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Porsche 960 Supercar Delayed Thanks to VW's Emissions Scandal: Report

Supercar might not see daylight until 2026

Rumors surrounding the on-again-off-again sub-918 Porsche supercar have swirled for quite a while now, and things aren't looking great for Porsche fanatics. According to a new report from Automotive News, it is very likely the costly mid-engined "960" supercar is delayed on account of Volkswagen Auto Group's ongoing struggles with the VW emissions scandal.

The 960 was initially planned for a release between 2017 and 2020, but thanks to the financial strain of Dieselgate, we might not see the supercar until 2026, if ever. It is positioned as Stuttgart's answer to the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Lamborghini Huracan, packing equivalent performance and rakish good looks. With a price tag right around $250,000, the 960 would bridge the gap between the range-topping 911 and the million-dollar hypercar at the top of the Porsche lineup.

Reports claim the 960 will utilize an all-new quad-turbocharged, flat-eight engine with a trick variable compression system. Our man Georg Kacher got an exclusive scoop three years ago on the rumored engine, claiming the powertrain was so far in development that there was already a flat-eight Cayman testbed screaming around Stuttgart.

On the other hand, a flat-eight engine might not make much sense. For one, a quad-turbocharged flat-eight is a costly and complex powertrain to develop, especially when Porsche already has the naturally-aspirated 4.6-liter V-8 engine from the 918 ready-set for mid-engined layouts.

If the flat-eight is indeed quad-turbocharged, then the predicted output of 650 hp is on the conservative side. If the naturally-aspirated twin-turbo V-8 in the 918 already pushes out 608 hp, why add so much complexity, weight, and engineering to gain an extra 42 hp? If the flat-eight doesn't make the cut, look for the forthcoming 960 to carry either a de-hybridized 918 powertrain or a variant of the new Panamera V-8.