Porsche’s ground-breaking 918 Spyder hybrid supercar goes on sale officially this week — with an eye-watering £672,000 price, and its own limited-edition 911 to tide buyers over until deliveries start in 2013.
The two-seater has been inching towards a production green light since it appeared as a concept at the Geneva show in 2010. Now Porsche has confirmed the build programme — limited to no more than 918 examples, all in left-hand drive — will start at its Zuffenhausen facility on 18 September 2013. Deliveries will begin around six weeks later.
Sketches of the production car confirm that it will retain the concept’s basic profile and show it will have a removable roof. Outgoing Porsche R&D chief Wolfgang Dürheimer confirmed to Autocar in January that the car would offer a one-piece panel similar to the set-up used on the Carrera GT.
Porsche says the car will cost 645,000 euro, plus VAT. This translates to a price of £672,000 in the UK.
The firm has also confirmed the production car’s technical spec. It will feature a petrol V8-based hybrid powertrain, with two electric motors (one on each axle) adding “at least” 215bhp. Its lithium-ion batteries can be charged from a domestic socket (Porsche claims a full-charge time of three hours in Germany) and it can travel 16 miles on electric power alone.
Porsche says the 918 Spyder will be able to reach 62mph in 3.2sec and a top speed in excess of 199mph. It will also return 94mpg and emit 70g/km of CO2.
The 918 Spyder has also given rise to a new version of the current 911 Turbo. The catchily titled 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder will be available only to buyers of the 918. Priced at £125,865 (Coupé) and £133,553 (Cabriolet), the new edition has bright green detailing to echo the colours used on the 2010 918 Spyder concept, plus an enhanced leather interior and carbonfibre trim. It can also be ordered in the same colour as the customer’s 918 Spyder and will carry the same numbered plate.
Porsche is still expected to squeeze in one more technical evolution of the 997-edition 911 before the current generation bows out in the autumn. Due in late spring, the last hurrah is expected to be an ultra-hardcore 4.0-litre version of the GT3 RS.