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How These Front-Engined Porsches Saved The 911 (And Were Also Rad)

GIF via Carfection

Porsche in the 1970s and 1980s was struggling to determine its future. Would it keep the beloved 911, which was getting long in the tooth? Or would it replace it with an all-new grand tourer, the 928? Fortunately for fans of the timeless 911, these front-engined coupes saved the company’s bacon.

We’re used to the idea that the 911 is built on the sales of less prestigious front-engined fare now, with cars like the Cayenne being Porsche’s volume sellers. In the late seventies, though, this was a radical idea for the company: move downmarket, and sell in bulk.


Fortunately, the more conventional, less expensive cars that Porsche designed—even the humble 924 that was a partnership with Volkswagen—were brilliant regardless. Putting the transaxle at the rear makes them beautifully balanced and easy to toss around.

To this day, there’s nothing better than beating on one of the “cheap Porsches” on a track, either. As air-cooled 911 values skyrocket, these remain marvelously useful, both as a fun car and as a daily driver. Let the guys at Carfection show you why.


One thing worth clarifying, though: Carfection doesn’t show the Audi-derived 924 engine when they’re talking about it, as they have a 924S on hand. The 924S got the later, Porsche-designed 2.5-liter four-cylinder from the 944.

The more you know!

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.

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