When Porsche unveiled the 918 Spyder concept at the Geneva Auto Show last week, the automaker no doubt had hopes of a positive reception, leading to a potential production car. And that’s exactly what seems to have happened.
According to a report by AutoCar, Porsche boss Michael Macht says the company is committed to building the hybrid sports car. “There is no one inside Porsche who doesn’t want to build the 918,” he said. “The response has been marvellous.” He even went so far as to say that Porsche will look for letters of intent from prospective buyers.
Macht was enthusiastic about the car, commenting that this model proves high-performance cars like the Carrera GT are still possible in a world where fuel economy is a big concern. He did, however, say that such a vehicle would have to be profitable.
In concept form, the 918 Spyder is a plug-in hybrid that uses two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery pack and one of Porsche’s RS Spyder 3.4-liter V8 ALMS race car engines to produce a total of 718-hp. Porsche claims a 0-62 mph time of 3.2 seconds, a top speed of 198-mph and that the car can even lap Germany’s famous Nürburgring race track in under 7:30 – quicker than the Carrera GT. And at the same time, the Spyder can get as much as 78 mpg.
Porsche has equipped the car with four driving modes, ranging from the most efficient at saving fuel, to the most efficient at saving gas. A pure electric E-Drive mode delivers 16 miles of emissions free driving, while a Hybrid model operates like a traditional Prius-type two-mode hybrid. Next up is a Sport Hybrid setting, where the electric power is used more as a boost to assist the gasoline engine. Finally, a Race Hybrid mode delivers maximum gasoline and electric power, along with an added boost of electric power after hard braking (much like a Formula One KERS-equipped car).
If a production model is built, don’t expect it to arrive for at least five years.
GALLERY: Porsche 918 Spyder Concept