French Open winner Maria Sharapova was driven to the glamorous Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Pre-Wimbledon Party in the Porsche 918 Spyder – the Stuttgart marque’s fastest, most powerful production car to date, and one of the lowest-emitters of CO2 of any class of car.
Fresh from his drive in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, Sharapova’s chauffeur for the night was Porsche factory ‘works’ driver, Mark Webber, complete in smart chauffeur attire.
Sharapova, a Porsche Ambassador, was collected from The Goring Hotel in Belgravia and driven by Webber to the prestigious event at Kensington Roof Gardens in West London.
Being driven in the most powerful Porsche road car to date, by arguably the world’s fastest chauffeur, was an experience savoured by Sharapova. Speaking about the drive, she commented: “What a fantastic way to arrive at the party. To be in the fastest Porsche with a racing driver like Mark is amazing. And it’s great also to be driving in a city like London running only on electric power – it’s an unbelievable car!”
Webber was equally impressed by the car. The Porsche World Endurance Championship driver said: “Having just driven the Porsche 919 Hybrid race car at Le Mans last weekend, I already know that this technology can produce incredible results. The 918 Spyder is the closest thing to a road-going version, and it’s just as amazing – especially as it can be driven into London for free. And of course it’s great fun to drive Maria around in it!”
The 918 Spyder has a mid-mounted 4.6-litre V8 race engine coupled to two electric motors with lithium-ion batteries. It is a remarkable plug-in hybrid super sports car that can reach a top speed of 344 km/h, sprint from zero to 100km/h in 2.5 seconds, and yet at 72 g/km (70 g/km with the lightweight Weissach Package) produces so little CO2 that it is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
It has a total power output of 887 hp and holds the current lap record for a production car at the famous Nürburgring race circuit of just 6 minutes 57 seconds. Despite all that performance, its plug-in hybrid technology means a low fuel consumption of 3.0 L/100kms is possible.