Complete Porsche 968 lineup, specs, economy, dimensions

1992 Porsche 968 - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1991 - 1995 Porsche 968 Coupe9684 Trims 240 to 305 Hp 1992 Porsche 968 Cabrio - Technical Specs, Fuel economy, Dimensions1991 - 1995 Porsche 968 Cabriolet968 Cabrio2 Trims 240 Hp

The Porsche 968 was a two-door coupe and convertible sports car available from 1991 to 1995

Porsche 968 Background and Development

Going back to the 1960s as Porsche replaced its flagship 356 with the performance-focused 911, Porsche introduced a new entry-level model to entice customers that would be otherwise turned off by the 911’s high price tag. What started off as a joint venture in the 1960s between Volkswagen and Porsche turned into the eventual development of the front-end, water-cooled engine as seen in the 914, the 924, and leading through the 1980s, the 944 models. But the Porsche 944 model began to age in the late 1980s, and Porsche saw a sharp decline in sales of its entry-level model, leading them back to the drawing board. The result was the Porsche 968. While it was a successor to the 944 model, development led to significant changes in approximately 80% of the components as compared to the 944, leading to the new model number showing the separation between the two models.

Design of the Porsche 968

But some things were retained from the past model. This included the water-cooled, front-engine design with a more angular front-end shape and a lack of the usual Porsche arched fenders and curved style. The chassis and steel unibody structure was carried forward from the 944’s design. Harm Legaay, who did the design work for the 924 and 944 models, was also leading the work for the new 968. Both the exterior and interior were heavily redesigned in comparison to the outgoing 944. The front end received a major upgrade with circular headlights and a more stylish appeal overall, eventually making its way to the 911 993 variant two years later. The rear end also featured rounded lights, along with an integrated rear apron that allowed for a more streamlined look. 

Engine and Performance

The Porsche 968 featured a 3.0L inline-4 engine with up to 237 horsepower and 225 lb ft of torque. While not insane performance numbers, these were still very respectable figures in the era and made for a high-performance sports car at a reasonable price. It could go 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in a reasonable 6.5 seconds and had a top speed of 157 mph. A new 6-speed transmission was paired to the inline-4 engine, while a 4-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission was available as an option, an advanced feature that was released just three years prior on the 911 964. The 968 had Brembo four-piston brake calipers and ventilated rotors, anti-lock brakes, and MacPherson struts. 

Additional Variants

In 1992, the Porsche 968 CS (Club Sport) was released, bringing an option that was geared toward performance thanks to many weight-saving measures. To accomplish this, many of the more luxurious interior features were removed, including power windows, air conditioning, and upgraded stereo system. The 968 CS received Recaro racing seats, a 20mm lowered suspension system, and slightly wider and larger 17-inch wheels to provide 225 front and 255 rear tire widths for track performance. In 1993, a limited-production 968 Turbo S was released, sharing much of the 968 CS’s body, but additions  turbocharger to the 3.0L engine to produce 305 horsepower with 369 lb ft of torque. It had a 0 to 60 mph time of just 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph. Just 14 units of the 968 Turbo S were produced. Four units of a highly specialize 968 Turbo RS variants were built between 1992 and 1994, taking the Turbo S to another level, producing up to 350 horsepower with a reduced weight of 2,672 pounds

Reflections on the Porsche 968

In total, just under 12,800 units of the Porsche 968 were produced over its short production span. While it may not be the most memorable Porsche variant, it provided decent performance at the right price level for some customers. It would be the last front-engine vehicle produced any Porsche for some time, and the last 4-cylinder for a while too.