It is said that revenge is a dish best served cold and after a twenty five year wait it couldn't really be any colder.
In 1986, Auto, Mund und Sport (the German equivalent of Autocar) tested the technological tour-de-force that was the Porsche 959 and achieved a top speed of 197mph, making the 959 the fastest street-legal production car in the world. Posters were plastered all over bedroom walls and a young Boris Becker rushed out to purchase one of the 200 road-going versions of the car that was primarily built for Group B racing.
Then the Ferrari F40 came along, snatched the top speed record and wiped the Porsche from the minds of all but the most ardent petrol-heads. Since then Porsche and Ferrari have never really gone head-to-head. Sure there is some crossover between the top end of the 911 range and the bottom end of the Ferrari line-up, but the 911 has always been seen as being the upper echelon of sports cars while the likes of the of the Ferrari 360/430/458 are 'entry' level supercars.
In an interview in 2011 with Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper Matthias Müller, CEO of Porsche, stated that it "always irritated" him that there is such a gulf between the 911 and the forthcoming 918 hyper-car - a gulf Ferrari currently is the master of. Now when the boss of a company is irritated there is normally something done about it and if the latest news is to be believed then we may soon see a successor to the 959.
In a lengthy expose of the Volkswagen Group's product plans Georg Kacher of Car Magazine highlights the Porsche developed MSB platform - a rear-wheel drive architecture that will underpin the Group's 'halo' models like the next generation Bentleys, a second generation Lamborghini Aventador and the long-mooted Volkswagen Bluesport/Audi R5/Porsche Speedster project. Most interesting however is reference to a Porsche 960 that comes under the mid-engined MSB-M sub-section.
Karcher states that the 960 will be a "four-door coupé due in late 2015" and that it "will be the lead car for the new MSB-M platform."
Quite how Porsche plans to fit rear doors and more importantly rear seats into a mid-engine configuration is unclear, and there is speculation that Karcher is mistaken about the four-door coupé layout, but the prospect of a 250,000 Porsche that has apparently been dubbed "Fefi, for Ferrari fighter" has to bring a grin to those who have long lamented the days when Porsche and Ferrari fought out a model-to-model war in much the same way BMW and Audi do now. Even better when you see that the 960 will apparently be powered by a twin-turbo flat-six, not a V8 as currently seen in the Panamera/Cayenne.