How do you top the legendary Porsche 959? In the late 1980s, the engineers at Porsche were hard at work trying to find a way to do exactly that. And this is one of the few surviving relics from their journey.
The 959's successor was began development around 1987 under the title Project 965. The engineers looked at all kinds of powertrain configurations for this new-age über Porsche, which confusingly was to be dubbed the 969.
One of the mules for the project was a 964 911 with the elongated rear end of a 959. And inside that rear end was a water-cooled V8 engine from Porsche's now-corporate cousins and then-friends at Audi.
At first glance, it seems like it checks all the boxes. Cost-effective, powerful, and just ridiculous enough to succeed the 959 and take its concept to the next level. Sadly, management shakeups meant the V8-powered car never made it to series production, but this mule — this lone, mysterious prototype, a kind of mutant 911 from some alternate universe — survives in Porsche's warehouse in Zuffenhausen.
The next time someone says that swapping a V8 into a 911 is sacrilegious, remind them that Porsche thought of it too.
For more information, check out these articles dug up by Opponaut Ghost Dog last year. They're pretty fascinating.