Porsche's 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid has been given the green light for production. Porsche today confirmed it would build a limited number of cars based closely on the 918 Spyder - making it the spiritual successor to the Carrera GT, albeit with a green edge.
Porsche 918 Spyder green light: the boss speaks
Michael Macht, Porsche president and chairman, said: 'Production of the 918 Spyder in a limited series proves that we are taking the right approach with Porsche Intelligent Performance, featuring the combination of supreme performance and efficient drivetrain concepts.
'We will develop the 918 Spyder in Weissach and assemble it in Zuffenhausen. This is also a very important commitment to Germany as a manufacturing base.'
Porsche 918 Spyder: the background
Porsche's shock hybrid supercar made its debut at the 2010 Geneva motor show. The concept 918 Spyder mixed petrol and electric power to stunning effect: it is faster than a Carrera GT and can lap the Nurburgring in 7min 30sec, yet when running on hybrid mode it emits just 70g/km of CO2 and can hit a claimed 94mpg.
The acid test now is whether Porsche can push this technology through to the finished version. The exact price and timings have yet to be confirmed, although a price tag exceeding £400,000 has been estimated and it is expected between 2013-2014.
Will there be other versions?
The 918 Spyder could be the first of a family of eco supercars from Porsche. A 918 coupe, an all-electric version and a 918 RS/RSR are all mooted, CAR understands. A Le Mans LMP1 prototype racer is also possible.
Take note of how quickly Porsche is pursuing hybridisation. We've already seen the Cayenne hybrid production car, and the 911 hybrid racer. The 918 Spyder heralds a new trickle-down of hybrid tech, designed to cascade down the entire range.
Wolfgang Durheimer, head of R&D, told CAR: 'Thanks to the modularity of the [918 Spyder] engineering concept, hybridisation can quickly trickle down to the 911 and Boxster if required. Better still, all the R&D work was done inhouse - including performance electronics and electric motors. There was not a single systems supplier involved in the gestation process. As a result, we own all the intellectual property rights.'