The 968 came directly from the 944 but towards the end of its development, Porsche needed a more modern motorcar with which to present the advances that were coming from the factory at that time.
Like the 944, the 968 was sold as both a coupe and a convertible. The 968’s basic styling was an evolution on that of the outgoing 944, itself based on the earlier 924. In an attempt to create a ‘family resemblance’ between models and associate it with the luxury 928 gran turismo, elements were borrowed from its upscale sibling. Others included a swooping headlamp design inspired by the 959 later incorporated in the Type 993 911.
The 968 was powered by an updated version of the 944’s straight-four engine, now displacing 3.0 L with 104 mm bore, 88 mm stroke and producing 237 bhp. Changes to the 968’s powertrain also included the addition of Porsche’s then-new VarioCam variable valve timing system, newly optimized induction and exhaust systems, a dual-mass flywheel, and updated engine management electronics among other more minor revisions. The 968’s engine was the fourth-largest four-cylinder ever offered in a production car up to that time. A new 6-speed manual transmission replaced the 944’s old 5-speed, and Porsche’s dual-mode Tiptronic automatic became an available option. Both the VarioCam timing system and Tiptronic transmission were very recent developments for Porsche. The Tiptronic transmission had debuted for the first time only 3 years prior to the debut of the 968, on the 1989 Type 964 911. The VarioCam timing system was first introduced on the 968 and would later become a feature of the Type 993 air-cooled six-cylinder engine.
Much of the 968’s chassis was carried over from the 944 S2, which in itself shared many components with the 944 Turbo (internally numbered 951). Borrowed components include the Brembo-sourced four-piston brake calipers on all four wheels, aluminium semi-trailing arms and aluminum front A-arms, used in a Macpherson strut arrangement. The steel unibody structure was also very similar to that of the previous models. Porsche maintained that 80% of the car was new.
The 968 also featured numerous small equipment and detail upgrades from the 944, including a Fuba roof-mounted antenna, updated single lens tail lamps, ‘Cup’ style 16′ alloy wheels, a wider selection of interior and exterior colors, and a slightly updated ‘B’ pillar and rear quarter window to accommodate adhesive installation to replace the older rubber gasket installation.
This car was personally imported from IBC Japan in 2010 by the current owner. The car arrived clean, with good paint, including good tension in the vario cam chain, which was inspected upon the first service in the UK. The car has since been regularly serviced, initially privately by Graham Watts, (ex Lenham Sportscars) and for the last 3 years by specialists, Parr Porsche of Crawley, West Sussex.