Yesterday, I was just driving through town when something caught my eye. It was a beautifully kept Porsche 914. For those of you that don’t know, the 914 was basically the Porsche Boxster before the Boxster existed. Produced from 1969-1976, the 914 was a light, mid engined roadster (like the Boxster), powered by small flat four and flat six engines. It’s safe to say that the 914 is a forgotten title, a page ripped out of the history books, but it got me thinking, what about all the front engined cars Porsche made, does anyone still remember them?
The Porsche 924
The car that started it all was the Porsche 924, not a very impressive car, but important none the less. Produced from 1976-1988, the 924 was designed to replace the 914 as Porsche’s “entry-level” model. Despite having Porsche badging, and very questionable Porsche styling, the 924 originally came powered by a Volkswagen built 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder engine and an Audi transmission. The 924 was also Porsche’s first car to have a true automatic transmission. The 924 received numerous upgrades throughout its life cycle, and undoubtedly lived up to what a Porsche should be.
The Porsche 944
Unlike the 924, which was part Volkswagen, the Porsche 944 was a 100% purebred Porsche. The 944 too, had a 4 cylinder engine, although a much more powerful one-143 hp vs 95 hp in the 924. Most importantly though, this was an engine built and developed by Porsche alone. The 944 was built from 1982-1991 and quickly became one of Porsche’s most successful sports cars. The 944 was a light, fun car to drive around mountain roads and was sure to put a smile on your face every time you sat in it. This was especially true for my dad, since he owned a red one in the 1980s. In terms of styling, the 944 was a HUGE step above the 924, being one of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen, so much so that I almost bought one as my first car.
The Porsche 968
Of all the front engined Porsche’s, the 968 is definitely the most forgotten. Ask most Porsche enthusiasts, and they probably never knew it even existed, I know I didn’t. This is mostly due to the fact that 968 wasn’t produced for very long, only from 1992-1995. As a matter of fact, the 968 was originally built as a new 944 model. It was originally going to be called the Porsche 944 S3, a last hurrah for the 944 model. But with Porsche being Porsche, they added so many new components, they ended up replacing 80% of the 944’s components, creating a new car on accident. The 968 was powered by an even more powerful version of the 3.0 Liter 4 cylinder engine found in the 944 S2 and was at the time, the 3rd largest 4 cylinder engine in a production car.
The Porsche 928
Last but certainly not least, we have the Porsche 928, Porsche’s grand tourer. The 928 laughed at the 924, 944, and 968’s measly 4 cylinder engines with its big, powerful V8 powerplant, making 345 hp in its most powerful configuration. The 928 was built to represent the pinnacle of Porsche’s engineering capabilities, and it went on to win the European Car of the Year Award. Aside from being a technological marvel, the 928 was built with one purpose in mind: to replace the almighty 911. At the time of the 928’s reveal in 1977, the 911 was already 14 years old and was almost the same car as when it was unveiled back in 1963. In Porsche’s eyes, the 911 was over. With safety concerns arising from its rear engined setup, it was time to move on. The 928 fought valiantly, for 18 years until it was discontinued in 1995, but the 911 was loved too much to be let go, and Porsche listened. However, the 928 might not be dead yet, rumor has it that Porsche might build a coupe version of the Panamera-i.e. a new 928. The fate of the 928 remains to be seen. Thanks for reading!
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