Reaction to Porsche’s 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept was overwhelmingly positive when it was unveiled last week at the Geneva auto show — its sleek lines and impressive hybrid powertrain won over those who have been critical of Porsche’s somewhat “stagnant” design philosophy and even those who turn up their noses at hybrid vehicles.
According to AutoCar, the people within Porsche love the vehicle as well, and they want to build it. The 918 Spyder would be made as the new “halo” vehicle for the automaker — a distinction that was recently bestowed upon the Porsche Carrera GT. The $440,000+ Carrera GT weighs 3,000 pounds, gets its motivation from a 5.5-liter V10 which develops 605 hp, and can scoot to 60 mph in around three and a half seconds.
The 918, on the other hand, is powered by a 3.4-liter V8 engine which produces 500 hp. Two electric motors bring the total combined horsepower of the vehicle to 718 hp. All of that power is harnessed within a roadster that weighs just under 3,300 pounds.
“There is no one inside Porsche who doesn’t want to build the 918,” said Porsche CEO Michael Macht to AutoCar. “The response has been marvelous; we will ask buyers to sign letters of intent.”
Macht went on to add, “The 918 Spyder provides the answer to whether there can be high-performance cars in the future. Many have said they are finished. This car shows they are not.”
If the 918 Spyder does make it to production, it will arrive within the next five years according to company insiders (the Porsche Carrera GT was shown in concept form in 2000 and entered production four years later). Given the technology that is crammed into the 918 Spyder, it wouldn’t be surprising if its price tag far surpassed that of the Carrera GT.
Porsche is determined to not lose money on its next halo vehicle, unlike Toyota with its ultra-exotic Lexus LFA supercar. The 552 hp LFA is a priced at a whopping $375,000 USD – however, at that price, Toyota is still losing money on every one it produces.