Thursday, July 29, 2010

Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid Is Only the Start of Green Program


Citing an “overwhelming response from the public and customers,” Porsche said on Wednesday that it intended to move its ultrapowerful and gorgeously styled 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid from concept to production model. The decision complements a second, more modest environmentally themed test program announced on Monday that will put three battery-operated versions of the popular Boxster into what the company calls “field tests.”

Gary Fong, a Porsche spokesman, cautioned that the 918 decision doesn’t guarantee that the car will actually be built, just that a production-intent program will go forward. In any case, it will be a true exotic. According to Bloomberg, citing “people familiar with the matter,” the 918 could be priced at an incredible $640,000. But Mr. Fong called that number “pure speculation.”

The 918 Spyder was shown at the 2010 Geneva auto show and at Auto China in Beijing. Porsche said that its combined a 500-horsepower V-8 and twin electric motors producing 160 kilowatts, for a combined 718 horsepower. All of the numbers for the Spyder are big, including a 198 mile per hour top speed and a zero-to-60 time of 3.2 seconds. It will also reportedly achieve 78 miles per gallon, though obviously not with that huge V-8 at full throttle..................

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