Porsche has already said it wants to produce the 918 Spyder Concept, a 500-horsepower, 198-mph V-8/electric hybrid. But a report today says Porsche has received almost 900 serious inquiries from potential buyers, pushing the car very close to the unofficial 1,000-buyer threshold necessary to justify Porsche's investment in actually building the vehicle.

It's no surprise, really--the 918 Spyder is stunning, and a seemingly impossible combination of power, efficiency and performance. The 3.4-liter V-8 engine and 218-horsepower electric motor deliver all-wheel drive, 3.2-second 0-60 mph times and a Nordschleife lap time expected to lie somewhere south of 7 minutes, 30 seconds--bordering on Corvette ZR1 and Dodge Viper times.

A PDK dual-clutch gearbox handles the variously-sourced power, and a range of driving modes suit the car's output to the situation at hand. Up to 16 miles can be traversed on electricity alone, or full power can be applied for maximum performance.

The news of the 918 Spyder's near-production status came from the floor of the Beijing Auto Show, where Porsche's head of development Wolfgang Duerheimer told Bloomberg that Porsche needs "1,000 seriously interested people to make a sound business case." He's also confident that number will soon be reached.

[Bloomberg BusinessWeek]