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Porsche 918 to cost $1.3m Down Under

Hefty taxes: Porsche's revolutionary plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder has been slugged with a massive $420,000 Australian tax bill.

Plug-in Porsche supercar to attract more than $420K in Australian taxes

22 Mar 2011

PORSCHE has attacked a whopping Australian tax bill of more than $420,000, which will push the local price of its 918 Spyder to a staggering $1.29 million, for potentially deterring at least three well-heeled customers who had placed serious expressions of interest for the mould-breaking plug-in hybrid supercar.

The Stuttgart sportscar-maker this week announced a European price of €645,000 ($A866,500) plus value-added taxes and country-specific charges for the limited-edition model, just 918 left-hand drive examples of which have been confirmed for production from September 18, 2013.

That equates to $A1.07 million in the UK, where first deliveries will commence in first-in-best-dressed order from November 2013.

In Australia, however, the 918 Spyder will cost €960,000 or $1.29 million once luxury car tax (LCT: €210,000 or $A282,000), goods and services tax (GST: €68,000 or $A91,350) and almost $50,000 in import duty is factored in.

That brings the 918’s total local tax component to an estimated $423,350, despite the fact the left-hand drive-only 918 cannot legally be driven on Australian roads.

Porsche Cars Australia (PCA) said the Australian Tax Office’s LCT regime, which it says applies to any vehicle that can be registered anywhere in the world, should not apply to LHD vehicles that cannot be road-registered in Australia – in the same way that race cars like Porsche’s own GT3 Carrera Cup cars are exempt from LCT.

“Every successful and entrepreneurial Australian should do their bit for the economy and place an order for the Porsche 918 Spyder,” said PCA spokesman Paul Ellis.

“Wayne Swan is cherry picking at least a quarter of a million dollars in taxes on a car which can’t be registered for Australian roads.”

25 center imageLeft: Porsche 918 Spyder rear and interior sketches. Bottom: 911 Turbo S 918-edition coupe and convertible.

PCA said it had received “legitimate expressions of interest” from at least three Australian Porsche enthusiasts prior to this week’s pricing announcement in Germany, which makes the 918 vastly more expensive than its spiritual predecessor, the Carrera GT.

The 918 will also be more than twice as pricey as the previous most expensive Porsche model sold in Australia, the $560,000 GT2 RS.

However, unlike the turbocharged flat-six engined GT2 RS and petrol V10-powered Carrera GT, which was also a LHD-only proposition, the 918 combines a 368kW petrol V8 with two electric motors delivering at least 160kW to deliver claimed 0-100km/h acceleration just 3.2 seconds and a 320km/h-plus top speed.

At the same time, the 918 comes with an estimated fuel consumption figure of just 3.0L/100km and CO2 emissions of only 70g/km, making it more efficient than a Toyota Prius.

The 918 Spyder’s mid-mounted 4.0-litre-plus V8, which is based on the RS Spyder’s racing engine, will be matched with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. It will combine with an electric motor at each end, offering “variable all-wheel drive with independent control of the propulsion force on both axles”.

The electric motors will be powered by a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that can be fully charged from a conventional domestic power socket in Germany in about three hours (even less with a quick-charging option) and provides the 918 with an electric-only driving range of at least 25km.

Porsche said development of the 918 Spyder production model – three sketches of which were also released this week, showing the two-seater convertible with and without its removable hard-top roof, which stows in the front luggage compartment –continues apace following “outstanding” customer reaction to the model show at last year’s Geneva motor show.

Originally, Porsche said it would require 1000 firm orders to guarantee production of the 2010 concept. Before confirming it for production in mid-2010, a spokesman said at last April’s Beijing show the 918 has attracted more than 900 legitimate customers.

As a sweetener for 918 customers who will wait at least two and half years for delivery, Porsche has produced a limited-edition “Edition 918 Spyder” version of its top-shelf 911 Turbo S, to be available exclusively to 918 buyers and therefore also limited to 918 units.

The 918-edition is differentiated from the regular Turbo S by unique ‘acid green’ interior highlights including part-embroidered model logos, leather trim seams, instrument cluster needles, PCM screen and illuminated door sills.

The special 911 Turbo S, which also comes with a unique plaque on its glovebox lid to reflect the customer’s 918 build number, can also be had in acid green exterior paint.

It is likely to be the penultimate version of the current 997-series 911 before an extra-hardcore 4.0-litre version of the current GT3 RS and then the next-generation 911 emerge later this year.

The next 911 derivative to arrive Down Under will be next month’s 911 Black, while the petrol-electric Panamera S Hybrid goes on sale here in August.

Porsche has also committed to producing the mid-sized ‘Cajun’ compact SUV, which should be introduced in a similar timeframe to an as-yet-unnamed sportscar also based on Volkswagen underpinnings and set to become Porsche’s sixth model line after the Boxster/Cayman, 911, Cayenne, Panamera, Cajun and 918.

First deliveries of the unique 918-edition 911 will commence in Europe in June. It will be available to 918 customers in either coupe or convertible guise, priced from 173,241 Euro in Germany – but considerably more in Australia.

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