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Porsche has finally let released all of the details on the 918 Spyder, the German brand's challenger to the McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari, after months of leading our poor, performance-loving hearts on. The covers were lifted at the Volkswagen Group night, an enormous precursor to the Frankfurt Motor Show, and include a massive, 11,000-word press release that's attached at the bottom of this page.
The 918 Spyder features a mid-mounted, dry-sump-lubricated, 4.6-liter V8 engine that generates 608 horsepower when left to its own devices. Combined with a trio of electric motors, which produce 286 hp, the total system horsepower for the 918 Spyder rests at 887 ponies. That's less than the McLaren P1 (903 hp) and the LaFerrari (949 hp), but the Porsche is also likely to be a bit cheaper, starting at $845,000, while the McLaren will be in the seven-figure range for certain, and it will more than likely be joined by the LaFezza.
The 918 Spyder counters with a 2.8-second jog to 62, a 7.7-second run to 124 and it will hit 186 in 22 seconds.
Jaguar may price the much-rumored F-Type Coupe above the F-Type Convertible, if a report from Australia's Drive is to be believed. What makes Jag think that such a pricing strategy would work? Porsche. Take a look at the German manufacturer's consumer site, and you'll notice that the Boxster is less expensive than the Cayman, despite being essentially the same car.
It's a fair point, and a price premium does a good job of emphasizing the sporting chops of the coupe over the open-air experience that normally entitles convertibles to higher MSRPs. It's unclear just how closely Jaguar will follow Porsche's example, though.
Both the Cayman and Cayman S boast an extra ten horsepower over a Boxster or Boxster S, and while this bump in grunt is negligible in every situation but an argument over which is "best," it isn't something to be ignored in the F-Type, particularly as cranking more power out of its supercharged engines should be a rather simple matter.
Russian-born tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has just inked a three-year deal with Porsche to be its brand ambassador, a position that will put her on a global campaign for the German automaker. The 26-year-old athlete isn't new to the role - she previously signed a similar three-year deal with Land Rover in 2006.
"Maria Sharapova is an exceptional athlete. She combines top performance in her sports with elegance and power. These are precisely the qualities that are embroiled in our sports cars," explained Matthias Mueller, CEO of Porsche AG, during the announcement. "Her profile and charisma are an ideal fit for Porsche. She is also highly respected around the world and enjoys an outstanding reputation," he added.
Some consider Porsche's choice of a female tennis player as its ambassador interesting, if not surprising. The automaker has traditionally marketed its vehicles with a masculine edge - Sharapova and the sport of tennis position the brand in a different light - likely an intentional decision. Do you think Porsche's choice was a good one? If not, who would you choose as its global ambassador?