The Porsche 989 a four door performance oriented touring sedan that maintained the iconic shape of the 911 Carrera, but unlike the Panamera, never saw production after it was presented back in 1988.
The idea of creating the 989 came as a result of strong 928 sales. Porsche engineer Dr. Ulrich Bez decided to design a four door sporty touring vehicle that could compete with models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. As a result the Porsche 989 featured a new front-engine, rear-drive platform with a wheelbase of 2826 mm (111.3 in) and was powered by an 80 degree, water cooled V8 engine with a power output of around 300 HP and displaced somewhere between 3.6 and 4.2 Liters.
With Porsche in the midst of an economic downturn in the late 1980s, it was decided in 1988 to begin development on a new model line with a project named 989. As a four-door “family sports car” or “Porsche for more than two,” the front-engine V8 sports sedan with rear-wheel drive was to hit the market by 1995 and target a new market segment.
But even during the initial project phase, development costs for the technically sophisticated four-door rose to improbable heights, making it impossible to keep the purchase price below US$ 53,000. When the price calculation ultimately topped US$ 80,000 and the envisioned annual production quantity of 15,000 units could not be achieved economically, the supervisory board stopped the project in January of 1991.
The efforts were not entirely in vain, however; many of the ideas and detail solutions found their way into future Porsche models such as the 996 type series of the 911.
Years: 1991 Engine: V8 Displacement: 4,200 cc Power: 350 hp (257 kW) Weight empty: 3,465 lbs. Top track speed: 173 mph