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The Porsche 918 Spyder has hit the road, signalling the beginning of a new stage of development for the plug-in hybrid supercar that launches in 2013.

With camouflage inspired by the liveries of the iconic Porsche 917 race cars, the 918 Spyder prototype is seen here in official Porsche photos with full body work, giving us our best look yet at the final design of the limited edition sports car.

Production of the 918 Spyder will begin in September 2013, with the first customers to take delivery before the end of that year.

The Porsche 918 Spyder will be made in low numbers and only in left-hand-drive. While Australians won’t be excluded from purchasing the quickest and greenest Porsche in history, they will be forced to part with approximately $1.5 million for the honour, and even then will be confined to driving it on closed circuits.

Those who do secure a 918 will be in command of three power sources: a mid-mounted 425kW-plus 4.6-litre V8 engine, a 90kW hybrid module on the rear axle and an 80kW electric motor on the front axle. The total power output will be in excess of 574kW, while peak torque will exceed 750Nm.

That epic performance sees the 918 Spyder accelerate from 0-100km/h in under 3.0 seconds and 0-200km/h in less than 9.0 seconds on the way to its 325km/h-plus top speed. It will launch beyond 150km/h in electric mode before the petrol engine kicks in, and has a total EV range of 25km-plus when driven more sedately.

Staggeringly, with combined cycle fuel consumption estimated at 3.0 litres per 100km, the plug-in hybrid supercar would be the most frugal car in Australia if it was launched today.

Porsche says the technology developed for the 918 Spyder, including its full carbonfibre-reinforced polymer monocoque, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear axle steering and upward-venting ‘top pipes’ exhaust system, offer a glimpse of the brand’s capabilities for its future full-scale production cars.




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