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Porsche resurrects V8-powered 911 prototype from the Eighties

Wed, 14 May 2014

These days, we take it for granted that the Porsche 911 uses a flat-six engine. That's because every version of the iconic rear-engined sports car has had one. Right? Well, for the most part. There was the 912 that joined the original in the late Sixties with a flat-four. And in the mid-Eighties, Porsche toyed around with the idea of a V8-powered 911.

After the first-generation 911 had been in production for over two decades, Porsche began development of its successor, the 964, in the 1980s. And one of its ideas was to use a V8 engine. So it took a 964, borrowed a V8 from Audi, gave it the rear bodywork from a 959 and dubbed it the 965.

The idea was to create a more affordable successor to the 959 that included its advanced all-wheel drive system and active suspension. The Audi V8 would have been replaced with one of Porsche's own design – possibly based on the it had built for Indy racing – but Dr. Ulrich Bez (who was then head of Porsche R&D long before taking the reins at Aston Martin) ultimately killed the project.

That doesn't mean that Porsche has forgotten about the project altogether, as it has just brought one of the prototypes out of its archives to feature in the video below. Enjoy.

By Noah Joseph

See also: Porsche Cayman GT4 spotted at the N?rburgring, Porsche responds to PETA after tiger cub displays at Macan dealership events, Roger Rodas' widow suing Porsche over Carrera GT crash.