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Want to strip 77 lbs of excess weight off the Porsche 918 Spyder? That'll set you back $929,000, or $84k over the base price.
Power-to-weight ratio. It's all about the power-to-weight ratio. And as with any equation, there are two ways to optimize it: you can up the power, or you can cut the weight. The best course of action, of course, may be to do both, but we'll gladly take either. Whatever path an exotic automaker takes, however, it usually doesn't come until the car in question has been on the market for at least a couple of years. Look at the Ferrari 430 Scuderia or Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.
Porsche has its own precedent with RS versions of the 911 GT3 and GT2, but it won't be waiting around that long to strip down the new 918 Spyder. The hybrid supercar isn't even in dealers yet, but details have already surfaced of its more hard-core variant, and it will be available as an option right from the start. Called the Weissach Package, it's one of a number of high-priced options on the 918 order form, including a speed-charging station ($22,100), special Liquid Metal Blue Chrome paint ($63k) and special black leather with green piping ($26,000). As costly as those other options are, the Weissach Package is the most expensive at a whopping $84,000.
For reference, that's enough to buy a new 911 Carrera. So what do you get for all that extra cash? Well, you get less. And that's the whole idea. The Weissach edition strips some 77 lbs off the Spyder's curb weight, thanks to widespread use of titanium, carbon fiber, magnesium and ceramics. The wheels, for example, shed 30 pounds of unsprung mass, and a race-livery foil wrap that replaces the paint. The result is a reported two-second drop off the car's Nurburgring lap time. And that's nothing to sneeze at, particularly in a car that's schlepping around two powertrains. Whether the 918 Wiessach is worth $929,000 - or an extra Carrera over list - is another question entirely.