The FIA’s new three-liter prototype (Group 6) and five-liter sports car (Group 4) regulations adopted for 1968 presented the opportunity for Porsche to update its 907, which had won races but lost the championship. In came a 2997 cc flat-eight engined 908. Despite its aero appearance, it was no easy car to drive fast, weaving as speeds approached 200 mph. Despite winning the 1000km Nürburgring, the 908 was anything but convincing in 1968.
Porsche 908 Research Hub
This is your center for all things Porsche 908. The ultimate reference center.
Porsche was a big underdog during the 1967 World Championship. Despite using engines no larger than 2.2 liters, Porsche lost the World Championship of Makes by one single point in 1967. Porsche decided to up engine size and even the odds. The 908’s mid-mounted engine was essentially a larger version of that used by the 2.2-liter 907. The FIA’s new three-liter prototype (Group 6) and five-liter sports car (Group 4) regulations adopted for 1968 presented the right opportunity.
The 2.2-liter 907 started the 1968 season spectacularly with wins at Daytona, Sebring and the Targa Florio. The 908 followed shortly, enjoyed few victories, endured frustrating mechanical failures – and lost the 1968 championship to Ford’s GT-40. Porsche began development of a new eight-cylinder boxer motor. The new engine made its first appearance during Le Mans testing in April 1968, but the earliest versions of the engine were subject to severe vibration, an issue resolved by changing the firing order and using the 66-mm crankshaft. Meanwhile, Porsche was working on the Type 917, built hard on the heels of the 908, was ready for homologation in 1969, but typically was too green to spearhead the Porsche world championship attack. That chore fell to the trouble-plagued 908, which by now had received such major changes as an aluminum space frame, a newlydesigned crankshaft, 15-inch wheels and a new five-speed transaxle. With Bosch Kugelfischer indirect fuel-injection and 10.4:1 compression, the engine produced upwards of 350 hp at 8,500 rpm and 232 foot-pounds of torque at 6,600. Scaling barely more than 1,300 lbs., the 908 enjoyed a dazzling horsepower-to-weight ratio.
The 908 series caused a lot of headaches at Zuffenhausen. The new race car started out as a coupe in 1968 (908/1), lost it roof for the following season (908/2) and did well competitively. The powerful V12-powered Porsche 917 became the main car for Porsche in 1970, but the company decided to continue running 908 wanting to have specific cars for each type of a track. The 908 was a perfect car for twisty and slow tracks such were Nürburgring or Targa Florio. A new version, marked as 908/03, was developed based upon the lightweight and short Porsche 909, which was used in hillclimb races. The 908/03 was more powerful and shorter than the 908/02 and weighed incredible 545 kg. The 1971 version of the 908/03 was the last 908 built by the factory, but private racing teams continued to develop these cars further and in 1975 some of the cars got 2.1-litre turbo engines straight from Porsche's racing department. Porsche would build 31 examples of the 908 from 1968 to 1973 in both long-tail and short-tail coupe and Spyder configurations.
Porsche 908 Basics
Manufacturer: Porsche / Production Years: 1968 - 1971 / Production: ~ 31 units / Assembly: Germany / Chassis: Spaceframe chassis / Layout: Rear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive / Bodystyle: Coupe, Spyder Engine: 3.0 L Flat 8 (908/01, 02, 03), 2.1 L turbo Flat 6 (908/03) / Transmission: 5-speed manual / Weight: 6500 kg (1,430 lb) / Designer(s): Wilhelm Hild / Predecessor: Porsche 907 / Successor: Porsche 936
Porsche 908 Variant Guides
Some of the earlier Porsche 907s equipped with the smaller 2.2 litre engine were modified with the new 3 litre 8-cylinder engine. This resulted in 908/01, from which two different bodies were created. First was the Porsche 908K or 908/01 Coupé, which was in fact a 907 with the engine required for Group 6 and asymmetric air inlets on the front. The second car was 908 LH or 908/01 Long Tail that differed from the 908K (908/01) as it had a longer body with improved aerodynamics for fast tracks. A beautiful 908LH ‘Langheck’ (‘long-tailed’) version also was developed for exceptionally high speeds at Le Mans, Spa, Monza and Daytona. For 1969 Porsche developed an ultra-lightweight open-cockpit Spyder version, the Porsche 908/02 again with two body styles. One was a traditional curvy shape and an aerodynamic wedge shape nicknamed the ‘Flunder’ (flat fish). In 1969, while Porsche concentrated primarily on development of its twelve cylinder 917 from the middle of 1969, the eight cylinder 908 was also developed further, getting a completely new tubular frame based on that of the 909 Bergspyder, becoming known as the 908/03 Spyder.
Porsche 908 Special Variant Guides
Porsche decided to end its 20-year history of factory sports car racing and sold the 908/03 cars to customers. Customers continued to race several 908/3, fitted with extra weight as required by the rules. In 1975, some 908s were fitted with turbocharged engines, similar to those used in the Porsche 934 GT car. Even with 2.1-litre and a turbo factor of 1.4, the turbos by now out-powered normally aspirated 3-litre engines.
Porsche 908 Data & Research
We dig into some of the data surrounding the Porsche 908, including production numbers, specifications, chassis numbers and much more. 3.0 I flat 8 (908/01, 02, 03) 2.1 L turbocharged flat 6 (908/03). In terms of power, the early 908s were seeing 350 hp from their 3 liter Flat 8s, while the privateer Turbo 908s were seeing 500+ hp from their smaller turbocharged flat 6 engines.
Porsche 908 Pictures, Galleries & Wallpapers
The 908 originally was a closed coupe to provide low drag at fast tracks, but from 1969 on was mainly raced as the 908/2, a lighter open spyder. Sold off to privateers for 1972, various 908s were entered until the early 1980s, often retro-fitted with Porsche 934-based 2.1-litre turbocharged flat 6 engines. The thing you will notice with all these variants is just how varied the 908s looked over the years, especially depending on their body styles.
Porsche 908 Videos
Experience the extreme, fast and terrifying Porsche 908 in these aweome videos.
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