The Porsche 968
Epitome of the water cooled Porsche 4-cylinder series
The Porsche 968 represents the continuation of Porche's 944 legacy. As you know, the 944 S2 was discontinued after the 1991 model year. Before that time, Porsche had been working on a new model to replace the outgoing 944. At first, it was going to be the 944 S3. As time went on, they realized that the car had too much new stuff to not introduce a totally new model. By late 1991, the 968 was ready. It retained all the good bits of its predecesor, while significantly improving appearence, handling, and performance.
1992 968 Cabriolet
The 968 is an attractive blend of old and new. Its shape hints the 928 and 911 while retaining the clear identity of the 944s. The fully integrated bumper sections are shaped like those of the V8 coupe, the sill extensions are styled in the fashion of the Carrera 2 of 1992. More detailed changes included rearranged air-intakes, 928-style pop-up headlamps, neutral density taillights with red lenses, and the "968" lettering in the center of the rear deck-lid.
16 valve DOHC in-line 4, aluminum block and heads
Bore and Stroke: 4.09 x 3.46 in (104.0 x 88.0 mm)
Displacement:182 cu.in. or 2990cc
Horsepower: 236@6,200 rpm
Power to weight ratio: 13.1 lbs per horsepower
Compression ratio: 8.3:1
Fuel system: Sequential multiport, DME controlled
6 speed manual transmission, opt. 4 speed tiptronic
Independent front with lower control arms, spring struts, anti-roll bar
Independent rear, with semi-trailing arms, transverse torsion bars, anti-roll bar
Curb weight: 3,086 lbs
Track front/rear: 58.2"/57.1"
Ground clearance: 4.9"
Brakes and Wheels:
Power assisted, 4 piston aluminum alloy fixed caliper, internally vented discs, ABS
16x7.0" front, 16x8.0" rear cast aluminum wheels
17 mpg (city) 25 mpg (hwy)
0-60mph: 5.9 seconds (Tiptronic; 7.0s)
0-1/4 mile: 14.4s (15.1s)
Top Speed: 156 mph (Tiptronic; 153 mph)
In coupe form, as shown above, the 968 represents the most balanced GT of any Porsche, and arguably of any in the world. It has the familiar 50/50 weight distribution of the 944, but with more power. The 968's 3.0 liter engine outputs 240 horsepower, making it the world's most powerful normally aspirated 4 cylinder. This power, up from 208 in the 944S2, arrived partly from Variocam, which uses a camshaft chain drive with an adjustable tensioner to retard intake valve actuation up to 7.5 degrees. This technique results in lower emissions, more horsepower, and better torque.
The 968, like the Carrera 2, offers two different transmission types. The standard choice is the new 6-speed manual. The ratios have been changed a little from the 944S2, but 6th gear is still no overdrive, and top speed is attained in this drive. However, only 500rpms separate 5th and 6th, so they're still close.
The other option is the Tiptronic transmission. The Tiptronic transmission is an automatic, with the usual PRND321 selections, but it can strikingly be used as a manual shifter, too. While the car is in the "Drive" position, you can push the stick horizontally to the right into a second slot, which is parallel to the "regular" slot. The shifter sits in the slot, with the ability to be moved "up" on position, or "down" one position. When you "tip" the stick forward, the car will upshift, and when you "tip" it back towards you, it'll downshift. So, in essence, you can plant your foot on the gas, and when you're ready to shift, tip it forward. Without having a clutch to operate, you can treat it like an automatic, but shift when you want! If, for some reason, you dont shift it at redline, the computer will do it for you. Also, if you try to downshift it at a speed where the engine will redline in the lower gear, the computer will again interrupt.
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