Porsche begins taking orders for the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid super sports car

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The latest rendering of Porsche’s plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder super sports car. Click to enlarge.

Porsche has begun taking orders for the 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid drive super sports car, first debuted as a concept at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010 (earlier post), even as production development proceeds.

The 918 Spyder is estimated to consume 3.0 L/100 km (78 mpg US) based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) (ECE-R 101), equating to CO2 emissions of 70 g/km (112 g/mile). All-electric range is approximately 25 km (16 miles) in the NEDC. EPA fuel economy figures or estimates will be announced just before the first customer cars begin arriving in the United States near the end of 2013.

Its V8 engine delivers more than 368 kW (500 hp), assisted by two electric motors contributing a total of at least 160 kW (218 hp). The 918 Spyder is available for immediate order priced from €645,000 (US$915,000), subject to VAT and country-specific charges. US base manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $845,000 (excluding destination and handling charges).

Porsche is limiting production of the two-seater to no more than 918 units; production will begin in the same sequence in which orders are received. Production of the 918 Spyder is scheduled to commence on 18 September 2013 (i.e., 9/18); delivery of the initial vehicles will begin in November 2013.

The design is derived from the Carrera GT and Porsche 917 sports car as well as the RS Spyder and is very closely modelled on the 2010 concept car. Unlike the concept car, however, the production version of the two-seater, based on a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque, features a manual roof system with removable roof panels that can be stowed in the front luggage compartment.

The engine in the plug-in hybrid system is a high-revving V8 engine with a displacement exceeding 4.0 liters. The mid-engine power unit is based on the racing engine of the Porsche RS Spyder, which achieved multiple victories in the Michelin Green X Challenge in the American Le Mans Series, the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Power transmission to the rear wheels is by means of a compact, seven gear Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK). This is complemented by the two electric motors—one each on the front and rear axle. This configuration offers an innovative, variable all-wheel drive with independent control of the propulsion force on both axles.

The energy storage unit is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket. The charging time depends on the country-specific grid network, being approximately three hours in Germany, for example, or seven hours at 110V/10A in the United States. A quick charging option is planned to reduce charging time yet further.

The plug-in sports car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a maximum of 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of more than 320 km/h (199 mph). That means the Spyder will be able to manage a lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes and 30 seconds, trumping the Porsche Carrera GT, which needs seven minutes and 32 seconds. The top speed on purely electric power is 150 km/h (94 mph).

To shorten the time the customer has to wait for the 918 Spyder, Porsche is offering everyone placing an order the exclusive opportunity to acquire a 911 Turbo S “Edition 918 Spyder”, also limited to no more than 918 units. Visually, both inside and out, the special edition is inspired by the 918 Spyder’s characteristic individual features. Both the technology and basic equipment of the new 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder are based on the 530 hp (295 kW) 911 Turbo S.

The 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder is being offered to coincide with the commencement of sales of the 918 Spyder with deliveries starting in June 2011. The Coupé version of the special edition costs €173,241 (US$246,000) in Germany and €184,546 (US$262,000) as a Cabriolet, including VAT and country-specific equipment items respectively.


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