Those rumors Porsche plans to add a new sports car to their lineup in the gap between the 911 and the 918 are gaining a little more traction, thanks to a new report claiming the car is already under development. The same article claims the car already has a name, too: 961.
Do those three numbers sound familiar? They should—961 was the name of the rally car version of the 959. Like the 959, the original 961 was powered by a 2.85 liter turbocharged flat-six, but the 21st Century version will reportedly use an appropriately futuristic powertrain: a V8 powering the back wheels, with an electric hybrid motor providing juice to the front tires. The combined output should be around 600 horsepower—around 120 less than the 918 Spyder. Styling supposedly is drawn from the 918 RSR concept seen at the Detroit Auto Show.
While it’ll be down a few ponies versus its supercar brother, the 961′s lower price tag should make it an appealing proposition; the car will reportedly go for €200,000, which works out to around $300,000 at today’s exchange rates—35 percent of the 918′s $845,000 price tag. The car will supposedly be available at the end of 2013.
In our honest opinion, this report sounds a little fishy. The 918 Spyder will be hit the streets in 2013—would Porsche really undercut their techno-marvel halo car by releasing a car with a similar powertrain, similar looks and (presumably) similar performance for one-third the price that same year? That’d be stupid—and stupid is one thing Porsche is not. We’re betting there will be a mid-engined V8 coupe out of Zuffenhausen in the next few years, but it’ll arrive after the buzz from the 918 has died down—and it’ll probably have a powertrain more reminiscent of a Panamera than Porsche’s $850K supercar. But that’s just our guess. [via AutoBild]
Pictured: Porsche 918 RSR Concept