Porsche 984 concept

Porsche Junior concept car© Porsche

This Porsche 984 article is about the Porsche-SEAT PS sports car idea and the materialized Porsche Junior concept car.


Porsche-SEAT PS

In the beginning of 1980's SEAT contracted Porsche to develop inline 4-cylinder engines for its models Ibiza, Malaga and Ronda.

1.2 L (52 kW) and 1.5 L (66 kW) 4-cylinder inline SEAT engines had 'system PORSCHE' written on them© SEAT

In 1984 the Porsche-SEAT co-operation also led to a sports car concept called the PS. It was supposed to be a small car (3675 mm long and 1100 mm high) with a transparent bubble roof. The low roof meant the headroom was sacrificed for the design. Naturally the supposed engine was the 'system Porsche' inline-4 with a 5-speed gearbox. The weight target was a low 880 kg / 1940 lb.

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The PS with the mid-mounted 'system Porsche' SEAT watercooled engine (the rear-mounted radiator can be seen). Check out the double bubble roof on the drawing on the right!© Porsche

Although the PS looked very good on the drawing, the project didn't materialize with SEAT. Still, Porsche didn't discard the project yet at that point.


Porsche Junior

After the PS project was cancelled, Porsche didn't give up yet and designed a new roadster called the Porsche Junior. The initial design saw the rear-engined car with 4WD system.

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This drawing shows a version with 4-cylinder boxer engine and with 4WD system© Porsche
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The Junior's roofline gave more headroom than was initially designed for the PS© Porsche
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This is a mock-up, not a real car. In this design phase it has no side air inlets yet. The 16" forged Flatdish wheels look good.© Porsche

Although the Junior looked very good when the prototype was finished, the PS might have looked even better. The Junior was more down to earth in terms of occupant headroom and so the roof was made higher. While the 4WD system was dropped, the optional retractable hardtop remained an interesting feature. In the beginning of the Junior project it was still of transparent plastic like seen on the red mock-up model. Unfortunately it was not anymore in the double-bubble design as seen in the PS project.

A new 88-110 kW Porsche 2-litre flat-4 air-cooled engine was considered with a 5-speed manual gearbox. While the engine in the PS was supposed to have its weight in front of the rear axle (mid-engined car), the flat-4 in the Junior was mounted with its weight behind the rear axle, like in the 356 and the 911. The Junior was designed to be a very affordable car and many parts were taken from other Porsche models to save development costs. Like with the PS, the focus on making the Junior was on giving it lighter weight instead of higher power. Thanks to the light weight, even with the relatively low engine power the estimated top speed was 137 mph / 220 km/h.

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928-style bonnet© James Herne (photographed at the Porsche Museum)
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The so-called 'elephant ear'-mirror was in use with other Porsche models already from 1976© James Herne
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These headlamps were also used on the stretched 928 that was presented to Ferry Porsche in September 1984 for his 75th birthday© James Herne
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Porsche 984
© James Herne
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© James Herne
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Door handle and lock from 928© James Herne
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Although these wire design Porsche wheels are unique, they don't seem to be doing justice to a car as modern as it is© James Herne
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© James Herne
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The rear turn signal lamp design was trasferred to the 911 993 launched in 1993© James Herne
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Clean and nice© James Herne
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Porsche 984
© James Herne
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BB-number plates are used on most of the Porsche prototypes© James Herne
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Georg Wahl designed multilink suspension can be seen. The engine seen on this prototype is a 4-cylinder air-cooled Volkswagen unit although a new Porsche flat-4 was to be created for the Junior and for aircraft use.© James Herne
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The interior looks very much like 944's interior from May 1985 onwards. The seats are 928-style and door openers are from 911.© James Herne
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© James Herne
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Check out the cylinder temperature meter© James Herne
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Ashtray from 924© James Herne
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Porsche 984 interior
© James Herne
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© James Herne
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© James Herne

From day one the Junior project saw a car with the sales price lower of the Porsche 924 and dramatically lower of the 944, but that couldn't be achieved and the project was terminated in 1987. After the 984 prototype, the multi-link suspension was used in the 4-door Porsche 989 prototype and was finally put into production with the 993-generation 911 in 1993.


Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


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