CHECK­LIST VALUE AT A GLANCE Con­di­tion Price Per­for­mance Over­all

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

BACK­GROUND

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

FOR

Com­pre­hen­sive two owner his­tory; strong en­gine, me­chan­i­cals.

AGAINST

Cabin needs tlc and body re­quires a full re­spray to look pre­sentable.

VER­DICT

Sound ex­am­ple; fine daily driver and pro­ject car for transaxle en­thu­si­ast.

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