FrontRunners: Porsche 918 Spyder

Though just an experimental vehicle when featured on the November 2010 cover of Robb Report, the Porsche 918 Spyder (www.porsche.com) already is becoming a production-line reality. Porsche is accepting orders now for the $845,000 hybrid supercar and expects to begin manufacturing it—in a quantity limited to 918—in September 2013, at the company’s main factory in Stuttgart. The partially electric-powered flyer is equipped with a high-revving 4-liter, mid-mounted V-8 that develops 500-plus hp. The engine is mated to Porsche’s stellar 7-speed PDK double-clutch gearbox. Complementing the V-8 are two electric motors—one on the front axle and one on the rear—that together develop an additional 218 hp. The motors run on a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged from a household outlet. The green technology in no way impedes the 918’s performance: The car accelerates from zero to 60 mph in about 3.1 seconds.