Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid

Atlanta-based Porsche Cars North America Inc. has announced that dealers around the world will begin taking orders for its 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid, priced at $845,000.

The company will manufacture no more than 918 models and will begin production in September 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany on the concept car, which is designed to combine environmentally conscious technology with high-speed performance.

Powered by a V8 engine with 500 horsepower and two additional electric motors, it is estimated that the vehicle will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about three seconds and reach speeds up to 199 mph.

The engine is based on that of the RS Spyder, which was used in the American Le Mans Series, a sports-car racing series based in Braselton, about 50 miles north of Atlanta.

The series hosts the Petit Le Mans race at its Road Atlanta track, where the RS Spyder won an award for a combination of fuel efficiency, low carbon emissions and performance in 2008.

Bob Dickinson, vice president of media and communications for the series, told GlobalAtlanta that Porsche is focused on developing high-performance cars that reduce their effect on the environment.

“They’re looking for ways to make their cars more efficient, but at the same time maintain the iconic sports car image they’ve always had,” said Mr. Dickinson in a phone interview.

Porsche also debuted 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car last October at Petit Le Mans. Finishing in 18th place, it was the first time a race car used hybrid technology in the U.S.

While the company sent its Cayenne S Hybrid to production last November and plans to begin producing 918 Spyder in 2013, the future of the 911 prototype is uncertain, Gary Fong, a spokesperson for Porsche, told GlobalAtlanta.

Porsche Cars North America, a subsidiary of the German automaker, is the exclusive importer of Porsche vehicles in the U.S. It employs about 220 people who provide parts, service, marketing and training for 195 dealers.

For more information, visit www.porsche.com/usa.