2010 Geneva Motor Show: Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-in Hybrid Concept (w/VIDEO)

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Without any delay, this is one of the coolest concept cars I have seen in my entire life. It looks incredible, its technology is incredible, its performance makes me feel tingly and the best part is I can tell that cute brunette at yoga class, “When it comes down to it I put the earth first, so I bought a hybrid.” At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Porsche brought out what is probably the most exciting concept in years: the Porsche 918 Spyder Concept.

By designing this car, Porsche has essentially answered a request of mine, to show the world that the word “hybrid” is not synonymous with word “coma.” I’m so grateful to see something like this, I feel I owe them a thank you card.

“Dear Porsche,

Thank you for taking the time reading my blog, about bringing hybrid performance technology from your new GT3 R Hybrid race car to the commoner, and putting it into action within 5 minutes.”

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Of course a company like Porsche is going to use its race-cars as test mules for new street car goodies, but I did not think we would see both at the same show, in the same year. Yet here it is, a blazing example that fast cars and low emissions can coexist under one bonnet. (Check out the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid)

And fast is exactly what this car is. To start with, it has a V8 engine that produces 500hp. You could stop right there and this car would make waves bigger than Jessica Simpson jumping in the kiddie pool. But as that crack-addled ShamWow salesman would say, “There’s more.” More being 2 electric motors that collectively produce 218 more horsepower. Usually mixing gasoline with electricy is an idea that gets you in the Darwin Awards, but here that means a total of 718hp.

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

Yet somehow the car also gets 78mpg. 78, more than any hybrid on the market today. I can hardly wrap my mind around the idea that I could hit 60mph in 3.2 seconds, merge on the highway, and then laugh as the Honda Insight next to me exits the freeway to re-fuel. And if time is a factor, the 198 mph top-speed is there to aid your punctuality. I don’t know if I’ve entered an alternate dimension, but I am staying.

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

And performance and technology aside, this car is beautiful. It has elements of the Boxster Spyder in it, but on another level. This car makes the Boxster look hardly worthy of sitting in a dark cave. The headlights deviate from Porsche’s current “old school” round lamps, and look stunning, as if a Ferrari F430 got a 911 Turbo drunk and this is the resulting newborn. The rear end is the same; modern and aggressive yet absolute Porsche. I’d go so far as to say it could be competitive with a Carrera GT. It’s just breathtaking.

Porsche 918 Spyder Concept

There is no official word of plans to build the car, but Porsche would be stupid not to. The Tesla Roadster (and upcoming S) have shown people will pay for a green performance car, especially if it’s sexy looking. Fast, fun, gorgeous and highly efficient. This car would be the equivalent of an Italian supermodel who cured cancer. This is not only a great step for Porsche, but for the automotive world as a whole.

Source: Porsche

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