Porsche’s concept car from the Geneva Motor Show is going to production with 78 miles per gallon. The 918 Spyder hybrid supercar can drive up to 16 miles on pure electric. Other specs include 500 horsepower, 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, and a top speed of 198 miles per hour. Though those 16 miles won’t be at 198 miles per hour, they should be able to get someone in and out of the zero-emission zones some European cities may soon be implementing. Outside of these, drivers will be able to use the full capability of the 9,200-rpm V-8 all-wheel-drive sports car.
Now that there are at least 1,000 buyers interested in the 918 Spyder, it presents a “sound business case,” according to Porsche's head of development Wolfgang Duerheimer. It may still take about two years to get from the concept to the production model. However, there will soon also be the 2011 Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid sport-utility vehicle and the 2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid sedan coming out for the rest of us.
Another Porsche uses a completely new technology to conserve energy. Rather than the high-voltage battery pack present in most hybrids, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid test car has a flywheel that stores energy reclaimed from braking. This is an adaptation of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System that was first used in Formula 1 race cars. However, the flywheel in this car takes the place of the passenger seat, so you’ll have to drive it solo.