Is The Porsche 960 Finally Coming To Fruition?
Long-rumored supercar is reportedly getting Stuttgart’s attentionby Kirby, on
The Porsche rumor mill has been hot and heavy these days with speculations on a handful of models that Stuttgart may or not build in the future. But one model, one specific model, has stayed on the backburner for the better part of five years. Other than a report from 2015 stating that Porsche had filed trademarks for this model, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about it. Well, British auto magazine Car believes it may have found the keys to the long-rumored Porsche 960.
According to Car, the Porsche 960 is a real vehicle that Porsche plans to unleash in 2019, eight years after such a model was first reported. The long wait for the car has been attributed to a number of reasons, but what’s important is that there have been strong hints recently from Porsche that it’s ready to proceed with the development of the mid-engined supercar that is expected to slot between the 911 Turbo S and the flagship 918 Spyder. The anticipated timetable means that Porsche will have enough time to roll out the next-generation 911, reportedly named the “992,” before introducing the 960.
Scheduling aside, not much is known about the 960, but Car is reporting that the model will use a structure made primarily of aluminum. High-strength steel, titanium and composites are also expected to be part of the 960’s physical make-up, all of which should play a part in meeting the car’s target weight of 1,400 kg (3,086 pounds). Since it’s being prepared as one of Porsche’s premium models, all sighs point to the 960 receiving the latest in Porsche technology. There’s no telling what those tech features are, but there’s a chance that we’ll see the latest Porsche multimedia system, active aerodynamics, and the rotary drive mode selector, among other tech bits.
On the engine front, the current intel is that Porsche is planning to drop a 650-horsepower 3.9-liter quad-turbocharged flat-eight engine on the 960. While that seems like a stretch to imagine today, there are reports that such an engine is already being tested out on a Porsche Cayman. If this part of the rumor mill proves to be true, it would not only represent a dramatic shift in powertrain options for its future lineup.
Granted, Porsche has used flat-eights in the past, most notably on the 907s and 908 racers from the 60’s and 70’s, and though we haven’t seen this type of engine from Porsche in recent years, using it on the 960 would give the automaker the opportunity to go all-out on fitting the supercar with never-before-used technology. One such tech that’s being thrown around is the automaker’s new “VarioCom” system, which essentially provides the engine the opportunity to increase its potency through the use of higher compression on low revs while also reducing emissions, improving response times, and receiving better fuel economy.
Needless to say, all these tidbits about the Porsche 960 have received no confirmation from Porsche and it’s unlikely that the automaker will do any confirming at least until 2017.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Why it matters
Go back in time to 2011 and there’s a good chance that you’re going to come across rumors of the Porsche 960. I remember this because I wrote about those rumors five years ago here on TopSpeed. It seems strange to think that five years has passed and the car, for better or worse, is still considered a rumor. That said, one thing has remained constant about the supposed 960 is the plans Porsche has for it when the time comes that it finally makes its debut.
It’s been clear from the get-go that Porsche wants the 960 to be its official entry into the supercar world where it will be competing against the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini. No, the Porsche 918 Spyder doesn’t count because that model was a legitimate and exclusive limited edition hypercar. The 960 won’t be like that because it would compete against the Ferrari 488 GTB, the McLaren 650S, and the Lamborghini Huracán, or whatever models end up succeeding these three by the time the 960 hits the market. Right now, the closest thing to Porsche has of such a model is the 911 Turbo S. It’s a fantastic car by all means, but it still just tops out at 580 horsepower, which is well short of what the other three supercars are capable of.
All the details that Car laid out are great, but let’s not get lost on the details that a lot of those information have yet to be verified by Porsche. It’s nice that these rumors are coming out and a lot of credit goes to Car for sharing them, but to treat them as gospel at this point would be a little bit premature.
So here we are, five years after rumors of the Porsche 960 first surfaced, we’re finally getting a picture of what to expect. It’s unclear if all of these details will come true, but if Porsche is as serious about the 960 as we all think it is, then we can hope that actual details about the supercar are revealed sooner than later.
Read our full review on the Porsche 960 here.