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Gallery: Porsche 918 Spyder and Fisker Karma

Porsche has begun taking orders for its coming 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid  with a 718-horsepower swagger and that power figure could rise. Meanwhile, production has started for the Fisker Karma hybrid.

Power comes courtesy of an angry 500-horsepower 4.0 liter V8 and a pair of torquey 109 hp electric motors. Yet the powertrain will deliver an economical 78 mpg according to Porsche. So it will be friendlier to polar bears and baby foxes than many other fuel misers on the market today unless you explore its 3.1 second 0-60 or its 199 mph top speed. Porsche believes it can achieve 94 mph solely on the electric power.

If this car does not make you consider going green, you must be dead. But the price may make you a different shade of green at $845,000. Even so you won't likely get yours before late 2013.

If the 918 is too rich for your blood, the Fisker Karma is not only cheaper  at $95,900, but it will hit the streets sooner with dealers expecting demonstrator models as early as April.

The four-door was designed by CEO and executive design director Henrik Fisker who was involved with designing the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8.

The Karma is said to rip to 60 MPH from 0 in under six seconds yet deliver an average fuel economy of 100 MPG. The plug-in hybrid has an all-electric range of 50 miles or so before a gasoline engine provides power.

The company has launched a racy marketing campaign called "Pure Driving Passion" which aims to make being environmental sexy.

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About the blogger

matthewmugMatthew Fortner has been at The News & Observer since 2002. He has a passion for gadgets, cutting-edge technology and all things geek.