Last weekend however, and only a couple of years late, I drove a 918. I drove it in the Scottish Highlands on two consecutive days once with a very understanding minder from Porsche at my side, but mainly alone. And as far as is safely possible with such a car restricted to the medium of the fast, wide, usually deserted public road, I think I got to know it as well as could be reasonably expected.
For me it meant I had finally savoured the holy trinity of hypercar heaven. I’d already driven the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari – to which I can now add the 918. And having done so, what struck me most, was what astonishingly different cars they are, which when all are carbon-tubbed hybrids with similar outputs and proportions is not what might be expected. Not for one moment would I struggle to decide which to have, or which to use for any given purpose.
The 918 probably takes the longest to get to know. Of course you can acquaint yourself with its apocalyptic acceleration very easily if you have the right environment because its four-wheel-drive system makes it available to you all the time. You can fiddle with its hybrid modes, accelerate in seventh gear as fast as a normal sports car will in second, pull its roof off and hear it howl, but it is only when you stop all that and drive it normally from one place to the other when you’ll discover this car’s true talent. It is a stunningly easy machine to live with given its potential. It’s quiet if you’re not nailing the throttle, it’s comfortable and ergonomically pretty faultless. It also feels like it would do 100,000 miles without blowing a bulb. Which means that, whatever else it is, it’s a Porsche.