By Paul Rachwal
Friday, Nov 2nd, 2012 @ 12:56 pm
 

Porsche's long-rumored competitor to the Ferrari 458 may be called the 961. The car, which will be mid-engined like its key rival, has also reportedly received the go-ahead for production by the Porsche executives.

The fresh bit of news come from Porsche CEO Matthias Muller, according to AutoExpress, though he didn't confirm the 961 designation. Whatever it's called, the car will slot in between the 911 GT2 RS and the upcoming 918 Spyder hybrid. The car will cost about £250,000 (about $400,000), Muller let on, which is about $170,000 than the current 458's base price.

The high price will buy owners technology used in the costlier 918 Spyder, such as a lightweight unibody that uses carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) construction. Powering the car may be the 918's 4.6-liter V8 as well, making around 570 horsepower, which is what the engine is rated at in the 918. Straight-line acceleration should match those of the 458 and McLaren 12C, another mid-engined V8 that's likely to be cross-shopped, at just over three seconds to 62mph.

Earlier rumblings had Porsche using the next-generation chassis being developed for the Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo for the 961, though these latest reports suggesting the 918 parts-sharing seem to disprove them. When it arrives isn't known, however, but it's likely at least a couple years away from production.