The wait for Porsche's most radical sports car ever, the 918 Spyder, is nearing its end with the Stuttgart based automaker having completed the development of the pre-production prototypes, the first photos of which were released today.
First seen as a concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the 918 Spyder is a plug-in hybrid supercar that will enter production at the end of September 2013. Porsche said that the first customer deliveries will take place "before 2013 is out".
Previously, the Germans had announced that prices in the U.S., excluding destination and handling, will start at $845,000 (equal to €655,000), and in Europe from €645,000 (equal to $835,400) before VAT and country-specific charges.
The new 918 Spyder features a driveline that combines a mid-mounted V8 gasoline engine with a displacement of more than 4.0-liters and an output that exceeds 500-horses driving the rear wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission, with two electric motors, one on each axle, with a joint output of at least 218-horses.
Porsche pointed out that while the system's combined output will surpass the 770hp mark, the 918 Spyder will return a fuel consumption of just 3.0lt/100km (78.4mpg US or 94.2mpg UK), evidently with the use of the electric motors, which are believed to be able to power the car alone for at least 25 km (16 miles).
The company previously quoted a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 320 km/h (199 mph), though these numbers are not final.
The flagship Porsche model is built around a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic monocoque and features fully adaptive aerodynamics and an adaptive rear-axle steering.
The styling of the pre-production 918 Spyder remains close to the original concept with changes including the new headlamp fixtures, different wheels, the addition of full size exterior mirrors, the subtly redesigned rear end and the relocation of the exhaust pipes from the sides to the top part of the engine compartment.
Porsche has also designed a manual roof system with removable panels that can be stowed away in the front luggage compartment