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Porsche Spyder 918: The new king of the hybrid car heap?

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(Read caption) Porsche Spyder 918 – say hello to the most expensive hybrid car in the world. (Stop drooling.)

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Porsche has begun taking orders for the Spyder 918 – a hybrid sports car equipped with a 500-horsepower V8 engine and enough curves to make a Prius owner green with envy. (Excuse the pun.) Company reps say the Porsche Spyder 918 goes from 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds; all that power comes from the V8, and also a 218-horsepower electric drive system, which can be fully recharged in three hours.

Photos above. Video below. Other details: Top speed of around 200 miles an hour; first production cycle expected to begin in 2013. So far, so good. But before you start drooling, consider this: The Porsche Spyder 918 hybrid will sell in North America for $845,000 – the highest price tag ever placed on a Porsche car, according to Bloomberg. (Perhaps for that reason, the Spyder 918 will be limited to an initial run of 918 units.)

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So how many $850K automobiles is Porsche really going to be able to unload? “There’s certainly a number of collectors that have the means to buy a model that you know is going to be a classic of the future,” IHS Automotive analyst Christoph Stuermer told Bloomberg News today. But Stuermer admitted that selling any real volume of Spyder 918 units may be “a bit of a stretch."

It's worth noting that Porsche doesn't have the hybrid exotic car market all to itself. Tesla has been busy cranking out Roadster models, including the Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport, which retails for upward of $100K. The Roadster 2.5, Monitor staffer Clayton Collins wrote in a review last year, is "all urges and surges. Loaded with torque, it does zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds – comparable to (maybe even a coat-of-paint faster) than Ferrari’s frighteningly quick F430."

And if you are in the market for a Porsche Spyder (or at least like ogling one), have you heard about Dubai's refrigerated beach? The Oculus and Infinitas uber yachts? Or this working jet pack?

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