We’ve known for some time that Porsche’s 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept from the 2010 Geneva Motor Show would eventually enter production but today, more than two years out from its debut, Porsche has announced that the order books have officially opened. We can confirm that the production 918 Spyder will cost $845,000 here in the U.S., easily making this the most expensive hybrid car currently on sale. 

That’s not at all surprising given its 918 unit exclusivity, or its 718 horsepower on tap. Oh, and did we mention that its fuel economy will come in at around 78 mpg (initial estimate based on European combined driving cycle)?

Thankfully, Porsche is keeping the original concept car’s awesome plug-in hybrid drivetrain intact. This means that the production 918 Spyder will ship with a high-revving V-8 engine with a displacement exceeding 4.0-liters and output of more than 500 horsepower. The mid-engine power unit is based on the racing engine of the successful Porsche RS Spyder and is matched to a seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual clutch transmission.

This is then complemented by two electric motors--one each on the front and rear axle--with a joint mechanical output of at least 218 horsepower. This configuration offers a variable all-wheel drive system with independent control of the propulsion force on both axles.

Powering the electric motors is a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket, delivering an electric-only driving range of around 16 miles on a single charge. Topping up the batteries will take between 3-6 hours depending on the outlet used, but a quick charging option is planned to reduce charging time yet further.

Production isn’t scheduled to start until September of 2013, with first deliveries scheduled to start just one month later. Note that the earlier a customer orders their vehicle, the earlier it will be delivered, as production is initialized in the same sequence in which orders are received.

For more details, check out our previous story or follow the jump below.

[Porsche via MotorAuthority]


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