ALONG CAME THE SPYDER – Porsche 918 Spyder

With unprecedented speed and performance the hybrid electric Porsche 918 Spyder has forever changed the way the world views eco-friendly sports cars. A few years ago. Porsche embarked on a three-year development plan to create a hybrid-electric supercar truly deserving of the automakers iconic nameplate.

What they came up with is not only a fuel-efficient technological tour de force, but also one of the fastest production cars ever built. The 918 Spyder pairs a brawny, mid-mounted 4.6-liter, 608-horsepower V8 combustion engine with a 156-horsepower electric motor to power the rear wheels, using Porsche’s signature 7-speed PDK transmission.

A second, 129-horsepower front-axle electric motor provides all-wheel-drive traction and helps propel the open-topped two-seater from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, making it one of the fastest-accelerating street-legal airs of all time. The total combined 887 horsepower achieved blistering top speeds of up to 214 mph, outpacing the beloved Carrera GT by 31 seconds at Germany’s famed Nurburgring racetrack. With the razor-sharp handling we’ve come to expect from the legendary German engineers, Porsche’s 918 ow ns the Autobahn in impeccable style.

Sure, it has speed and gorgeous lines, but it’s also more than just a racecar. In E-Drive mode, running silently on electric energy alone, the dual 6.8 kW lithium-ion batteries can provide for speeds of up to 93 mph, and the Spyder gets a combined city/highway EPA rating of 67 miles per gallon.

In reimagining the car of the future, Porsche employed myriad engineering overhauls, including an entirely carbon-fiber shell and chassis, and a refashioned, inverted transmission to lower the center of gravity. The hybrid hypercar originally retailed for $848,000, but the limited edition sold out before most of the 918 units had even rolled off the factory floor. These days, you’ll have to spend about $1.5 million on the secondary market. But imagine what you’ll save on gas.

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