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968 Coupe
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:1991 - 1995
Numbers built:6444
Price new:DM 89,900
Internal name:968
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:April 29, 2021
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Click here to download printer friendly versionPorsche launched the 944 model in 1982 as a replacement of the four-cylinder engined 924. During the 1980s, two evolutions were introduced and a third was planned for 1991. Originally the upgrade for the '944 S3' was mainly cosmetically, to help it blend in with the rest of Porsche line-up. Eventually, the Porsche engineers ended up changing around 80% of the mechanical components. This justified a new model, so it was dubbed the Type 968 instead.

Much of the development work concentrated on the engine, which was a further evolution of the three-litre 'four' found in the 944 S2. It featured a revised head with a larger intake valve and improved cooling. The compression was raised and a lighter crankcase was fitted. Carried over from the 964-generation was Porsche's patented hydraulic variable valve system, known as 'Variocam'. All these changes helped raise the power from 208 hp to 237 bhp. A sixth gear was added to the manual gearbox, which was mounted in unit with the final drive.

To save on costs, the exterior re-design was limited to the removable sections of the body, so the nose and the tail. The most obvious changes was the use of the 928-derived circular headlights, which popped up. The rear end was cleaned up and revised taillights were also fitted. In addition to Coupe, Porsche offered the 968 with a foldaway convertible roof. In standard configuration, the 968 was offered with 16-inch 'Cup' style wheels. Slightly wider, 17-inch wheels were available as an option.

Whereas the 924 and 944 were produced at Audi's Nerkarsulm factory, the 968 was built in-house in Zuffenhausen. Porsche had hoped to sell as many as 10,000 examples per year but the sales figures were way down. To help boost sales, a stripped down 'Club Sport' was added to the line-up in 1993. Many of the luxury items like the power windows and sound deadening were removed, as was the rear seat to further reduce weight. The Club Sport was also lighter and featured 17-inch wheel as standard. Despite offering better performance, the Club Sport was actually substantially cheaper than the 'standard' model.

Another new-for-1993 version was the Turbo S developed by the Motorsport department in Weissach. In many ways, it was a Club Sport fitted with a turbo-charged engine. This was constructed from the block of the three-litre engine with the SOHC, eight-valve head of the 2.5-litre 944 Turbo engine. The new Turbo S engine produced just over 300 bhp and allowed the car to accelerate to 100 km/h in five seconds. Only a handful of these high performance machines were built by the Motorsport department in 1993. A competition, Turbo RS version was also created for the ADAC GT Cup.

The 968 was built through to 1995 when a total of 11,241 examples were built. Of these there were just 14 of the Turbo S version and as few as four of the Turbo RS. The 968 was the last of the Porsche sports cars with a front-mounted engine and rear transaxle. It was long overlooked but in recent years has gained a cult following.

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  Article Image gallery (2) Specifications