The long-rumored 960 may never get to see the light of day.
We've been hearing about the Ferrari-fighting Porsche 960 for years now. It's said to be a mid-engine quad-turbo flat-eight monster making 650 horsepower. Its target was the Ferrari 458, then the 488. Now it's looking like the long-rumored 960 will never be. Automotive News (AN) is reporting that the project has been shelved due to the financial fallout from Dieselgate. The outlet said that the time frame for the project-it's unclear if that means the start of development or production-was 2017 to 2020.
AN is now saying the early part of that projection is out of the question. In fact, the 960 might have been pushed back to as far as 2026. The report was short so unfortunately there aren't any more details to share. The irony is that Porsche has been one of the Volkswagen Group's continued bread winners during this crisis, but not even the crown jewel is immune from being chipped away at by the ax. Said ax has already fallen on the Golf R400 and seems destined to claim a few slow-selling Audis as well. The Porsche lineup as a whole is selling pretty damn good so we don't expect the company to get rid of any current models. Saving money by killing off vanity projects like the 960 is the logical, if painful, choice.
Of course the death of this car hasn't been confirmed yet. Come to think of it, this project has only ever been whispered about. Take this report with a grain of salt and make sure to keep the Porsche 960 in your prayers at night. If Ferrari can fuel its sales surge without an SUV and if McLaren keeps growing at a rapid pace then maybe Porsche will think twice about not needing a mid-engine supercar.