The Porsche 968 is a model we’ve always admired for it’s typical teutronically German efficiency of design, not least as being the pinacle of Porsche’s continuous development of the original 4cyl front engine with rear mounted gearbox approach; something we’ve seen to good effect on the 911 and other subsequent Porsche designs.
The 968’s styling was more rounded and slippery than previous models, with a family resemblance to the then flagship 928 model combined with 959 similarities at the front. It’s clear the 968 carries an evolution of design from the last 944 3 litre models, but few know that during it’s development 80% of the 944’s mechanical components were either significantly modified or completely replaced by Porsche’s engineers.
This was the first true Porsche of it’s shape, as from the very beginnings production was moved from the Audi plant in Neckarsulm (where the 924 and 944 had been manufactured under contract to Porsche), to Porsche’s own factory in Zuffenhausen.
In total only 8,387 coupes were built between 1992 – 1995 and many of these were supplied in the now less desirable automatic (Tiptronic) versions.
Powered by an updated version of the 944’s straight-4 all-alloy engine by Porsche, it now displaced 3.0 L with 104 mm bore & 88 mm stroke whilst producing a peak of 236 bhp. The Variocam system introduced on the 968 was designed to improve torque even further between 1,500 & 5,500 rpm to give a maximum torque of 305Nm at 4,100. A potent 200Nm is available from just above idle.
To this day Porsche claims these as the highest combined figures for any normally-aspirated (non-turbo) four-cylinder production engine ever produced, which is no mean accolade considering it was designed in the 80’s to meet 90’s emissions targets.
Also introduced in the 968 was the new 6 speed gearbox, to further help refine engine usability whilst helping improve cruising economy too. A large oil cooler was neatly nestled behind the bumper, as a serious statement of intent. It was designed to sit on the autobahn at high speeds for long periods through normal use. The gearbox remained mounted at the rear in conjunction with a Torsen 40% limited-slip differential to achieve an ideal equal weight distribution front-to-rear. Other components include Porsche Logo Brembo-sourced 4-piston brake calipers with ventilated discs (298 / 299 diameter in mm) on all four wheels and Mcpherson strut arrangement aluminum semi-trailing arms with aluminum front A-arms.
All this attention to weight bias, handling, torque and braking resulted in the 968 being capable of 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and going on to a stable & impressive 157 mph whilst offering handling that won many awards in it’s time for one of the best handling cars made in the early to mid 1990’s.
Nowadays, finding very good 968’s is becoming very difficult. The real driver’s variants are of course the manual models, but of those that remain on roads around the world many are high mileage (Not least because they’re capable of such), rusty on their undersides with tired & battered cosmetics from neglect & abuse.
So when we came across this LHD example and realised how lacking in corrosion it is (As an example the exhaust is completely rust free & it’s still factory original!), we begun to do more research.
Paintwork is a special edition in Carmine red, which is an RS only colour originally mixed for the racing RSR 911’s of 1974 and is enhanced by original 17 inch cup alloys with wider sports tyres (near new).
The entire car looks like it’s been in a timewarp with an unworn interior, flawless drive and no electrical faults, yet alone any sign of corrosion anywhere, even on the aforementioned exhaust. Clearly it’s been beautifully kept &cherished judging by the paintwork’s amazing condition. It probably rarely ever came out in wet weather. This has to be one of the best original examples available.
This 968 comes with a full history to confirm it’s genuine low mileage and the previous owner was fastidious enough to have the car dealer serviced yet again just before it left his tenure.
Equipment includes: Original Porsche Alarm with Central Locking, Half leather logo’d seats (For better support – without the wear issues & discomfort of getting in & out of the CS models!) with electric adjustment, Air conditioning, ABS, Dual SRS Airbags with leather steering wheel, tinted windows, remote controlled mirrors, analogue clock, split folding rear seats, space saver alloy wheel with inflatible (for higher speed ability) spare tyre, matt black rear spoiler, Sony 200W head unit, fitted mats & dash mat, emergency flare (Japanese spec) and complete & unused tool kit.
Bodywork Condition: Near flawless. Paintwork is in beautiful condition throughout, including side skirts & bumpers without stone chips or scratches, unmarked door handles and mirrors, wheels with no corrosion and paintwork that’s so reflective it shows clear reflections of the surroundings when we photographed it. We did find 2 small pin dents on the driver’s door and some chips of paint on the rim of the o/s/r wheel (See pictures of these). Too small to repair but mentioned to provide a complete report.
Note the underside’s condition. This 968 was supplied new by Porsche Japan and has never been driven on roads with salt, grit, sand or mud so it’s probably one of the very best left in existence.
Interior Condition: Unmarked, with no significant wear on seats, steering wheel, shift knob or carpets. It looks much like new.
As with many 968’s the dashboard has developed some cracks on the original vinyl through age & shrinkage, so to stop this the previous owner obtained a neatly fitted dash mat which works well, whilst also reducing reflective glare.
Test Drive: Everything works on this 968 as it’s meant to. Electrics are all in fine form (No rust or corrosion to cause bad earth, or failing relays!). From the first impressions of the unmarked interior to doors that still shut with a reassuring solidity; everything is as it should be. The engine settles to a quiet and smooth idle from cold start. Once warmed it offers effortless torque and a ravenously good rev range combined with a flawlessly usable 6 speed box with tight handling. In essence, this 968 is truly superb and will satisfy an enthusiast looking for the best available by far, with genuine low mileage from new.
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