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Porsche to build the 961, a direct competitor to Ferrari

Porsche had plans to continue growing their company over the next few years, even setting the ambitious sales goal of 200,000 units for 2018. This is nearly double the number they’ve been selling over the past few years, and since the plans for a new entry-level car to slot in below the Boxster have been cancelled, this will not be easy. It seems that part of the plan is now to take some of those sales away from Ferrari, as Auto Express reports that a new car has been greenlit to slot in between the 911 GT2 RS and the upcoming 918 supercar.

There is no official name for the new car yet. Rumor has it that “961” will be the number combination, although this was already used once before for a racing version of the 959 in the Eighties. The car will borrow some parts from the 918, including the 4.6-liter V8 engine. The hybrid system from the 918 won’t make it into the 961, so the car is expected to produce 570 horsepower, which is roughly in keeping with what the Ferrari 458 Italia and the McLaren MP4-12C produce.

Price seems to be a complicated issue. The 911 GT2 RS is already priced very close to the 458, at about $245,000. The 458 goes for anywhere from $230,000 to $258,000, and the MP4-12C is also in this same range. Porsche told Auto Express to expect a price of about £250,000 (just over $400,000) and that is actually above the price set for Ferrari’s new F12berlinetta. It does fit pretty nicely between the 911 GT2 RS’s price and the nearly $1 million which is expected to be the price for the 918, but it’s hardly competitive with the 458. A more competitive price would render the 911 GT2 RS irrelevant, although this might be Porsche’s intent. The 911 GT2 RS is based on the Type 997 911, and this currently being replaced by the Type 991. It’s possible that Porsche won’t be bringing back such high-end versions of the 911 for the 991 generation, and that the 961 will take over this position in the lineup.

There is plenty to speculate on, but it’s safe to assume that Porsche knows what they’re doing. They’ve already doubled their sales figures over the past decade, and it’s more than likely that they have an excellent plan in place for the 961. We’re looking forward to it.