The United States will be the largest market for the Porsche 918 Spyder, the plug-in hybrid supercar going into production this fall, the company says.
Porsche has been courting potential 918 Spyder buyers worldwide for months with promotional mailings and invitations to private viewings. With the car's price slated to start at $845,000, it's an exclusive club. U.S. events have been held in Dallas, Las Vegas, New York, Birmingham, Ala., and Pebble Beach, Calif.
Porsche plans to make just 918 copies of the car over a two- to three-year life cycle. Buyers must put down $200,000 deposits.
The production run isn't sold out, but demand has been robust, the company said. Porsche declined to say how many deposits it has taken. "We're on target," Porsche spokesman Dave Engelman said.
He declined to reveal a U.S. sales projection but said this market likely will average at least one car per dealership. That means at least 190 sales.
But there are no guarantees each store will see a 918 Spyder. Orders go to dealerships with deposit-paying customers.
Porsche expects new specs just released to raise buyer interest.
The 918 Spyder's 4.6-liter V-8 engine and two electric motors will produce combined output of 887 hp, up from a previous estimate of 770 hp. The car has a top speed of at least 211 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.8 seconds.
In pure electric mode, the 918 Spyder can travel 18 miles, reach speeds of up to 93 mph and accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in seven seconds.
"The 918 will make a profit as a stand-alone, and we'll use the technology in other places, too," Engelman said.
Porsche will show the production version at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Official production starts Sept. 18, and Europe will get the first cars. U.S. deliveries are expected to begin during the first quarter of 2014.