It's time for a new front-engined sports car, Porsche.
Front-engine, rear-drive is the classic setup for sports cars. And Porsche makes more sports cars than just about anybody else in the business. But it doesn't make any with that form. At least, it doesn't currently. But it once did, and could again. The last time it did was over two decades ago when it discontinued the 928 and 968 in 1995. Rumors have been circulating ever since that it could return to the classic form. And looking at these two side by side, we can't help but feel it's an idea whose time has come.
Pictured are a classic 928 alongside today's Panamera, which is the closest thing it makes to that style today – but of course the Panamera has four doors. (Or five in the Sport Turismo.) A grand tourer of the highest caliber, the 928 packed a V8 that ranged in displacement over the course of its 18-year lifespan from 4.5 liters to 5.4. The engine was mounted in front of a 2+2 cockpit, with a five-speed transaxle (or a three- or four-speed automatic). First launched in 1978, the 928 is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. And we think it's high time that Porsche bring it back.
Fortunately just such rumors are afoot. The latest word has it that Zuffenhausen is planning a two-door model to share its platform with the Panamera – underpinnings that are also forming the base for Bentley's forthcoming sports car, to name just one. If it does proceed with such plans, the reborn coupe wouldn't have a transaxle (that is, a transmission separated from the engine and mounted at the rear). But we won't mind, as long as it looks the part and – more importantly – drives as well as a Porsche should.