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Porsche 918 Spyder Concept
Porsche really wants to build the 918, however, the company insists that it doesn't want to lose money on the vehicle.

Reaction to Porsche's 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept was overwhelmingly positive when it was unveiled last week at the Geneva auto show -- its sleek lines and impressive hybrid powertrain won over those who have been critical of Porsche's somewhat "stagnant" design philosophy and even those who turn up their noses at hybrid vehicles.

According to AutoCar, the people within Porsche love the vehicle as well, and they want to build it. The 918 Spyder would be made as the new "halo" vehicle for the automaker -- a distinction that was recently bestowed upon the Porsche Carrera GT. The $440,000+ Carrera GT weighs 3,000 pounds, gets its motivation from a 5.5-liter V10 which develops 605 hp, and can scoot to 60 mph in around three and a half seconds.

The 918, on the other hand, is powered by a 3.4-liter V8 engine which produces 500 hp. Two electric motors bring the total combined horsepower of the vehicle to 718 hp. All of that power is harnessed within a roadster that weighs just under 3,300 pounds.

"There is no one inside Porsche who doesn't want to build the 918," said Porsche CEO Michael Macht to AutoCar. "The response has been marvelous; we will ask buyers to sign letters of intent."

Macht went on to add, "The 918 Spyder provides the answer to whether there can be high-performance cars in the future. Many have said they are finished. This car shows they are not."

If the 918 Spyder does make it to production, it will arrive within the next five years according to company insiders (the Porsche Carrera GT was shown in concept form in 2000 and entered production four years later). Given the technology that is crammed into the 918 Spyder, it wouldn't be surprising if its price tag far surpassed that of the Carrera GT.

Porsche is determined to not lose money on its next halo vehicle, unlike Toyota with its ultra-exotic Lexus LFA supercar. The 552 hp LFA is a priced at a whopping $375,000 USD – however, at that price, Toyota is still losing money on every one it produces.

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RE: I'd buy it...
By Pirks on 3/10/2010 12:14:24 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of people actually do. Steve Jobs drives a nice MB, not some exotic Italian shmug. A ton of other billionaires drive Lexus/MB/Infinity/Prius/Saab or some electric like Tesla. I mean, if you're a young boy and want fresh chick every night then yeah, but real rich people and industry moguls are not that kind.

RE: I'd buy it...
By Brandon Hill on 3/10/2010 12:23:04 PM , Rating: 2

I could point you to Bill Gates and his Porsche 959 (which I think is finally released from U.S customs) -- more recently, he had a Porsche 996 Cabriolet IIRC.

It's nearly every young boys fantasy to have a Ferrari or Porsche Lamborghini when they get older (and if they have the means). What's wrong with that?

Who am I to say what a millionaire should or shouldn't do with his/her money?

RE: I'd buy it...
By clovell on 3/10/2010 2:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a long-time Porsche fan, but 've been smitten with the McLaren F1 since its introduction. And if I had the money... oh the things we do for love...

RE: I'd buy it...
By Brandon Hill on 3/10/2010 4:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
The McLaren F1 is the greatest car ever made -- PERIOD.

RE: I'd buy it...
By R6Raven on 3/10/2010 4:49:26 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. However, for that kind of money, you'd think it would come with a radio...

RE: I'd buy it...
By clovell on 3/10/2010 5:34:59 PM , Rating: 3
But how else would you hear the pressure envelope forming outside the vehicle as you accelerate?

RE: I'd buy it...
By Brandon Hill on 3/10/2010 6:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
It has a custom-made Kenwood CD system :) That being said, who needs a radio when you have that glorious BMW V12 in the back?

RE: I'd buy it...
By jmunjr on 3/10/2010 10:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
Well...sort of. It is ridiculously loud, even inside the cabin, so loud in fact that conversations among passengers isn't possible at idle...

Other than that yeah it's awesome. Problem is you will never ever really be able to have tons of fun in it, and even at the track the threat of crashing it will force you to hold back a little or even a lot to prevent such...

RE: I'd buy it...
By Brandon Hill on 3/10/2010 12:29:50 PM , Rating: 2
Let me add... you just mentioned the Tesla which itself is a $100,000+ two-seat roadster ($130,000+ in Sport trim). Surely that isn't "practical"? ;-) And it's electric too... isn't that the definition of "smug" if I want to use your wording? :)

Why does the Tesla get a pass and not something like a Porsche 911 Turbo or an Audi R8 or a Ferrari F430?

RE: I'd buy it...
By Pirks on 3/10/2010 12:40:07 PM , Rating: 2
'cause it's electric and hence helping industry to move forward, from ancient ICE to more modern propulsion systems, while Ferrari is just a big "I WANT A WOMAN" sign and nothing else

RE: I'd buy it...
By Desslok on 3/10/2010 12:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
You have no clue about what you are talking about.

Tesla is helping move the car industry forward? hahahhahaha RIIIIIIIIIIIGHT

RE: I'd buy it...
By Pirks on 3/10/2010 1:04:48 PM , Rating: 1
Tesla is helping move the car industry forward?
Why not?

RE: I'd buy it...
By Pneumothorax on 3/10/2010 1:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
Modern "ancient" ICE sports cars can maintain their high performance easily over a 100+ mile range, whilst your Tesla will easily run out of juice <100 miles (when driven aggressively) requiring a 3+ hour recharge. Meanwhile your Porsche/Ferrari needs a 5 min fill-up at your gas station.

RE: I'd buy it...
By Pirks on 3/10/2010 1:24:56 PM , Rating: 4
Horses were running faster than the first ICE cars too :P

Nuclear or hybrid nuclear/thermonuclear power coupled with next gen nanotech Lithium batteries easily pwn ICE efficiency/emission/maintenance wise.

All of that is non obvious for old ICE holdouts like you but industry progresses in a right direction no matter what you holdouts cry :P Hybrids/electrics are just an early first sign.

RE: I'd buy it...
By fic2 on 3/10/2010 3:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
Gives you 3 hours of play time with the hottie you should be able to pick up. I don't see the problem.

RE: I'd buy it...
By Pirks on 3/10/2010 4:35:00 PM , Rating: 2

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