Although Porsche execs have been publicly jumping at the bit to build the 918 Spyder, enthusiasm alone isn’t enough to push the hybrid sports car into production. The company needs to know it can sell the car. Fortunately, nearly 900 would-be buyers have expressed serious interest.
Weeks after the 918’s debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, we received word that Porsche was asking its dealer network to gather lists of customers interested in a production car. Wolfgang Dürheimer, Porsche’s executive vice president of research and development, told Bloomberg that the company has 900 customers ready to buy the car -- just shy of the 1000-order threshold Porsche needs to build the 918 Spyder.
“I’m confident that we will soon reach the threshold of 1000,” Dürheimer told Bloomberg in a recent interview. “We need 1000 seriously interested people to make a sound business case.”
Dürheimer had previously suggested he’d “be very pleased with about 1000 firm orders,” but it now seems 1000 cars is the magic number for the 918’s existence. In contrast, the automaker built nearly 1270 examples of its last supercar -- the Carrera GT -- between 2004 and 2006.
If the 918 Spyder does find its way into Porsche’s showrooms with a hybrid powertrain, it will be the automaker’s third hybrid offering, but the second to be sold to the public. Porsche’s 2011 Cayenne Hybrid SUV should reach showrooms later this fall, but the 911 GT3 R Hybrid remains a track-only experiment at this point.