The oft-rumored high-end sports car is once again being placed on the backburner

Every automaker has its unicorn. It’s the car that’s been rumored to be built for quite some time but has yet to happen for one reason or another. For Porsche, that model could very well be the 960, the two-seater, mid-engine sports car that the company touts as its answer to whatever Ferrari has on its roster. It’s supposed to slot between the range-topping Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Porsche 918 Spyder and the last we heard about it is that it was scheduled to be released in 2019. Well, according to Automotive News, that timetable is now unlikely to be met.

A source close to the situation even told the news site that production for the 960 has been pushed back to 2026. That’s a significant amount of time that legitimately puts into question the status of the 960. Will it still be a part of Porsche’s plans in five years? Will it be scrapped entirely at some point? These are the questions that are being asked and you can be sure that more questions will arise the longer the wait for the 960 becomes.

What’s clear at this point is that the 960, like other models under the Volkswagen umbrella, has become the unwitting victim of the diesel emissions scandal that has overwhelmed the German auto conglomerate. Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller has already announced plans to push back or cancel some models in light of the scandal and it appears that the 960 is one of them. Even if Porsche gets the green light from the VW to finally start production of the 960, there’s no telling when that’s going to be. Don’t expect it to happen anytime soon since high-profile models like the 960 usually cost a lot of time and money to develop. Unfortunately, those are two things are in short supply as the Volkswagen Group navigates through the dieselgate mess.

So for now, let’s just sit back and wait and see what becomes of the Porsche 960. 2026 is still 10 year away and there’s no telling what’s going to become of Porsche in the years to come.

Note: Porsche 918 Spyder pictured here.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

This is one of those things that are totally beyond anybody’s control so we’ll all just have to sit back and take this punch in the gut in stride. I’m disappointed that the Porsche 960 is once again being delayed, not because it’s happened numerous times already, but because the long delay really does put the car’s future into question. We all know how prickly the auto industry can be. One shift in ideology could swell into an avalanche of change and the long term plans are immediately scrapped or completely forgotten.

I’m on the fence about the realistic possibility that we’ll ever get to see the 960 get off the ground. Maybe it’ll come in a different form. Maybe Porsche sticks to this new timetable and still have it out by 2026. But I’m not confident about either of these things happening, so instead of setting myself up for another bout of disappointment, I’m just going to let my expectations go. It’s a shame because the car was being talked about so highly.

But now those expectations are gone, and with a 10-year wait, I’m not sure they’re ever coming back.

Source: Automotive News

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