Porsche says prototypes of its exotic 918 Spyder have been completed and are now on the road.
Production of the hybrid-drive supercar is planned to begin at the end of September 2013, with first customer deliveries to North America currently scheduled for late in that year.
The prototypes are camouflaged to resemble historical Porsche 917 racing cars, the company says. Their focus is on the development of and interplay between the car's highly sophisticated individual drive components.
The combination of internal combustion engine and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels – poses completely new demands on the development of the operating strategies.
"They are therefore a critical component in this vehicle into which we have put all of our expertise and capacity for innovation," said Wolfgang Hatz, Member of the Executive Board Research and Development of Porsche AG.
These operating strategies and the development of the software to go with them make possible a unique combination of minimal fuel consumption and maximum performance, the company says.
The 918 Spyder is a plug-in hybrid vehicle combining a high-performance combustion engine with cutting-edge electric motors. It is designed to combine the dynamics of a racing machine, with more than 770 hp, with fuel consumption capability in the region of three litres per 100 kilometres.
The initial results of driving trials are in line with the high expectations placed on the car, porsche reports.
Other technologies featured on the technology demonstrator include full carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) monocoque with unit carrier, fully adaptive aerodynamics, adaptive rear-axle steering and an upward-venting "top pipes" exhaust system.
Bring it on, we say!