1992 Porsche 968
4-cyl. 2990cc/236hp FI
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With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The zenith of Porsche's long running front-engined, four-cylinder 924/944 series culminated with the 968 in 1992. What started as an evolution of the 3.0-liter 944 S2 ended up being a car that Porsche claimed was 80% new, with production now being undertaken in Porsche's own Zuffenhausen works as opposed to Audi's Neckarsulm plant, which had been utilized for the 924 and 944. The 968 shared the front-engine/rear transaxle layout of its predecessor, but at the front was now a 236-hp Variocam-equipped 3.0-liter DOHC I-4, and at the rear was a new six-speed transaxle or optional Tiptronic automatic transaxle preserving the trademark 50/50 weight distribution that this platform was famous for. The 944S2/Turbo suspension and Brembo brakes were carried over into the new model.
The Porsche 968 was wrapped in new bodywork that was the product of original 924 designer Harm Lagaay, with updated styling that drew from the 928 at the front and was more integrated than its 924/944 predecessor at the rear. Like the 944S2, the 968 was also available as a cabriolet with a neatly done power top. On the performance side, the 968 could rip off a 0-60 sprint of 5.6 seconds with a 156-mph top speed in six-speed manual-equipped cars. Handling was very forgiving, confidence inspiring, and predictable, which made for accessible and satisfying performance in a practical 2+2.
For Porsche enthusiasts, the 968’s performance and practicality, coupled with its low production numbers (only 4,665 coupes and Cabriolets were sent to North America between 1992 and 1995) has led to an enthusiastic following for these cars. The 968 has proven to be reliable as well, with the only recurrent issue being failed crown wheel and pinion transaxle bearings on a fair number of six-speed cars. While this has likely been corrected on most examples by now, it is an expensive fix so service histories are important for prospective buyers. Potential owners should also check for correct power top operation on Cabriolets. Popular options included 17-inch wheels and an M030 suspension option, and the European market saw lighter Club Sport as well as turbocharged "S" and extremely rare "RS" versions, to add to the choices.