Currently reading: Porsche yet to sign off Ferrari 458-beating supercar
Porsche bosses remain cool on whether the firm will bring its plans for a new junior supercar, internally dubbed 988, to market
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1 min read
15 November 2014

Porsche boss Matthias Müller revealed his dream of a mid-engined supercar positioned between the 911 and 918 Spyder in 2011, not long after taking the reins.

However, it now seems that the project for a Ferrari 458 rival hasn’t progressed much further than early feasibility studies.

Reports suggested that a decision was due in mid-2014, but Porsche has yet to officially reveal if the project has a future or not. The model, dubbed 988, was expected to be powered by a 4.0-litre eight-cylinder engine producing in the region of 600bhp alongside more than 400lb ft of torque.

However, insiders recently told Autocar that the idea remains on the wish list, but full-scale design and engineering work is on ice while Porsche works on the new Panamera - which is due to come to market in 2016 - the new Cayenne, and new engines and transmissions, as well as refreshing the Boxster/Cayman and 911

Sitting in a four-strong family of Porsche models, the 988 would have been joined by a new eight-cylinder supercar, which was planned to go on sale in 2017. The plan was part of Porsche's strategy to reach annual sales of 200,000 units per year in the medium term.

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bomb 17 November 2014

Despite...

...earning a quarter of VAG profits from a fraction of the sales this story confirms that Porsche is, not only, still a small company but also prioritises mainstream vehicles over sports cars.

Porsche simply is not big enough to manage all the projects they want to, had the 919 not come along they might have had the spare capacity to create this '988'. And so the next generation Panamera takes priority!

manicm 18 November 2014

bomb wrote:...earning a

bomb wrote:

...earning a quarter of VAG profits from a fraction of the sales this story confirms that Porsche is, not only, still a small company but also prioritises mainstream vehicles over sports cars.

Porsche simply is not big enough to manage all the projects they want to, had the 919 not come along they might have had the spare capacity to create this '988'. And so the next generation Panamera takes priority!

True, but I don't think it's simply a matter of capacity. From 918 sales, signs point to there being no market for a mid-engined Porsche priced above the Boxster/Cayman. And remember too, the next all-new Boxster/Cayman will be pushed further upmarket to potentially leave room for a smaller roadster beneath.

manicm 17 November 2014

1) When Porsche or Autocar

1) When Porsche or Autocar mention a 458 rival they mean a mid-engined car priced similarly to the Ferrari, which the 911 is obviously not.

2) As Porsche proved it can offer a mid-engined car in the Cayman with class-leading luggage space, the only thing standing in buyers' way is rear-seats...

3) ...Or is it? Seems to me both Porsche and its customers see the 911 as something akin to a Harley-Davidson - to kill it would kill the brand and sales. They have to continue selling it.

4) The LaFerrari, at nearly twice the price of the 918, has sold out. Ditto the P1, which is actually not that much more than the Weissach model. And the 918 has yet to find all buyers...

5) ...which probably has put fear into Porsche about making a 458 priced mid-engined rival. Maybe Porsche buyers are just not interested in such a supercar?

Overdrive 18 November 2014

manicm wrote:1) When Porsche

manicm wrote:

1) When Porsche or Autocar mention a 458 rival they mean a mid-engined car priced similarly to the Ferrari, which the 911 is obviously not...

Thank you for interpreting Autocar's purpose for writing this article. The point about 911 is that the standard GT3 already runs the 458 Speciale pretty close. The GT3 RS will be lighter, more powerful, faster and even shaprer than the standard GT3. Point being, while it is not a mid-engined car, the GT3 RS should be more than capable of taking on the 458.

Of course, Porsche might decide that they'd like a mid-engined rival to the Ferrari regardless, for commercial reasons, if nothing else. But purely in drivability/performance/dynamics terms, Porsche will already have an in-house rival, the GT3 RS.

manicm 18 November 2014

Overdrive wrote: Of course,

Overdrive wrote:

Of course, Porsche might decide that they'd like a mid-engined rival to the Ferrari regardless, for commercial reasons, if nothing else. But purely in drivability/performance/dynamics terms, Porsche will already have an in-house rival, the GT3 RS.

Quite right, but 911 is a 911 like a Harley is a Harley, they are what they are and Porsche will make them forever and forever. The 911, loathesome or not, is an icon with sales still justifying its existence.

918 sales however must have Porsche worried. And as I mentioned in a post prior to this one, the next Boxster/Cayman will be moved further upmarket. My take is, regardless of dynamics, there don't seem to be willing buyers of a mid-engined Porsche to compete with the 458 pricewise. The 918 is a great car, but I'm sure the lack of sales has Porsche greatly worried.

Cyborg 16 November 2014

988

It ain't going to happen! The market for this class of car is crowded and shrinking unfortunately, you can get similar performance but better emissions (the all important Co2) from a flat-6. I do hope I'm wrong though, this car could of been great.