There are interesting and conflicting reports coming out about the next Porsche entrant for the legendary LeMans race. After research and what amounts to a bit of reading tea leaves, it seems that Porsche is being deliberately and maddeningly vague about its plans for the race, which has traditionally featured a 911 Porsche — similar to those found at Porsche of Nashua — in the running for several years now.
Porsche is currently testing a next-generation car for LeMans. Photos that have been released of the car haven’t shown much of the car’s rear. That’s lead to speculation that Porsche may be moving away from the rear-engine layout of the Porsche 911 to a mid-engine layout similar to that found in the Porsche 718. Further complicating matters, Porsche recently trademarked the 960 name, which could be a new model, or something that’d make its way to Porsche dealers as a homologation model.
Travis Okulski of Road and Track notes that Porsche calls the new car “the successor to the 911 RSR,” and does not mention that the new car is in any way related to the Porsche 911 we all know and love. That may seem like an oversight, but that isn’t likely. After all, Porsche engineers its image and branding every bit as meticulously as it does its cars, not even leaving nomenclature to chance.
Part of the confusion stems from a waiver that was requested by Porsche to run a mid-engine variant of the Porsche 911. Okulski says the waiver hasn’t been granted, which would necessitate running a different car if Porsche wanted a mid-engine racer (which, remember, would handle better and be less prone to oversteer at high speeds than a rear-engine layout tends to be). However, Jalopnik Black Flag editor Stef Schrader points to an article that suggests the waiver has been granted. If that’s the case, a new car wouldn’t be needed, but she also reminds readers that a mid-engine Porsche GTE replacement has been in discussion for years.
Rumors are all well and good, but you can’t drive a rumor. While you’re waiting for the official news (which we’ll report once it’s out), come to Porsche of Nashua to take the 2016 Porsche 911 or a new Porsche Cayenne for a spin.