Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid Concept: Oh Man…

March 3rd, 2010

Remember my whole rant the other day about hybrids and how the price premium just isn’t worth it?

Yeah. Nevermind.

Turns out hybrids do have a place… just not in your average everyday family hauler. I stand by my position that a $27,000 hybrid doesn’t make sense when compared against a $19,000 four-cylinder alternative.

The place for hybrid technology, it appears, is in high-performance sports cars. As evidence, I submit the Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept that is being shown at the Geneva Motor Show.

To sum up my initial reaction to it: “Oh…man….”

Before getting into the details, keep in mind that Porsche has never produced a concept vehicle that it didn’t eventually build. That makes this concept all the more exciting!

Porsche says the 918 Spyder concept is capable of lapping the Nordschleife of Nürburgring in less than seven and a half minutes, faster than even the Porsche Carrera GT. The concept is capable of hitting 62 mph in under 3.2 seconds, topping out at 198 mph.

While the $440,000 GT might fetch 13 miles per gallon, the 918 Spyder should see numbers somewhere around 78 mpg. Seriously. The car is powered by a 500-horsepower V8 with electric motors on the front and rear axles, making the equivalent of 218 more horsepower. Total power output: 718 horsepower.

Porsche is not saying whether the 918 Spyder concept will go into production, but just look three paragraphs up and ask yourself if this is technology Porsche will let fade away. I don’t think so.

Plus, just look at the thing. This is the first Porsche concept that I would classify as gorgeous in every way. Part classic Porsche, part Mercedes-Benz Stirling Moss SLR McLaren.

Whatever the price premium on this innovative use of hybrid technology, it’s worth it. Taking a supercar to near triple digits in gas mileage is spectacular, and much more impressive than using hybrid technology to gain 10 miles per gallon in a Fusion.

In cars used as everyday drivers, diesel makes more sense to save fuel. In supercars, hybrid technology has a real potential to increase power, torque, and fuel efficiency. Do you agree?


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    1. Toldi
      December 18th, 2010 at 08:46 | #1
    2. March 3rd, 2010 at 20:41 | #2

      There are diesel cars on the market now that can get 70mpg without the hybrid bullshit

    3. March 3rd, 2010 at 16:08 | #3

      @tgriffith You are probably right. I got a little ahead of myself :)

    4. March 3rd, 2010 at 15:59 | #4

      78 MPG is impressive. I doubt this is going to be useful by itself but could be great technology that could be used on other cars at more reasonable price points.

    5. tgriffith
      March 3rd, 2010 at 15:52 | #5

      I kind of have a feeling that 78 mpg and 0-62 in 3.2 don’t go hand in hand. Even in a car like this, I’m thinking it’s either one or the other…

    6. March 3rd, 2010 at 15:30 | #6

      78 mpg, 500-horsepower V8 with electric motors on the front and rear axles, 62 mph in under 3.2 seconds, topping out at 198 mph… wow! Who said you couldn’t go fast and green at the same time?

    7. Travis
      March 3rd, 2010 at 13:33 | #7

      Because ‘simplicity’ results in 13 mpg (if lucky) on performance cars. If new tech can give us 78 mpg I’m willing to deal with some electronic kinks.

    8. March 3rd, 2010 at 13:25 | #8

      I certainly do not agree Diesel has won a Le mans the last few years ie huge torque power and fuel efficiency. Its has become obvious that complicated electronics are not reliable witness Toyotas current problems even GM powersteer probs why make cars even more complex when simplicity works well?

    9. randy
      March 3rd, 2010 at 08:49 | #9

      I don’t agree at all. What use is 718 horsepower in a car that size and weight? Add to that the level of complexity reached by adding electric motors, inverters, batteries and control electronics and you’ve got a vehicle that will likely spend more time in the repair bay than on the highway.

      Exotic cars have turned into the automotive equivalent of Pam Anderson— Freakish curiosities that mock real automobiles.

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