Porsche is giving up its secrets. Last week, the German automaker revealed its Type 965 V-8 911 prototype from 1984, and now it's got something even more unusual. This week, it's a mid-engined 911 prototype. Over the years many have criticized the 911's characteristic rear-engined layout, but Porsche has stood by the design for each successive generation. But does the existence of this test vehicle indicate that Porsche took some of that criticism to heart?
Not exactly. This relic was actually a development mule for the first Boxster. Porsche hid all of the mechanical components in a fairly stock-looking 911 body so the public would have no idea what it was working on.
Keen-eyed observers would probably notice the unusual combination of a 911 Targa removable roof and the swelled rear fenders and massive spoiler from a Turbo, but a blacked out rear window would prevent even the most curious from seeing that the engine was sitting directly behind the seats.
The Boxster, of course, became a great success—eventually spawning the Cayman coupe—and Porsche has built the mid-engined Carrera GT and 918 Spyder supercars since this prototype logged its last test miles. Yet there's never been a true mid-engined 911, and there probably never will be. After all, if it ain't broke...