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The 968 was a development of the 944: After almost a decade the popularity of Porsche’s transaxle stalwart was waning. In particular the four-cylinder engine lacked the smoothness and performance of cheaper rival offerings from Nissan and Toyota. Plans to install a 3.3 V8 or even a straight six design thatweissach was developing for Volvo were scotched by Branitski’s cost cutting. In the end Porsche’s inate ability to squeeze more life from old engines prevailed again: The application of Variocam technology, effectively manipulating valve timing mechanically instead of depending entirely on the injection’s electronics saved the day: so installed on the twin cam 16 valve 3.0 of the 944S2 it produced 240bhp at 6200rpm and impressive torque of 225lb ft. 944 Turbo brakes were fitted and the Audi-derived six-speed garnered much praise. A Tiptronic four-speed auto was also new. Meanwhile Lagaaij’s stylists had transformed the 944 front to endow the corporate look of the 928 and the soon-to-be-announced 993. But if senior engineers Hensler and Falk had wanted to present the 968 as an evolution of the 944S2, they were overridden by a management keen for the ‘good news story’ of a completely new model, which was how the 968 would be launched in 1991. And it was a good car – competent, fast and with the unimpeachable handling balance, which still makes the Clubsport version a soughtafter variant. Customers were not fooled though and for £35,000 (UK) many would have expected a ‘six’. A mere 11,000 968s were sold, and the transaxle had had its day at Porsche: as the first 968s hit the showrooms, the designers had already drawn the Boxster concept.
WHERE IS IT?
Martyn’s Car Sales, Guildford Road, Chertsey KT16 9LX. Tel: 07768 017781
Comprehensive two owner history; strong engine, mechanicals.
Cabin needs tlc and body requires a full respray to look presentable.
Sound example; fine daily driver and project car for transaxle enthusiast.