Porsche has taken the liberty of supplying its own "spy" photos of a prototype car being tested in Europe. These pictures show a camouflaged version of the 918 Spyder, a supercar that is essentially the successor to the Porsche Carrera GT. On top of those images, our spy photographer was able to snap some photos of the car with its roof panel removed for open-air driving.
The 918 Spyder will have a peak output of 770 hp thanks to a combination of a 570-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 and two electric motors. One motor, rated for 121 hp, is connected to the gasoline engine and transmission, and drives the rear wheels, while the second 107-hp electric motor turns the front axle. Electricity is stored in a 6.8 kWh lithium-ion battery.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain allows the car to drive for about 16 miles on electricity alone, and will reportedly help it return fuel economy equivalent to 78 mpg. Driving only on electricity, the car has a claimed top speed of 93 mph, while with the gas engine running it can hit 202 mph. The 0-to-62-mph sprint reportedly takes just 3.0 seconds. Moreover, Porsche has claimed the 918 Spyder will manage a Nürburgring lap time of 7:22 -- ten seconds quicker than the old Carrera GT.
Other innovations for the 918 Spyder include a full carbon fiber reinforced plastic monocoque, and adaptive aerodynamics that can provide either increased cooling or more downforce. The twin exhausts exit above the engine bay, behind the passenger compartment. Porsche's Carbon Ceramic brakes will be standard.
The low and wide car is shown in these spy photos wearing black-and-white livery inspired by the Porsche 917 race cars that won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971. The 918 Spyder was first previewed as a concept car at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
Porsche says the 918 Spyder will start production in September 2013, with the first customers receiving their cars by the end of that year. Just 918 examples of the car will be produced, and reports suggest that about 300 have already been pre-sold thus far.