The announcement comes on the heels of Porsche's debut of the Porsche 918 RSR, a flywheel hybrid with electric motors driving the front wheels and a gasoline engine delivering power to the rear. The production hybrid 918 Spyder, on the other hand, will have a "high revving 500-plus horsepower V8" mounted behind the driver and powering the rear wheels but have electric motors front and rear. A true parallel hybrid, the Porsche 918 Spyder will be able to run on its gasoline-fueled 4.0-liter V8, the electric motors or both.
The electric motors will together add 218 horsepower and will be electronically variable with independent control on both axles. "Under the right conditions", says Porsche, the 918 Spyder will be able to drive up to 94 mph on electric power alone, though as Porsche notes, only for limited distances.
On the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) testing procedures, the Porsche 918 Spyder should be able to go more than 16 miles on electricity alone. Porsche expects fuel economy figures under the NEDC testing procedures to reach the fabled 3.0L/100km, (or 78 mpg). That computes to only 70 g/km or 112 g/mile) of CO2 production, for those who are keeping track.
The NEDC, however, does not include any 94 mile per hour segments.
The gasoline-fueled powerplant in the Porsche 918 Spyder will be based on the Porsche RS Spyder racing engine "that demonstrated its impressive performance and efficiency through multiple Michelin Green X Challenge victories in the American Le Mans Series, the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans." the engine's power will go to the rear wheels via Porsche's seven-speed Doppelkupplung (PDK)double-clutch transmission.
The 918 Spyder will have a plug-in rechargable liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Porshe says a full bottom-to-top charge will take about seven hours on American 110v house current, though quick charge options are being evaluated.
The chassis, expected for a modern supercar, will be a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic monocoque.
In addition to its 3.1 second dash to 60 mph, the Porsche 918 Spyder is expected to have a top speed of 199 mph. Porsche has calculated that it will be able to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife in less than seven minutes and 30 seconds. That's a whole two seconds faster than Porsche's earlier supercar, the Carrera GT.
Because Porsche intends the two-seat Spyder to be a real road car, unlike the 2010 concept car it will have a roof. Removable panels will lift off and store in the front luggage compartment.
Production is planned to begin at Porsche's Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory on September 18, 2013, with a U.S. base manufacturer's suggested retail price of $845,000, destination and handling charges not included. To ensure exclusivity--if the price won't do so--production will be limited to 918 units.
Porsche doesn't want anyone who orders a Porsche 918 Spyder to lose interest, so anyone in line for a 918 Spyder will be able to own a special-edition Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe or Cabriolet. Dubbed appropriately, the 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder will have interior and exterior features drawn from the supercar's styling. Porsche say the 911 will have similar exterior colors, carbon fiber elements inside and out and "enhanced leather equipment." The special-edition 911 Turbo S will also have acid-green accents on its brake calipers, illuminated door sill plates, interior stitching and instrument cluster needles.
Production of the 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder will, like the Porsche 918 Spyder, be limited to 918, with a limited-edition badge on the glovebox door with the same production number as purchaser's 918 Spyder. The special Porsche 911 Turbo S can be ordered now with the msrp the same as standard 911 Turbo S models, $160,700 for the coupe and $172,100, destination extra.
Look at it this way, the 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder can keep the spot warm in the garage for the Porsche 918 Spyder, and anyway, you really couldn't have one without the other.