Porsche has unveiled a 72 miles per gallon hybrid supercar at Frankfurt’s International Auto Show. The car will be built in a run of no more than 918 examples, in left-hand drive only, over the next 18 months.
The 918 Spyder is powered by a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain based around a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 599bhp at 8700rpm. It is supported by two electric motors, one sited up front within the front axle and another at the rear, developing a combined 282bhp at 6500rpm.
Based around a carbonfibre monocoque, the Spyder comes clothed in composite plastic body panels and uses a bespoke chassis fashioned from aluminium, magnesium and titanium.This combination has helped Porsche achieve a kerb weight of 1634kg for the 918 Spyder in its lightest form, despite the inherent complexity and bulk of its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and battery pack.
Removable roof panels that stow away in the nose section allow the new Porsche to be used either as a coupé or a roadster, while an optional Weissach performance package brings a series of aerodynamic tweaks. These include winglets to the bumpers for added downforce, as well as a number of lightweight components, including magnesium wheels, that combined to reduce the kerb weight by 35kg over the standard model.
With a top speed of 198 miles per hour and the ability to go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in under three second, this new supercar does more miles to the gallon than the Toyota Prius hybrid. However, at £540,000 compared to the Prius’s £22,000, you would have to drive 1.85 million miles for the Porsche to work out as better value.
The 918 Spyder hybrid is proof that even those with the biggest buying power are still looking for either fuel efficiency or green credentials…or is it? Supercar manufacturers are being forced to adapt by the prospect of new European emissions regulations, which are designed to crack down on air pollution and make cars cheaper to run.
We’d love to know what you think – are Porsche buyers more concerned with fuel efficiency or green credentials?