If reports are correct, Porsche’s rumoured Ferrari 458-fighter may have stalled at an early planning stage.
Earlier this year rumours spilled out that Porsche was working on a mid-engine vehicle, tentatively dubbed 988, to take on the popular Ferrari 458 and its successors. The 988 was said to be powered by an eight-cylinder boxer engine with around 450kW at its disposal.
Internal sources have now told Autocar that the 988 hasn’t progressed beyond the feasibility study stage. A decision, as to whether the project should progress through to design and engineering, was due around the middle of this year.
The 988’s halted genesis can be traced back to when Matthias Muller took control of Porsche in 2011 and revealed a desire for a new Porsche model to sit between the rear-engine 911 and the plug-in hybrid 918 Spyder.
If all went according to plan, the 988 would have reportedly been ready to hit showrooms around 2017.
Part of the reason for scuttling the proposed 988 may lie with the fact that Porsche’s design and engineering departments currently have their hands full with both the new Panamera and the next-generation Cayenne. Also on their plate are updates to the Boxster, Cayman and 911 models.
The new Panamera will be one of the first cars to make use of front-engine, rear- and all-wheel drive MSB modular platform that Porsche is designing for the Volkswagen Group. As we reported last week, the MSB kit will also underpin the next-generation Bentley Continental and Flying Spur.