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It may not be the first time Porsche's 918 plug-in hybrid has had a chance to flex its 770 horse power for the camera, but when we last saw the pricey insanely expensive speed demon strut its stuff on record, it certainly didn't look like this. The freakish prototype has emerged as a beautiful, high-performance vision of efficiency, blasting its way past 100 kilometers of terrain for every three liters of petrol (78 miles/gallon). The $845,000 machine pairs a combustion engine with electric motors to achieve that consumption rating, and sports a carbon-fiber reinforced-plastic monocoque (self-supporting) shell, rear-axle steering and that unique upward-venting exhausted system that you may have noticed in the shot above. The 918 Spyder is slated for its initial production run beginning in September of 2013, with the first models making their way to US customers late next year. It's time to start saving -- just a few thousand blog posts to go.

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Porsche 918 Spyder

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Development of the Porsche super sports car enters next phase

Atlanta. The Porsche 918 Spyder is on the road: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has taken the driving trials of the super sports car of the future a step further with completion of the initial prototypes. The 918 Spyder is planned for production at the end of September 2013, with the first customer deliveries currently scheduled for the United States late in 2013. "What we are doing with the 918 Spyder is redefining driving fun, efficiency and performance," said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.

The prototypes, their camouflage harking back to historical Porsche 917 racing cars, signal the final touches to the 918 Spyder. The focus is on the interplay between the highly sophisticated individual drive components. The combination of combustion engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels – poses completely new demands on the development of the operating strategies. "They are therefore a critical component in this vehicle into which we have put all of our expertise and capacity for innovation," said Wolfgang Hatz. These operating strategies and the development of the software to go with them are one of Porsche's core competences. Both of them have a major influence on the extreme driving fun to be had with the 918 Spyder and they make possible a unique combination of minimal fuel consumption and maximum performance. The initial results of the driving trials are in line with the high expectations placed on the 918 Spyder.

The super sports car is designed as a plug-in hybrid vehicle combining a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors for extraordinary performance: on the one hand, the dynamics of a racing machine boasting more than 770 hp, on the other hand, fuel consumption in the region of three litres per 100 kilometres. Moreover, Porsche is breaking yet more new ground with the technology demonstrator with spectacular solutions such as the full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and the upward-venting "top pipes" exhaust system. In the process, the 918 Spyder is offering a glimpse of what Porsche Intelligent Performance may be capable of in future.

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Porsche 918 Spyder prototype returns to the road with polished black and white shell