What are collectables?
These are cars of particular interest, therefore deserving of preservation. Not necessarily old, they nevertheless exist in defined quantities, either because the manufacturer has decided so, or because their production is stopped. Then, they take advantage of features that make them especially desirable: an engine, a chassis, a design, or a concept. Finally, they are likely to see their rating increase. An additional argument to collect them before everyone else!
Why is the Porsche 968 collectible?
We had a lot of projects in progress, at Porsche, at the end of the 80s. But not necessarily the funds necessary to carry them out, especially since a world economic crisis broke out in 1989, which was to harm the sports car market. . And it’s very annoying, because the range of Zuffenhausen has aged.
So we have no choice but to improve what exists. Starting with the one that derives from the 924 of 1975, the 944. Launched in 1981, it has already evolved several times, which led to the 944 S2 in 1989. As soon as it is unveiled, we start to floor on an S3, deeply modernized.
In fact, everything is reviewed, the rolling trains, using aluminum, while the brakes adopt Brembo calipers at the four corners, but also and above all the mechanics. Under the hood, the 4-cylinder, initially a 928 V8 cut in half, increases to 3.0 l, a very high displacement for this type of engine. It adopts a variable wedging of the Variocam distribution, a dynamic admission and a new electronic management. If it remains atmospheric, it still develops 240 hp.
In addition, he is harnessed to a 6 box, something rare at the time. Better, a Tiptronic automatic, then very modern, is offered as an option. Finally, the body is largely redesigned in the style of that of the 928 by Harm Lagaay, author of the 924. In the end, the 968 would share only 17% of its parts with the 944, which decided the leaders of Porsche to adopt a new name. The 968 was presented at the end of 1991, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. If we are delighted to see a new Porsche arrive, we also regret that it is not 100% new, especially since the interior remains almost identical to that of the 944 S2.
In 1992, it was offered in France at 364,000 F, i.e. 83,000 € today, as a coupe and 409,000 F as a convertible. It is therefore very expensive, even if it has a double airbag, ABS, electric windows and mirrors as well as alloy wheels as standard. But leather and air conditioning remain at an additional cost. The fact that production was repatriated from Ingolstadt (at Audi) to Zuffenhausen, the Porsche factory (poorly organized), certainly increased the cost price. As a result, sales do not reach, far from it, the expected level.
In 1993, slight modifications were made to the 968 (optional heated seats, reinforced brakes), and above all, a radicalized version appeared, the Clubsport. If the engine remains at 240 hp, the car benefits from a reduction (- 50 kg). Soundproofing, rear seat and electric windows disappear, while Recaro bucket seats replace the initial seats.
The suspension strengthens, the body is lowered by 20 mm and the rims go to 17 inches. Surprisingly, the CS is less expensive than the basic 968: 297,000 F in 1993, against 364,000 F. A very exclusive Turbo S, available on special order, is even offered.
Passing to 305 hp, equipping itself with adjustable aerodynamic elements, large brakes and 18 rims, is in fact used to homologate the racing version. It is overpriced: 613,626 F in Turbo S and 800,000 F in the RS competition version. In total, the 968 will be produced at 6,465 units in coupé, 4,374 in convertible, 1,923 in ClubSport, 14 in Turbo S and 4 in RS.
How much does it cost ?
In good condition, the 968 can be found at €17,000, but with more than 200,000 km. At around 150,000 km, count rather 24,000 €, while cars with less than 100,000 km already spend 30,000 €. Add €2,000 for a convertible, expect €30,000 at the very least for a Clubsport. Models with clear tracking and totally original can cost significantly more. As for the Turbo S/RS… They go for more than €700,000 when they go on sale!
Which version to choose?
A 968 coupé, in good condition, will do perfectly well for “collection” or dynamic use, especially with a manual gearbox. For strolling, a Tiptronic convertible is recommendable.
The prices of 968s in perfect original condition and above all with low mileage literally skyrocket. But without even mentioning the Turbo S/RS, the Clubsport is the most sought after.
What to monitor?
A 968 passes the 200,000 km without incident, but this requires rigorous maintenance. Engine oil change every 10,000 km maximum, and change of the timing belt before 60,000 km. An expensive operation because it requires changing the belt driving the balance shafts at the same time.
The Motronic engine management unit can experience damage, as can the power steering pump, while the rear brake calipers tend to seize, but the rest of the car is aging rather well. The dashboard doesn’t tend to crack as quickly as the 924/944, and the bodywork resists corrosion quite well, which does eventually show up. Be sure to buy a car in very good condition because some parts become difficult to find.
The 968 lacks the charisma of the 911, but with age it has acquired a certain charm. On board, we appreciate the quality of finish, very suitable, minus the position of the steering wheel, not adjustable and too low, like in the 944. But the seat holds well. Above all, from the outset, the gearbox control, soft and precise, seduced by its approval. The engine turns out to be very flexible, and contrary to what its large displacement let it fear, particularly lively at high revs. In short, an excellent block, powerful and unctuous while sounding in a not so unpleasant way. That said, in 6th, the reminders are not very vigorous.
No big deal, this report is essentially on the motorway, where the 968 seems at ease, as it is properly soundproofed and holds its course well (much better than a 911!). Turning? She is even more attractive there. Perfectly balanced, it twirls between weight bearings with great ease, while being very precise. Much more reassuring than a 911 at the limit, it reveals a sacred efficiency, reinforced by a very enduring braking as well as a consistent and communicative direction. The damping, firm, contributes to limit the rolling without degrading the comfort too much. What homogeneity! It’s even rare to be able to enjoy such modern qualities in a 30-year-old car. As for consumption, it is reasonably around 10 l/100 km.
The newtimer alternative*
Porsche Cayman 987 (2005 – 2012)
Derived from the Boxster, the Cayman is the first small Porsche coupe after the 968. Unlike the latter, it benefits from a flat-six, corresponding to Porsche’s DNA according to purists, and placed in a central position. First offered in 2.7 l (240 hp) and 3.2 l (280 hp), it gained power from 2006 (2.7 l/245 hp, 3.4 l/295 hp). Highly appreciated for its remarkable handling and its high-performance but also melodious engines, the Cayman evolved at the end of 2009, adopting direct injection and the PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Winning again in cavalry (255 hp and 310 hp), it also progresses in terms of reliability and sports a slight restyling. The Cayman 987 was replaced by the all-new 981 in 2012. From €20,000.
Porsche 968 (1992), the technical sheet
Engine: 4-cylinder in line, 2990 cc
Power supply: electronic injection
Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); oblique arms, torsion bars, anti-roll (AR)
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power: 240 hp at 6,200 rpm
Torque: 305 Nm at 4,100 rpm
Weight: 1,370 kg
Maximum speed: 252 km/h (manufacturer data)
0 to 100 km/h: 6.5 s (manufacturer data)