Porsche 968 – The Ultimate Evolution of the Porsche Transaxle Models
The Porsche 968 was the final model in the transaxle Porsche lineage that began in 1976 with the 924. Produced from 1992-1995, the 968 drew technology and styling cues from the Porsche 944 and 928 to create an incredible grand tourer. While it shared the front-engine, rear-transaxle layout of its predecessors, the 968 significantly upgraded the engine, suspension, aerodynamics and interior luxury. The result was a sophisticated sports car offering refinement, comfort and performance in equal measure.
Porsche 968 Engine and Transmission
At the heart of the 968 was an evolution of Porsche’s 16-valve inline-4 cylinder engine, enlarged to 3.0 liters and equipped with VarioCam variable valve timing technology. Output stood at 236 hp initially, later increased to 242 hp for the 1993 Sport and Clubsport models. This high-revving naturally aspirated engine enabled 0-60mph acceleration in just 6.5 seconds. A 6-speed manual transmission was standard, with a 4-speed automatic optional. The rear transaxle placement gave the 968 excellent weight distribution for balanced handling.
Chassis and Suspension
The 968 featured a redesigned chassis with a wider front track compared to the 944. Aluminum was used for the doors, hood and front wings to minimize weight. The suspension was also comprehensively upgraded with a redesigned multi-link rear axle along with adjustable shocks and anti-roll bars. These enhancements allowed the 968 to deliver razor sharp handling and a supple, compliant ride. Standard 16-inch alloy wheels were shod with high performance tires. The brakes were also enlarged, providing excellent stopping power from high speeds.
Aerodynamics and Styling
The 968 had a slippery drag coefficient of 0.33 thanks to its aerodynamic shape. Styling Updates modernized the looks while retaining a family resemblance to the 944. Flared wheel arches, front and rear spoilers and twin circular headlamps gave the 968 a contemporary style. The interior was also thoroughly modernized with ergonomic seats, climate control and an updated dash layout with full instrumentation. Luxury touches like leather upholstery further enhanced the comfort and refinement.
Porsche 968 Driving Experience
Few cars deliver such balanced and tactile handling as the 968. The combination of its revvy engine, precise steering and grippy suspension allows the chassis to be placed with precision. The compliant ride soaks up bumps, allowing the 968 to excel as a long-distance tourer. The racetrack was not forgotten though, as evident from the Clubsport and Cup variants designed for competition. With its duality of impressive performance and comfort, the 968 stands in a rare group of sports cars.
Collectability and Legacy
Only around 13,000 Porsche 968s were produced over its short lifespan, making it quite collectable today. Prices have steadily risen in recent years as the 968’s driving purity and quality make it highly sought after. The 968 was the final model of the transaxle Porsches stretching back to the iconic 924. It set new benchmarks for dynamics and refinement, proving Porsche’s front-engine layout could yield a world-class sports car. The 968 is the ultimate expression of the transaxle concept, and still delivers an amazing driving experience over 25 years after its debut.