Remembering the Forgotten Front-Engined Porsches

Do you remember these once iconic cars?

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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

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

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

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

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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!

As always, come back next Sunday for a brand new article. Don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends and follow us on Instagram at rsreportblog and check out our Facebook Group, Porsche Enthusiasts United. Feel free to suggest new topics in the Contact page. Newly added on the contact page is a link to the Porsche Club of America website which you should definitely check out HERE! Thank you for reading and don’t forget to come back next Sunday!

Porsche Carrera GT: The Peak of the Supercar

What made the Carrera GT so special?

Red Carrera GT

Back in 1992 Porsche had an idea. They decided to build a V10 engine for their upcoming Formula 1 car. Sadly though, this F1 project was cancelled and this engine was assigned to a shelf in some warehouse in the middle of nowhere. After collecting dust for a few years, this engine was brought out to be used in an upcoming LMP1 racecar project…which was also cancelled. But this time, the engine wasn’t shelved because someone-and God bless him-had the crazy idea of putting this engine in a road car, the Carrera GT. And what a car it was.

In my previous article-check it out if you haven’t already-I talked about the upcoming hybrid Porsche 911 and the future. Today we are looking at the past, we are walking into the supercar hall of fame, and looking at what is in my eyes, the greatest supercar ever made.

Carrera GT Back

What made the Carrera GT great was that it was truly the last supercar that put the driver in control. It didn’t have a fancy dual clutch transmission, all wheel drive, 9 stage traction control, or even stability control for that matter. It had an F1 sounding naturally aspirated engine with 612 horsepower, 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 205 mph, a 6 speed manual transmission, and not much else. How the car drove and handled was completely dependent on the driver. To quote Jeremy Clarkson, ” [In the Carrera GT], you make a mistake, AGOOT, it bites your head off, it’s that simple…”

This is not to say however that the Carrera GT was simple and under engineered. This was the production car to have a carbon fiber monocoque chassis, which is now a staple in every exotic car. The Carerra GT was one of the few times someone tried to reinvent and improve the manual transmission as it was the first road car to have a carbon ceramic clutch. Everything from the engine to the underbody, was designed to save weight and go fast, which is exactly what this car did. It’s no wonder this car won “Best Dream Car 2004” by Road and Track Magazine and “Best dream Machine” by Motorweek. This is why, 50 years from now, when we are sitting in our electric car that’s driving itself, going God knows where, we will look back at the Carrera GT and think, “Damn, now those were the good old days.”

Do you agree, was the Carrera GT the peak of the supercar? If not, let me know what YOU think was the best supercar ever made and suggest new topics in the Contact Page. Also, don’t forget to share this page and follow Rennsport Report on WordPress to get notified of every new post. Follow us on Instagram @rsreportblog. New posts will be added every Sunday for the foreseeable future. Thank You for reading!

Carrera GT Black

What Happened to the Porsche 960?

Is Porsche’s mid-engined supercar still in development, or has it been secretly killed off behind closed doors?

Does anyone even remember Porsche’s forgotten supercar project?

A few years ago, I heard a rumor about Porsche developing a mid-engined supercar set to compete with the likes of the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Huracan. When I thought about it, this concept actually made a lot of sense.

I have a friend who is a very passionate Ferrari enthusiast and we always go back and forth about Porsches and Ferraris. Yet every time I would argue, I could never really find a Porsche that was really designed to compete with the Ferrari 458. There was the 911 Turbo, which would win in a straight line, and the GT3 which would win at a track, but the more I thought about it, both the Turbo and the GT3 were not really designed for the 458; with the Turbo being a GT car and the GT3 being a track car. There was no real Porsche “supercar”. Some would argue that the 911 GT2 and GT2RS were proper competitors but my friend and I agreed that these cars were really in their own league slightly above the 458. This bugged me for a while so one can only imagine my enthusiasm when I heard about this new car.

Porsche-960-digital-rendering

The years went on and on and eventually, this dream of a proper mid-engined Porsche supercar slipped out of my mind as I devoted my time to other things. This was all until a few months ago when the thought of this car randomly slipped into my head. Now, I hadn’t heard anything about this mythical supercar for a few years and I decided to do some research. It turned out that sometime in 2016, Porsche trademarked the name, 960, for its upcoming supercar. There were actually quite a few articles, all of which I was happy to read. Basically, I learned that the 960 was to be powered by a flat 8 engine and that it was going to be revealed for the 2019 model year. Then I realized something, it was the middle of 2018 and we had heard nothing; I looked closer at the articles, they were written around 2016. Had Porsche stopped development or had they moved this project behind closed doors? After reading some more, I realized that the project may have been either delayed or canceled due to Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal (which is probably the case). But I choose to be optimistic. It is my prediction, that the Porsche 960 will be unveiled at the upcoming LA Auto Show this year or a major auto show early next year. God, I hope I’m right.

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