Returning to the Detroit Auto Show for the first time in four years, and enjoying the honor of holding the first press conference of the 2011 show—Porsche plans to wow showgoers with a 600-horsepower mid-engine all-wheel drive sports car, which should easily run with the top models from Audi, Ferrari and Lamborghini, a closed version of the 918 Spyder Hybrid.

Production of the 918 Spyder Hybrid seen here, as a successor to the highly coveted Carrera GT, was announced in July. That car was originally shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2010.

Powered by a 500 horsepower 3.4-liter V8, the 918 also benefits from three electric motors that generate another 218 horsepower. The gasoline engine’s output flows to the rear wheels via a seven-speed PDK gearbox.

A pair of electric motors, making the 918 an all-wheel drive automobile, drives the front wheels. The third electric motor is mounted in line with the transmission to feed the rear wheels. The 918 is set up to offer four different driving modes. The car will run as a pure electric—powered only by the electric motors—for approximately 16 miles. Additionally, three hybrid modes enable the driver to select the desired level of performance needed from the powertrain for a given situation.

To keep weight to a minimum, the 918 is constructed of carbon fiber, magnesium and aluminum. Curb weight of the Spyder is approximately 3300 pounds. If past is prologue, the coupe should be lighter, as additional bracing is typically added to an open car to ensure rigidity.

Lithium-ion batteries store the electricity needed to power the motors and are charged by either plugging the vehicle into an electrical outlet, or by regenerative braking and output from the gasoline engine, as is common practice in hybrid powertrains.

This makes the 918 the first plug-in hybrid Porsche road car.

Pricing for the Spyder has been set at $670,000 in Germany, pricing for the coupe (assuming production) has yet to be set.