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Mar 212011
 

A rendering of the Porsche plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder super sports car. (Photo: PRNewsFoto/Porsche Cars North America, Inc.)

From Green Right Now Reports

In another sign that the world’s elite motor cars are becoming greener, Porsche today announced that its dealers will begin taking customer orders for the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder.

The next-generation super car, first shown at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, will feature a high revving 500-plus horsepower V8 engine assisted by two electric motors with a total of at least 218 horsepower. Porsche estimates it will consume only 3.0 L/100 km based on the New European Driving Cycle (EPA fuel economy figures or estimates will be announced later).

But don’t plan on standing in any lines to get one. To ensure the 918 Spyder’s worldwide exclusivity, the auto company said it will produce no more than 918 cars and the U.S. base retail price will be $845,000 (excluding destination and handling charges). Porsche plans to begin production at its factory in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen in September, 2013.

Porsche said the car’s design is inspired by past Porsches such as the Carrera GT super sports car, the 917 and highly successful RS Spyder race cars. Unlike the concept car, the two-seat production version, based on a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque, will feature a manual roof system with removable panels that can be stored in the front luggage compartment.

Porsche said the 918 Spyder will be powered by a plug-in hybrid system that will include a high-revving, mid-mounted V8 engine with capacity of more than 4.0 liters and producing at least 500 horsepower. The engine will be based on the Porsche RS Spyder racing engine. Two electric motors – one each on the front and rear axles – together will provide approximately 218 additional horsepower. This configuration also will offer an innovative, variable all-wheel drive system with independent control of the drive forces on both axles.

Electrical energy will be stored in a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be recharged from a standard household outlet. Electric-only driving range is expected to be more than 16 miles. Recharge time will depend on each country’s electrical power network, but charging is expected to take about seven hours at 110V/10A in the United States. A quick-charge option is being evaluated to further reduce charging times.