Porsche 968 – is it really better than a 944?

I was talking to a chap today who used to have a Porsche 944 and now fancies a 968 (above) but is surprised at the prices being asked for them.

He’s got a point. 944s are two a penny now – there’s little demand for them and they’re considered old cars now. Which is a shame because a decent 944 is a great car. The Porsche 968, on the other hand, has held its value remarkably well, especially in Club Sport form as it’s a sought after trackday weapon.

The 968 has held its value because its a much rarer car – it wasn’t in production for long and so there are fewer out there. It’s the old supply and demand thing. Also, the 968 still looks a more modern car than the older 944 which it replaced.

So, looks aside, is the 968 really much better than a 944? Good question. Sure, the later car has a very nice six-speed gearbox, whereas the 944 is only five, and it has revised suspension which helps the handling. That apart, though, they are essentially the same Porsche (although I suspect 968 owners will complain about that!). OK, the more extreme Clubsport is a different kettle of fish and worth getting hold of but I’ll less convinced by the standard model (or even the Sport).

A decent Porsche 944 can be had for about £4000 whereas a standard 968 (if you can find one) will be double that. However, put a grand or so into sorting out the 944’s suspension (must will have tired dampers) and you’ll have a car that’s as much fun as a 968 for less outlay.

But the Porsche 968 looks better, I hear you say. Well, does it? I rather like the angular, muscular lines of the 944, especially in Cabriolet form (below).

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Jon Bradbury

    4 speed box in a 944?? Think you’ve been comparing a manual 968 to an auto 944…

    1. Phil

      Whoops, simple typo. Corrected now, thanks. Auto 944 was a bad combination, by the way!

  2. Jon Bradbury

    Dad had a 87 924S 3spd Auto, that was epic (at least compared to my mk2 GTi at time). No idea what was specced at the factory, but somebody stuck their head under it at a show and commented it had fatter ARBs. Didn’t feel like the lowly 150bhp either, if shifted & then some. As an occasional driver of it, the auto meant could just concentrate on driving it, upset some bigger stuff in the odd traffic light drag race too, never a fluffed change. Stupidly he wrote it off and got a 944S manual, but it never felt as good or fast as the old 924S.

    1. Phil

      You’ve highlighted your own mistake in your first comment – the 944 had a three-speed auto box. 😉

      The shifter on these cars was a hideous thing, wasn’t it?

  3. Jon Bradbury

    I didn’t know if later ones switched to a four speed (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it) my once encyclopedic knowledge of Porsche (esp the water cooled) is a bit more deminished nowadays.

    Yeah think the auto shifter in those was the old style T-shift bar wasn’t it? Tiptronics look better but with where I live going back to full manual next time…

  4. rpm

    Seriously? “… essentially the same Porsche?” I have owned both and have to say that the 968 was not only faster than my 944 S2 – its closest cousin – but also more refined. The combination of the additional horsepower and torque made a tremendous difference. Add to that the difference in age between a 968 (92-95) and the majority of 944s (85-90), and there is really is little question which to choose. Ah, but the 944 Turbo has more power you say. Well, technically that is true by a whopping 10 horsepower. But the 968’s torque curve has so much usable power on tap at all times that the comparison is irrelevant. No, if you can afford the difference the 968 is the way to go.

  5. Russ Farlow

    My dad’s 968 coupe is nothing like a 944 and to me seems to have it’s own identity, extremely capable and with its reprogrammed chip, more than adequate power and torque. That said, for the title fun for the money, especially here in the US, I think it is very fair to say that a decent 944 is a bargain. Many cheap 944’s out there as well that for a handy person might be fun, maybe not profitable if that’s your angle. My dad also has a somewhat up rated (maybe backdated)1980 MGB that is really more fun for daily use than a 944 and doesn’t have all those expensive Porcshe parts! I guess fun is fairly subjective…

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