Porsche 944 Turbo – Supercar Speed on a Budget
The 1987-1991 Porsche 944 Turbo occupies an important place in the German sports car maker’s history for delivering blistering performance at relatively affordable cost. Building on the brisk but not fascinating normally aspirated 944, Porsche added a hearty turbocharger to transform the driving experience. With over 220hp on tap propelling a balanced rear-wheel-drive chassis, the 944 Turbo provided true supercar acceleration and handling for thousands less than Porsche’s 911 models. It became an icon of accessible world-class sports car engineering.
Turbocharging the Capable 944
Porsche introduced the 944 line in 1982 as an entry-level model below the rear-engine 911. With a refine4d chassis but only 143hp from its lively 2.5-liter four cylinder, the standard 944 was rapid but not extreme. But by turbocharging the engine in 1987 to 217hp, Porsche instantly created a giant killer capable of humbling the 911 Carrera. Zero to 60mph arrived in under 6 seconds, with sharper reflexes than ANY car near its $40,000 price. Yet reliable turbo boost endowed true everyday driveability.
Striking Styling Targeted Young Buyers
Intent on attracting younger buyers, Porsche gave the Turbo a fresh look versus the standard 944. A new integrated front spoiler with NACA ducts channelled air to the radiator and brakes. Distinctive rear wing and rocker panels reduction lift while reflecting the turbo’s performance credentials. The wheels grew an inch wider to accommodate sticky low-profile tires. Inside the Turbo received supplementary gauges and sport seats. Porsche marketed the car’s image aggressively to back up the enhanced power.
Porsche 944 Turbo Balanced Chassis Ready for Power Increase
Central to realizing the Turbo’s potential was the 944’s inherently balanced chassis. The near 50/50 weight distribution, independent suspension and passive rear-wheel steering endowed agile, neutral handling, easily controllable with the added turbo thrust. ABS brakes ensured consistent stopping power. The chassis provided an ideal dynamic foundation for the turbo engine to build upon in creating an incredibly capable package. This harmonious pairing underpinned the Turbo model’s greatness.
Giant Killer Performance Statistics
The Turbo’s bonafide supercar acceleration statistics made magazines take notice when reviewing it alongside more expensive exotica. A 0-60mph sprint in 5.9 seconds and quarter mile in 14.5 seconds at 95mph made it a serious performance threat to top-line sports machines. Skidpad grip of 0.91G and 60-0mph braking in just 128 feet proved the chassis’ mettle. The $40,000 Porsche Turbo’s potency shamed peculiar cars costing three times as much – fulfilling its mission of bringing accessible world-class speed.
Porsche 944 Turbo Lasting Great Analog Porsche
Porsche only sold around 30,000 examples of the 944 Turbo before replacing the line with the more sophisticated 968 in 1992. But for purists, the Turbo represented the end of an era of simplistic forced induction excitement before Porsche embraced complex electronics and all-wheel drive. With its laggy turbo torque, light flywheel, and tendency for lift-off oversteer, the 944 Turbo recalled traditional Porsche 911 Turbo character. It remains coveted today as an authentic old-school thrill only enhanced by its relative affordability.