Porsche’s 488 fighter

New mid-engined ‘960’ supercar set for 2019 debut

PORSCHE has trademarked the name ‘960’, offering the strongest hint yet it will enter the mid-engined supercar waters currently occupied by everyone from McLaren to Audi.

According to MOTOR’s UK sister outlet CAR, the 960 is set to appear in 2019 at a price of approximately AUD$450K, which puts it smack bang in line with the likes of the Lamborghini Huracán and Ferrari 488 GTB and neatly fills the large gap between Porsche’s most potent 911, the Turbo S, and its limited-edition hypercars like the 918 Spyder.

Underpinning Weissach’s new supercar will be the VW Group’s new modular sports car platform, that will see duty in everything from the next Porsche Cayman to whatever replaces the Huracán over at Lamborghini.

While originally slated for 2017, a hectic production schedule – the Panamera, Cayenne and 911 will all be replaced between now and 2019 – has shunted the 960 down the priority list and means concrete information is likely to be still some time away.

The current rumour mill suggests a radical 3.9-litre quad-turbo flat-eight engine producing around 480kW, with a Cayman prototype currently running around Germany testing the concept. Such a configuration would allow Porsche to heavily leverage its heritage thanks to cars like the 907 and 908 race cars of the ’60s and ’70s. Porsche has also trademarked ‘VarioCom’, suggesting the new engine could debut variable compression technology.

All-wheel drive is said to be the go initially, crucial for delivering the headline 2.5sec 0-100km/h time, with a hardcore lightweight, rear-drive variant to be offered down the line.

The 960 name indicates Porsche is thinking of this car as a successor to its iconic 959 of the 1980s, which was the world’s fastest and technically advanced car at the time.