The North American International Auto Show in Detroit is the first major auto show of the year and is typically filled with many big debuts. Unfortunately for Porsche fans, the world's favorite German sports car maker has been missing from the show for the past three years, relying instead on later shows like the New York Auto Show for U.S. and world debuts.
918 Spyder Hybrid
Well, with the economy turning around, Porsche is returning to the NAIAS this year. And it's not taking its return lightly: it has been pretty loose-lipped about an all-new model that it plans to unveil at the show. Unfortunately, it hasn't said what the car will be, leaving the auto media to guess.
What a company spokesman did say earlier this month: "We’ll have something spectacular to show."
In fact, the word "spectacular" has shown up more than once, so we know that it's something big. At least it had better be if Porsche plans on living up to the hype.
Earlier this week, Porsche officially confirmed that it will introduce a new car at the show. It also said that the general public will be able to tune in to the unveiling through its website (porsche.com/detroit), an honor usually reserved for the press corp that attends the first two days of the show. The press conference is scheduled for January 10.
As to what the car could be, there are two popular speculative guesses. The first is a new edition of the 918 Spyder Hybrid. Porsche built the original 918 as a concept for last year's Geneva Motor Show. In the summer, the company confirmed that due to popular demand it would be producing the 918. So it reasons that Porsche could use Detroit to show the progress that it's made with the hybrid supercar's design.
The 918 Spyder Hybrid is an exciting hybrid supercar that uses a 500-hp 3.4-liter V8 engine and electric motors to produce 718 horses. The car is capable of 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed around 200 mph. Meanwhile, it offers up to 78 mpg of estimated efficiency.
The other popular rumor is that the car may be a completely new model. In the fall, rumors of a car between the 718-hp 918 (which is expected to retail for over $600K) and the 911 line surfaced. That model is expected to be a powerful, two-seat supercar based in part on the 918, though it's not clear if it will have a hybrid powertrain or a gas engine. It may revive the dormant 929 model name. If indeed that car is in the works, it could be coming to Detroit.
Of course, it's always possible for Porsche to totally disappoint us. Before the LA Auto Show last month, Porsche announced that it would introduce a new model, only to show a Cayman R, an upgraded but not really brand new version of the Cayman. Hopefully, Stuttgart takes "spectacular" a little morePorshce seriously.