The Porsche 968 represents the last of a powerful generation of front-engine transaxle sports cars made by Porsche. The Porsche 968 had all the best elements of the fabled Porsche 944 even if production numbers don’t show that. Despite offering the perfect balance of speed and handling, the vehicle saw limited production numbers due to a high price tag. This only served to strengthen the Porsche 968 legacy, making it a rare gem amongst collectors. We’ll cover more on the Porsche 968 and its variants in the rest of this article!
Porsche 968: Limited Production, Limitless Performance
Have you heard about the Porsche 968? The sporty little vehicle was in production for just a few years between 1992 and 1995. Not only that, but Porsche made less than 13,000 total model 968 cars! You might think this is because the car failed to meet expectations, but it actually exceeded them. Even the most die-hard car enthusiasts had a hard time justifying the $50,000 price tag.
If you wanted to find a Porsche 968 for sale today, you’d probably struggle to find a seller. The car has aged extremely well, mainly because of how powerful and precise it drives. Most owners will opt to find a Porsche 968 workshop manual and handle service needs themselves. If you understand what makes the vehicle impressive, then you’ll definitely see the benefit in learning how to perform maintenance yourself. Not only will you save money, but you can guarantee any servicing is done right.
This special car is worth keeping in pristine condition because it awards superior performance every time you drive. The Porsche 968 offers you an incredibly fun ride with the ultimate control. You’ll experience the thrill every time you step on the gas. You’ll feel completely alive when you take advantage of the smooth handling to quickly speed through corners.
Porsche 968 Model Variations
Every Porsche 968 is an incredible work of art, but they aren’t all made the same. Most Porsche 968 specs are the same across the board, but there were a few variations in the model. The Porsche 968 has the main, base model, but there was also a Clubsport variant, a few Turbo S models, and just four Turbo RS vehicles.
Porsche 968 (Original)
The Porsche 968 is a new-and-improved version of the Porsche 944. As a result, the two models have a similar physical appearance. However, the 968 does have more luxurious features borrowed from other Porsche models. The 968 also came with an upgraded engine, an improvement on the 2.7L M44/12 16-valve inline-four cylinder engine found in the last base Porsche 944 model from 1989. The new engine now has a 3.0L capacity and makes 237 horsepower, a 64HP upgrade from the 2.7L model.
In addition to the engine, the 968 also came with a new transmission. The 944 has a 3-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission. In comparison, the 968 has a 4-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission. Other significant mechanical improvements include Porsche’s VarioCam timing technology for variable valves and a dual-mass flywheel to help provide a smoother ride. Electronically, the 968 also had a better system for engine management and more luxury features.
The Porsche 968 is available as either a coupe or cabriolet. Both body styles changed very little throughout the four-year production run. Less than 5,000 base model 968 vehicles were sold in the U.S. between both body styles. Again, this is mainly due to a high price tag. Any owner that took the plunge and purchased one likely also found a Porsche 968 service manual to help take care of maintenance on their own time. This goes a long way in helping to prolong the life of a Porsche 968.
Porsche 968 Clubsport (CS)
The Porsche 968 Clubsport is the other significant variation. This model was sold exclusively in Europe and saw production numbers of less than 1,600 total. Even though it has the same engine as the base 968, it is slightly faster due to the fact that the Clubsport has an improved suspension and is just over 200 pounds lighter.
To accomplish this drop in weight, the 968 Clubsport actually has less features focused on luxury. The vehicle comes with manual windows, doesn’t have any back seats, and the steering wheel is missing an airbag. This is compensated for with Recaro racing seats, wider wheels, and a thicker, racing-inspired steering wheel. This lightweight performance makes the 968 Clubsport another great candidate for a Porsche 968 repair manual, considering just how rare this model really is!
968 Turbo S
The base model 968 and the Clubsport comprise of 99% of production numbers. The 968 Turbo S is another model variant. The exact number is difficult to pin down, but estimates place it between 14 and 16 total and it was only available in Europe. The Turbo S is extremely similar to the Clubsport, but it has a few cosmetic upgrades and more importantly a better engine. It used the same engine found in the 944 Turbo S, a 3.0L turbocharged 8-valve inline-four cylinder engine. Compared to the Clubsport, the 968 Turbo S is capable of reaching 60MPH in just under a second less (4.7 seconds vs. 5.6 seconds).
968 Turbo RS
Even rarer than the Turbo S is the 968 Turbo RS. The Turbo RS is exclusively for private racing teams. Only four of these bad boys were ever made, with one being blue, another yellow, a third red, and the fourth black. These racers are equipped with one of two 3.0L turbocharged engines, either a 337 horsepower model used for the ADAC GT Cup or a 350 horsepower model raced in the Le Mans 24-Hour tournament.
Investing in a Porsche 968
If you’re looking to buy a Porsche 968, then you’ll probably find a base model, or a Clubsport if you’re really lucky. Regardless of what you choose, making a Porsche 968 investment is a fantastic choice. The only reason the model is so rare is because of how expensive it was. It wasn’t a result of Porsche producing a poor product, but instead making such an incredible car that most potential buyers in the market simply didn’t have the means to afford yet.
Translate that more than 20 years forward today and you have a car that is now beginning to grow a following as car enthusiasts begin to realize the hidden gem that the Porsche 968 is. Currently the value of a 968 is fairly even across each model year, but will vary depending on the condition.
968 vehicles in absolute pristine condition can fetch as much as $60,000. Those in excellent condition are still worth more than $40,000. On the lower end of things, Porsche 968 models found just in good shape are worth around $20,000. Those in decent condition are worth around $12,000.
Another few important things that impact the value are the transmission and paint color. The highest value 968 models have manual transmissions. Those using an automatic transmission are generally worth around 15% less. When it comes to color, two specific colors, riviera blue and speed yellow, are worth 20% more than the value of a comparable 968 of a different color. The 968 is definitely a good investment because it is a model that is only likely to increase in value as it ages like a fine wine.
Timeless Performance from the Luxury of Porsche
Even though the Porsche 968 didn’t have very high production numbers, it still serves as the best front-engine transaxle vehicle the company has ever made. The 968 perfectly exemplified and improved upon everything that made the Porsche 944 a success. Whether you’re looking at a base model or a Clubsport, the Porsche 968 reliability is something you can count on. The Porsche 968 is definitely wicked fast and sharper than a tack, but Porsche also built it extremely well.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering Porsche made them! If you do ever have the good fortune of acquiring one of these legendary speedsters, then you’ll definitely want to pick up a Porsche 968 manual to take care of simple repairs and maintenance. After all, the Porsche 968 is a beautiful craft of German engineering that is well worth taking care of. Especially if you’re buying one as an investment, you’ll want to take the best care of your 968 as you possibly can!