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    The Unofficial Story of the Postponed Porsche 989....

    I found this story and thought it would be of interest with the possible rebirth of this 4th model in the Porsche lineup. Be advised that this article is a couple months old.

    "The 989 (pictured from CAR Magazine) was a concept
    that never really came into being because it?s
    original idea of a true four seater, front-engined,
    rear-wheel-drive 911 was flawed according to senior
    management at the time. It was thought of as a
    possible replacement and/or range topper for the 911,
    but sales of the cheaper Boxster had not ballooned at
    this time, and the board were uncertain that
    front-engined coupe was the way to go (remember the
    928?) in the light of an impending recession. Selling
    7500 units of a car some Pounds13,000-Pounds17000
    ($21,000-$28,000) more than a 911 looked improbable,
    so the red ink came out.

    Porsche also needed to rationalise its models and
    start making more money, so Harm Lagaay?s car never
    got beyond prototype in the mid/late 90?s. The reason
    it was killed is somewhat conscious and the real
    reason may depend on who you believe. Some say that
    Audi chief (later to become Porsche boss) Ferdinand
    Piech discouraged its development as he saw a direct
    competitor to more expensive offerings from the four
    rings. Others say the Germans felt that it just
    diverted that bit too far from Porsche?s core values.
    Whatever reason, it was canned, so it was ironic that
    a few months later the idea for the Cheyenne was
    conceived - especially as designers Harm Lagaay and
    Ulrich Bez drew a svelte SUV just under a decade
    earlier, which was also discarded.

    Initial development mules ran on Mercedes E-Class
    chassis with the then newly developed 3.2-litre, 300
    hp flat six from the 996, and a ?new? 3.6 litre V8
    engine (later to make it into the Cheyenne) both in
    front-engined, rear-wheel-drive configurations. Even
    in a rough state, this comfortable coupe (as big as a
    5-serise inside) was able to hold the new Boxster in a
    0-60 dash and pull a very impressive set of mid-range
    and top speed figures even with a curb weight of

    Although this story has surfaced again, the proposed
    NEW model is more a true 928 replacement than a 911
    anything - offering front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
    chassis with more a hint of Jaguar XK in it?s
    packaging. The E2A is a 2+2 much like the 928S and
    would be available with a smaller version of the
    Cheyenne V8, probably 4.0 litres and 350 hp. On the
    other hand, the E2B would be a very fast,
    exceptionally comfortable four-door coupe (ala Merc
    CLE) and would be powered by versions of the Cheyennes
    V8 engines in both naturally aspirated and
    turbocharged forms. All Porsches are now taking
    interior quality and styling cues from the 4x4 and the
    E2?s would be no exception. There would not be a great
    deal of cutting-edge technology in the new cars and
    they would probably not showcase any of Porsche?s
    up-and-coming new gearbox systems or engines, so the
    Germans are still undecided how to price this car.

    The real problem is that unless Cheyenne sales
    skyrocket like the Boxster did in 1996, the E2
    concepts will die, which were originally discarded
    because Porsche felt anything out of the ordinary
    would not sell with existing customers. Unless people
    convince Zuffenhausen officials by purchasing the big
    4x4 on-mass, this spiritual successor to the 928 will
    also be still born. Remember the fabulous Boxster
    concept in 94? We could have had THAT car, but Porsche
    couldn?t hold it?s wad, and watered it down. For that
    same reason we may never see the 989."

    April 2003

    Re: The Unofficial Story of the Postponed Porsche 989....

    As far as I heard, a final decision for a 4th model hasn't been taken yet.
    Personally, I think the 4th model will be a 4-door sedan (high power limousine as a E55/M5 competitor) because this is actually the only car which really makes sense right now.
    The problems with a 928 successor would be price tag, weight and the lack of parts to share with the 911.
    So I'd say that the Porsche limousine would be a car in the size of a E55/M5 with the Cayenne's V8 engine (normally aspirated and turbo charged, probably in the range of 360 and 500 HP) with a weight in the 1900-2000 kg range (although below 1800 kg would be more preferrable).
    Porsche could use parts from VW/Audi for this limousine to reduce production cost and improve profit.
    The 4th model has to be a high volume production car, they need to sell it in huge numbers to be profitable. The 928 failed miserably (maybe because Porsche wanted to replace the 911 with it?) and I don't see why history has to repeat itself again.

    However: I'd also love to see a high power Grand Tourismo with 4 full size seats and 4WD, electronic suspension, sequential shifting and minimum 500 HP not exceeding 1700 kg of weight. Wishful thinking?

    Whatever the 4th model will be, it might be more important for Porsche's future than the Cayenne.

    Re: The Unofficial Story of the Postponed Porsche 989....

    Eric, Thanks for the info, but it is ..."Cayenne" ! Revvv

    Re: The Unofficial Story of the Postponed Porsche 989....

    Eric, Thanks for the info, but it is ..."Cayenne" ! Revvv

    Thanks, Revvv! I was fighting the temptatioon to write the same message.


    Re: The Unofficial Story of the Postponed Porsche 989....

    hehe...yes I know it is "Cayenne", unfortunatley I am not the writer of the article, so I leave the prestige of this mistake for him.



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