Porsche 918 Spyder clay model production teaserEnlarge Photo
Porsche wants a bigger slice of the supercar market but may have to wait longer than previously expected due to the ongoing diesel emissions cheating scandal afflicting its Cayenne Diesel as well as several other models from the Volkswagen Group.
Buoyed by the success of the 918 Spyder, Porsche is keen to launch a more accessible performance offering to fill the gap between the top-end 911s and the hypercar segment that the 918 sits in. The car, a spiritual successor to the legendary 959, hence the reason it’s doing the rounds as the “960,” would target the Ferrari [NYSE:RACE] 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracán and McLaren 650S. And like those rivals, it too would feature a mid-engine layout and be a more permanent fixture in the lineup.
But according to Automotive News (subscription required), we may not see the 960 until as late as 2026. An original due date this decade is reportedly proving difficult, despite development of the car having been underway for some time. We previously heard the car would be launched around 2017 and be the first model to ride on a modular sports car platform being developed by Porsche for its next-generation 718 and 911 models, as well as a new Audi R8 and next-generation supercars from Lamborghini.
The primary reason for the delay could be VW’s efforts to cut costs by eliminating niche products, a fallout of its diesel emissions cheating scandal. Much of the German auto giant’s resources are now tied up in electric cars. The 960 on the other hand was thought to be coming with a quad-turbocharged flat-8 engine with as much as 650 horsepower on tap. Another reason could be concern the car could cannibalize sales of supercar models from Audi and Lamborghini.
And Porsche already has a lot on its plate. Later this year we’ll see a new Panamera wagon. There’s also the next-generation 911, a new electric car (likely to be a sleek sedan) based on 2015’s Mission E concept car, and even the possibility of an SUV with coupe-like styling.