Could the 968 badge be getting a glorious return?
It’s been a long, long time since Porsche’s had a front-engined, two-door grand-touring coupé, with that role being filled by the posher and softer versions of the venerable 911 for as long as most as most are willing to recall. The very last of the long-legged front-engined Porsche coupés ended with the 928 and 968, which were axed simultaneously in 1995.
Why does Porsche want to bring it back? That’s a difficult question to answer. There have been a slew of new front-engined, cross-continental luxury coupés hitting the market recently, with Bentley moving into a new generation of the Continental GT, and BMW bringing back the 8-Series badge in glorious fashion. Even Mercedes-Benz has joined the party with the next-generation SL being developed by AMG to give it a sharper edge. There’s clearly volume here, and Porsche wants in.
Autocar doesn’t offer much of an answer to that question either, should you not be satisfied with our explanation. Their chat with Porsche’s design boss Michael Mauer also revealed precious little:
“As a designer there are no limits to what I can conceive. I believe it is the design department’s role to sketch and consider every model it can for the future so that we are ready should anyone wish to pursue a project. But if you are asking me to confirm if such projects are on the way then you are going to be disappointed. It is not my role to consider such things.” – Michael Mauer, Chief Designer, Porsche
While sales of sports cars have hardly been invigorating over the last few years, we do admit that there’s an uptick of interest in high-luxury high-speed (and high-margin) coupés and convertibles, which has left automakers clamouring to feed the demand coming from their most discerning and well-heeled customers. For this motoring hack, the appeal comes solely from the return of some of Porsche’s greatest hits which, despite never having garnered the cult-like following or iconic status of the 911, are not to be scoffed at.
And with any luck, it might even wear a moniker from the pages of history. 928, 944, 968…