Porsche is making quantum leaps with its hybrids, when it comes to power and price. Its $69,000 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid SUV is on sale now, and will be followed by the $95,000 Panamera hybrid sedan coming late this year. Both cars manage fuel economy in the low 20s while offering 380 horsepower. But these vehicles look cheap and weak compared to the 500-horsepower $845,000 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid, for which the company began taking orders today.
Porsche’s Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory in planning to begin production of the 918 Spyder hybrid in September 2013—and will produce no more than 918 (get the pun).
We can’t wait for Consumer Reports to run its traditional return-on-investment payback calculations for this hybrid, with these features:
- 500-plus horsepower V8 engine
- Two electric motors with a total of at least 218 horsepower
- Electric-only driving range of more than 16 miles
- Manual roof system with removable panels that can be stored in the front luggage compartment
- Variable all-wheel drive system with independent control of the drive forces on both axles
- Liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack
- Zero to 60 mph in about 3.1 seconds
- Top speed of 199 mph
Fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the production date. (But come on, now. Does it really matter?)