Those nebulous plans for a Porsche super sports car to slot between the 911 and the 918—you know, the ones that just a couple days ago Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller said were still under consideration, while saying a final decision on the car wouldn’t be made until next year—are reportedly off, according to Porsche’s research and development chief. “We have always a lot of ideas, at the moment I think this is a good idea but it’s not the near future,” he told Chris Harris. “I think we have so many sports cars now that we don’t have any need for a model above the 911 GT2 though.”
Now, considering Mueller’s statement, this could just be one employee giving his opinion. Or, it could mean that the car is still a possibility, just not for the “near future”—so we could see it come 2017 or so. But considering the R&D chief probably has quite a bit of knowledge within Porsche (and might be slightly less inclined to hold his tongue on account of shareholders than the CEO), this could be an early sign that Porsche has vetoed plans for the super sports car. And you know what? We’d be okay with that.
See, while obviously, we’d love to see Porsche make more sports cars, they already make a competitor for the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Gallardo—the 911. The 911 Turbo offers all the thrust (if not more) than those cars at significantly less (though with less drama), and the 911 GT2 and GT2 RS versions offer comparable performance and excitement for Ferrari/Lamborghini money. Plus, they’re rear-engined marvels of engineering with a history stretching back five decades and one of the most famous nameplates in automotive history—not a brand-new model based off a Lamborghini/Audi/Porsche-shared platform ginned up just to force its way into an existing segment. The fact that Porsche, using last decade’s technology, could build a rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive car with a 611 horsepower turbocharged flat-six that not only was drivable and livable but could circle the Nürburgring in seven minutes and 18 seconds is proof that there’s no need for a separate mid-engined Ferrari 458-fighter. A 530 horsepower 991 Turbo, a 560 horsepower 991 Turbo S and/or 991 GT2, and a 650 horsepower 991 GT2 RS are all the 458 fighters Porsche needs.
But there could still be a sports car surprise hiding in Porsche’s R&D department: The company has recently filed a copyright for the name “919.” It’s possible that said name could be used for the super sports car, if it ever goes forward, but it seems unlikely that they’d “one-up” the 918 with a car that has less power and performance. Some on the forums have suggested the name could be used for a stripped-down hybrid-less version of the 918, but that’s likely wishful thinking—with Porsche investing so much money into making hybrids a performance-enhancing technology, it seems doubtful they’d turn around and then strip it all out for an even faster version. No, the most likely explanation as we see it is that Porsche plans on naming their upcoming Le Mans car the 919. Besides, how else could you go up from the 918 than by upgrading to a race car? [via Teamspeed, Teamspeed]