Porsche approves production of super 918 Spyder hybrid

(July 28, 2010) Porsche's supervisory board approved production of the 918 Spyder hybrid sports car, a model that soars to 100 kilometers an hour in 3.2 seconds and may top the Carrera GT as the manufacturer's costliest vehicle.

Porsche plans to develop the vehicle at a research facility near Stuttgart, Germany, where the carmaker is based, the company said today. The car will be built at the main plant in Zuffenhausen.

The 918 Spyder, one of three hybrid models Porsche presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March, has attracted at least 2,000 non-binding submissions of interest, people familiar with the matter said. Porsche needs at least 1,000 sales pledges to sign off on building the car, development chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said in April.

“The introduction of hybrids is now happening at all carmakers, with all models and Porsche has above average carbon dioxide emissions,” said Daniel Schwarz an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. “It would also make sense to do it with the Cayenne as you would get the best results as far as carbon dioxide emissions are concerned.”

The supercar may be priced at about $650,000, topping the  Carrera GT of which no more than 1,500 units were produced. The 918 Spyder may be introduced as early as 2013, according to Tim Schuldt, an analyst at Equinet AG in Frankfurt.

The two-seater car accelerates to a top speed of 320 kilometers (199 miles) per hour, relying on a 500-horsepower V-8 engine and electric drive-systems that allow the vehicle to run up to 25 kilometers on electric power.