The future of the car will be electrified, and the Porsche 918 Spyder concept shows just how much fun it will be. In this mid-engine supercar’s current configuration, a 3.4-liter racing V8 shares propulsion duty with three electric motors that produce a combined 218 horsepower. Together, all four powerplants create 718 horsepower and catapult the Spyder from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of 198 mph—but if you don’t floor it, the Porsche can deliver up to 78 mpg. In E-Drive mode, the electric motors alone propel the vehicle. Three different hybrid modes allow you to choose between varying degrees of efficiency and performance.
In the unlikely event you need more power, the “E Boost” button will send a seven-second blast of current to the electric motors. Nearly 2,000 people have already signed letters of intent to buy a Spyder, and the automaker is developing it for sale, though it’s not clear when the estimated half-million-dollar car will appear on streets. In the meantime, the Spyder is already serving as a testbed for technology that will trickle down to the rest of us. Price not set.
See more at the Best of What's New 2010 site.