The sprint to 60mph takes 2.5sec in this calibration. It's ridiculous, highly addictive and borderline painful.
At BBi, $10,000 in parts will give you this type of performance. Yet the real prowess of this 911 chassis is noticed when you enter twisty sections of Angeles Crest Highway, slicing through Southern California's mountainous National Forest.
The suspension on Ken's Edition 918 Spyder is what transformed his Turbo S into a nimble track dancer.
BBi used the 997 GT3 for inspiration in what is called the Street Cup kit. It replaced all the rubber bits, along with new ERP upper rear control arms, rear adjustable bump toe-links, plus Porsche Motorsport lower control arms front and rear. A pair of 997.2 sway bars were also installed with adjustable drop-links to fine-tune the car's behavior. But the heart of this setup is undeniably the Ohlins Road & Track coilovers with Eibach springs.
Paired with BBi's wide track front package that pushes the wheels out 10mm on each side, the only hint that this 911 is all-wheel drive is its face-distorting traction out of corners.
Understeer is nonexistent, turn-in is precise and the car is stable. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber is up to the task, measuring 245/30 front and fat 325/25 rear, mounted on BBi's favored Motegi Racing TechnoMesh wheels.
The factory Brembo ceramic brakes are always there, complete with the lurid green paint. They work effortlessly and you barely detect a hint of hot friction material in your nostrils, even when hauling the heavy coupe to a stop from high speed. The car was built to impress, and it's done so effortlessly.
While 918 units mean this particular 911 Turbo S is about as rare as they come, Ken can sleep at night knowing his example is rarer than just a carbon package and green paint. BBi has molded the car into a straight-up warrior, making us think differently about automatic transmissions and heavy all-wheel drive 911s.
Totaling about $22000 in parts alone, we'd be hard-pressed to say you could build or buy a better road-rocket with such sex appeal and duality for under $190,000.
2012 Porsche 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder
The Big Island, HI
Engine 3.8-liter H-6 DOHC 24v with BBi stage 2 ECU tune, exhaust with HJS 200CPSI HD cats, IPD large Y-pipe and plenum
Drivetrain PDK seven-speed automatic
Brakes stock six-piston Brembo calipers, 15" drilled carbon-ceramic rotors f, four-piston, 15" r
Suspension BBi Street Cup package Öhlins Road & Track coilovers, Eibach springs, MODE spherical upper mounts, BBi front wide track package, 997.2 GT2 sway bars, Tarett adjustable drop-links, BBi rear sway bar adapter kit, ERP upper rear control arms and rear adjustable bump-toe links, Porsche Motorsport lower control arms front and rear
Wheels & Tires 20x8.5" f, 20x12" r, Motegi Racing TechnoMesh forged wheels, Porsche black centerlock nuts, 245/30 R20 f, 325/25 R20 r Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
Exterior stock Edition 918 Spyder with smoked corners, Wrap Works clear bra and ceramic tint