Happy April First, Everyone!
In its pursuit of all things four-cylinder, Porsche announced today that it will bring back the much-maligned 944 model in 2020 as its entry-level model. Pulling the body stampings out of storage, the cars will be built in Germany at a factory currently under renovation and retooling outside of Stuttgart.
The new 2020 944 model will have the new 2.5L flat-four turbo Cayman engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission with an option for a seven-speed PDK. Even with changes to induction, cam profile and engine mapping, the 2.5 turbo engine will generate 345 HP at 4800 rpm and 310 lb/ft of torque at 3600 rpm.
“Putting the Cayman flat-four turbo into the old 944 chassis was rather simple.” according to Deiter Braun, 944 Project Director. “The engine is forward of its position in the Cayman, so we just had to build a drive tube to connect the engine and transaxle, then upgrade the chassis stiffness, suspension and brakes to handle the power and torque.” Mr Braun also explained that while the internal designation for the new/old car is the “744,” the car will be marketed as a “944.”
Pop-up headlights will be gone in favor of headlight pods sculpted into the front fenders. Other familiar styling cues remain, with 85% of the body retained from the 83-91 model 944 Turbo, including the “Turbo” script on the rear. Standard features will include a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, full instrumentation, air conditioning, cruise control and a 7″ touch screen infotainment system. Of course, four-wheel disc brakes and electric power steering are standard.
Porsche estimates performance figures to show 0-60 in less than five seconds with a top speed of 161 mph. Plans for new classes in PCA Club Racing and SCCA are in the works to support both privateer and factory teams sporting these new cars.
Unfortunately, no photos of the new 944 are available to the public at this time.
Prices will start at $39,900 for the new 944 model with the extensive performance and luxury option list pushing MSRPs even higher. Look for it to appear in showrooms in August 2019.
This report was originally published by 924S944.com on April 1, 2018, then republished today, April 1, 2019.. Happy April Fools’ Day everyone!
Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.