Thursday, June 1, 2017

Porsche 924

For nearly 70 years the core concept of a Porsche sports car is that its engine is in the rear.  But for many of those 70-odd years, Porsche sports cars have come in other configurations.  For example Porsche 914s and Boxsters are mid-engine cars.  Then there were the 924 and 928 Porsches with water-cooled motors mounted in the front.

This post deals with the 924 (Wikipedia entry here). As the entry mentions, the 924 originally was a joint project with Volkswagen.  VW wanted a sporty model and Porsche wanted a successor to its entry-level 914.  Eventually VW backed out of the project, so Porsche bought the rights and continued.  It's the VW (actually, largely Audi) influence that resulted in the front motor configuration.

When 924s were announced in 1977, Porsche purists were somewhat shocked by its configuration and hard-core sports car fans thought the cars were underpowered.  The motoring public interested in sporty, not horribly costly cars thought otherwise, and 924s sold well -- to the tune of about 150,000 being built over its 1977-1988 run and they were profitable to Porsche.


Publicity photo showing front and rear aspects of 924s.

This publicity shot shows the front and side.  Although fenestration assumed somewhat complicated shapes towards the rear, two through character lines tie the design together.

This is the larger, more expensive Porsche 928 that appeared in 1978.  It and the 924 differ in details, but have a similar feeling due to the passenger compartment greenhouse shaping.

Side view of the 924.  The curved lower edge of the aft side window roughly ties to the large backlight.  It's a bit fussy, but perhaps more interesting than a design comprised mostly of horizontal elements.

The backlight doubles as a hatchback lid.

Pop-up headlights are similar to those on the 914s, and equally aerodynamically degrading.

The 924s front could have been styled to better match the spirit of the brand's primary 911 line.  Pictured here is a 2010 Panamera sedan, also with a front-mounted motor.  Its frontal design is clearly Porsche-like, whereas the 924s is not.  This exact design could not have been made in 1977 due to headlight restrictions in effect then, but something similar might have been possible.

1 comment:

emjayay said...

Renault Fuego later copied the big wraparound rear window/hatch.