If you’re one of the many still hoping for Porsche to make an entry into this market and rekindle the fire of the prolific Porsche 959 of the days of old, fear not; or, at least, fear a little less. According to the Chief of Porsche’s R&D, Wolfgang Hatz, the 988 is not dead. Hatz opines a follows,
“Canceled is not the right way to refer to it… We have not finally decided the start of production. So at the moment we have so many other things to do—to develop some entirely new cars such as a Panamera successor and Cayenne successor and the next-generation of our sports cars, and on the other side new engines, transmissions and hybrids as well as the racing program.”
Now, here is where the speculation begins. It seems that Stuttgart has not cancelled the 988 but has merely put it on the back-burner; though it wouldn’t be entirely idiotic to assume that they are “reconsidering” it.
Many have lampooned Porsche recently for expanding too quickly into other segments without giving the rest of their model lineup the necessary attention. Pursuant to such, it seems that, for the present time, rejuvenating the current staple of offerings in current segments remains a top priority. Though it’s quite obvious that, with the news that the final batch of 918s has been sold, Porsche will have a void to fill in the sueprcar market that is just above the reach of the current offerings of the 911.
When it comes to power, there are a variety of options on the table. However, most are speculating- and hoping- for a flat eight engine. A flat eight engine, most likely of the 4.0 liter variety, has been speculated for quite some time now, given hints and murmurings coming from inside Porsche the last couple of years. There is also a chance that Porsche may bring the hybrid technology it perfected on the 918 to the 988, but this is less of a definite. Of course, it would be remiss of us to count out the V8 that powers the Panamera and 918 as a potential power option, though this seems markedly less likely than a flat eight and would probably impart substantially less appeal. Another power option on the table could be a less powerful flat six engine, coupled with the hybrid setup powering the 918, but again, most murmurings point towards flat eight power.
Back in 2011, the magic date for a 988 model was around the year 2017. Now, we don’t have any definitive statements on when or even if such model will come to market, but 2017 seems overly optimistic. It may be reasonable to expect the 458-killer to arrive just before the close of the decade, if at all.