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Porsche 918 Spyder Plug-In Hybrid: Even Faster (And Video Too)

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Hybrids are hot property right now, but none more so than at the very top end of the market.

Ferrari's unimaginatively-named LaFerrari, the McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 will all utilize hybrid drivetrains, but it's the Porsche set to hit the market first.

So imminent is the German firm's offering that the press are already being offered early tasters. Not us sadly, but renowned Porschophile Chris Harris from the Drive online car network has had a go, and relayed his thoughts in the video above.

Now, it goes without saying that Drive is rather more about performance than it is economy, and naturally a little skepticism comes through in the video with regards to the car's drivetrain.

Not without merit, either. Impressive though the 918's technology is, you really do wonder what the car would be like without heavy banks of batteries--Porsche's impressive weight savings seem as much a countermeasure to the car's heavy batteries as they do a beneficial engineering direction.

Nevertheless, there's plenty to enjoy in the video. Even in electric-only running, Harris describes the car as being capable of seeing off most other road traffic.

With over 240 horsepower available from the 918's twin electric motors alone, that's perhaps not surprising.

Porsche has actually furnished the 918 with some upgrades recently, perhaps aimed at bringing the car closer in line with its Ferrari and McLaren rivals.

Total output of engine and motors now stands at 887 horsepower and 940 pounds-feet of torque--enough to launch to 62 mph in only 2.8 seconds, and pass 188 mph in 23 seconds.

But, even as fans of the car's ability to run on electricity, it's hard not to enjoy the contrast available in the 918 as Harris presses the gas a little harder and wakes up the V-8 gasoline engine. At that point it rather ceases to be a green car, but in offering both green and not-so-green options in the same car, it should appeal to many more people than most vehicles of its type.

Sadly, only a handful of those appreciators will ever get to own, or even drive one. Porsche intends to make just 918 examples of the 918, and it won't be cheap.

It'll be fun though, which is what really counts. And whether people like it or not, that electric running will make it a little less antisocial than most supercars for those occasional trips through the city...

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  1. Chris Harris is a neanderthal, perpetually surprised by all things technological. His range is limited to an appreciation of fire (gas/petrol) and car go fast. Embarrassing to watch.
     
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