Thursday, December 30, 2010
Porsche Greenlights 918 Hybrid Supercar
The company’s board approved the project earlier today based upon “overwhelming response from the public and customers.” Those same customers must have very deep pockets, because the last we heard the Porsche 918 will cost something north of $600,000.
Be that as it may, it promises to be a sweet car.
The concept that Porsche unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show raised a whole lotta eyebrows, and why wouldn’t it? Porsche promises exceptional performance along with stellar fuel economy and emissions.
We say “promises” because the car’s performance specs come from Porsche and, so far as we know, haven’t been independently verified. Porsche says the 918 will do zero to 100 km/hr in less than 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 198 mph. All that while emitting just 70 g/km of CO2 and consuming 3.0 liters per 100 kilometers. That works out to 78.4 mpg if our math is correct.
Porsche hasn’t said how it arrived at those emissions or fuel economy figures, but we’re betting that achieving them will require the very lightest touch on the accelerator and maximum electrical assistance.
The mid-engined roadster features a 500-horsepower V8 based upon the 3.4-liter mill found in the Porsche RS Spyder race cars. It’s also got a pair of electric motors; together they put down 218 horsepower. The car has four modes that range from full electric to “race,” which throws efficiency to the wind and uses the electric motors as a push-to-pass feature. (You can get more on the tech in this post.)
Porsche’s supervisory board directed its minions to “develop a production model based on the car already presented,” so the car we’ll see will bear at least some resemblance to what we saw in Geneva. It almost certainly will be a super limited edition model like the Carerra GT.
Still, there are at least 1,000 people out there interested in buying one, because that’s how many “hand-raisers” Porsche said it wanted to see before deciding whether to build the car.
* Porsche 918 Spyder: The $630K Hybrid
* Peek Inside Porsche’s Super Hybrids
* 500-Horsepower Plug-In Porsche Makes Us Swoon
* Video: Porsche’s Hybrid Racer Runs the ‘Ring
* Hybrid Porsche Racer Makes the Podium