By Nat Shirley
Tuesday, Jan 22nd, 2013 @ 1:17 pm
 
Porsche's upcoming 960 supercar is beginning to come into focus, with a new report shedding light on a number of intriguing details of the new addition to Stuttgart's lineup.
The 960 is set to use a mid-mounted, quad-turbocharged boxer eight that should give it the muscle to match up with twelve-cylinder exotics like the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and the Lamborghini Aventador, according to an Automobile report. Displacing 3.9 liters and producing an estimated 650 horsepower, the mill will team with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and an all-wheel-drive system for a package reportedly capable of a 2.5-second zero-to-60 mph sprint.

Porsche had originally been planning to equip the 960 with a lightweight twin-turbo boxer six, but that engine was ultimately ruled out as inadequate for the lofty segment (between the iconic 911 and the ultra-exclusive 918) in which the supercar will compete. The replacement eight-cylinder was reportedly approved by none other than VW Group chief Ferdinand Piech, who has been spotted driving several one-off Porsche models equipped with boxer eights in years past.

The 960 is expected to be the first vehicle to utilize the Porsche-developed MSB-M architecture, which will to underpin all of VW Group's mid- and rear-engined sports cars from the successor to the Lamborghini Aventador to Porsche's next 911. The platform is said to make heavy use of aluminum, helping keep the 960's weight to roughly 3000 lbs.

Porsche has high hopes for the 960's sales potential, with the automaker targeting annual global sales of 3000-4000 units when the supercar launches in 2017.