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911 Turbo Cabriolet 3.3 (930) – 300 ch [1987]

Porsche 911 Cabriolets: G-series v 964 v 993

Yorkshire dry-stone walls have a very useful application that was never intended by the original builders several centuries ago. In addition to providing the unique signature style that is the Yorkshire landscape while also containing livestock over the centuries, they also make a superb surface to echo back the bark of an air-cooled 911 engine. Combine that with the final days of a long, hot summer and a trio of Cabriolet 911s – all with the hoods folded as they truly should be – and we have the perfect recipe for a great day’s driving and a chance to investigate the appeal of the open-top 911 experience. Will we enjoy a day in the sunshine, or will the bumpy Yorkshire lanes highlight the compromise of 911 body stiffness?

Heading out of the market town of Malton, I’m at the rear of the convoy in the 993 Cabriolet. The air is filled with the bass burble of air-cooled exhaust tones at low RPM, the whiff of that unique 911 aroma of hot oil and burned hydrocarbons from the two cars ahead spilling over into the interior, the sun providing a warmth on my face that is still pleasant so late in the summer. Good times.

Turning left down some of our favourite B-roads, the sunshine dapples the tree-lined road ahead… it’s time to increase the pace. We’re staying away from the vast, open moorland of the North Yorkshire Moors today, instead staying on the lower ground of the Vale of York and the twisting, turning B-roads that keep hands and feet busy as the road snakes between those ancient dry-stone walls. The three cars span an eight-year period of 911 evolution, from the torsion bars and impact bumpers of 1989, through the transformation of 1990 with power assistance and coil springs, to the final development of the air-cooled Porsche 911 in the 993.

Without a doubt everyone will have a personal favourite. Indeed, as we gather the cars together for photographs, the debate commences even before photographer Alistair has rigged his first flash head. The most visually arresting is the 1989 Super Sport in Guards red. For me this car is the epitome of that period of Porsche sales. The hedonistic period when excess was encouraged and every businessman and city trader in the City of London had to have a giant Motorola brick phone, expensive Italian shoes and matching briefcase, plus a Guards red Porsche 911. For the full-on effect it had to be the Turbo body, Fuchs alloys and the whaletail spoiler. And if you really wished to be publicly on display through the city streets, then the Cabriolet ensured that you shared your cellphone conversation with everyone around you as you discussed the day’s share trading at the traffic lights.

So how does the drive compare almost 30 years later? We hand over the keys to the 993 that we arrived in and swap to the cream seats of the Super Sport. Instantly I’m missing the powered steering as we shuffle back and forth to leave the photo location, the non-standard steering wheel not helping with its smaller diameter, though once rolling along the country lanes it’s much less of an issue. The road is initially bumpy, and several things become apparent. Firstly there is indeed that flex and shake from around the windscreen area that I recall from previous drives. Secondly, despite there only being a few years between the registration dates, the 1989 car does feel as though it’s from a much older generation of Porsche.

That’s not to say it’s a bad car – far from it. And as the road smooths out and widens we’re able to enjoy the bark of the 3.2 engine and use the echo board of Yorkshire’s dry-stone walls to enjoy some rather delightful pops and crackles on the downshifts. Through the avenue of trees we return to our location, and I swap into the black 964.

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930 v 991: Open-top Turbos

Though it is seldom recognised, 1986 was a very important year for Porsche. A full year before ‘Black Monday’ and the ensuing global financial crisis, the 911 was flourishing, buoyed by its resurgence in fortunes under charismatic CEO Peter Schutz. Sales were strong off the back of an ever-increasing expansion to the range: Carreras were available in Coupe, Targa, or even Cabriolet form – the latter, of course, being introduced just three years earlier – all of which could be specified in either a narrow or a widebody ‘Turbo-look’ body style.

However, the significance of 1986 lies not with the naturally aspirated 911 Carrera, but its forced-induction compeer. The 911 Turbo, still very much an automotive icon more than a decade after its first release, was finally allowed back into the United States after Porsche refined the car’s emissions credentials – though the caveat was the US Turbo came equipped with slightly less power than its European brethren. Also in 1986, the Turbo became available as a Cabriolet.

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Boasting a fully electrically-operated hood (which was then also offered as an option on Carrera Cabriolets) the Turbo Cabriolet brought fresh-air motoring to those who had wallets big enough to swallow a purchase of an illustrious turbocharged 911. The open-topped Turbo was a success: nearly 3,000 were sold between 1986 and the final year of 930 production in 1989.

However, the 930 Turbo Cabriolet looked set to be the first and last of its kind – seemingly killed off with its super-rare Targa variant – as both 964 and 993 generations of Turbo remained Coupe only. Of course, the Turbo Targa concept hasn’t rolled out of Zuffenhausen since, but the Turbo Cabriolet did return in 2004, by which time the 911 had switched to water for cooling with the 996.

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Turbo Cabriolets duly followed through both generations of the 997 era (including the Turbo S of 2010) and six months after the 991 Turbo and Turbo S were revealed in 2013, Porsche again unveiled Cabriolet versions.

There’s no denying the Cabriolet has established itself as an important staple of the Turbo lineage and to celebrate that fact, we’ve gathered two high specification drop tops separated by a quarter of a century of Zuffenhausen engineering. The duo of special Turbo Cabriolets in question, a 2014 991 Turbo S and a 1989 930 with full Porsche GB-fitted LE specification (which effectively grants it status as a Turbo S of its time) share a price tag of £150,000.

To read the full feature on our 930 Cabriolet v 991 Turbo Cabriolet head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 129 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.

See the Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet’s Launch control in action here.

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Sales debate: Which 911 Turbo has the most investment potential?

The 911’s 50th anniversary last year coincided with astronomical price rises for Zuffenhausen’s iconic sports car. With the Turbo variant celebrating its 40th birthday this year, now may be the last chance to jump on the forced-induction train before it’s too late. But what model should you invest your money in?

“It’s difficult, because there’s so many of them,” Jamie Tyler, Paragon’s head of sales explains. While the 996 Turbo may be one of the market’s entry-level cars, Tyler believes it is worth looking at more exotic fare.

“3.6 Turbos (964), 993 Turbos, and obviously Turbo Ss [are all good choices]. Any of the air-cooled ones really, as they’re all on the way up at the moment,” Tyler continues.

Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6

The problem is, despite starting prices of £150,000 for a 964 Turbo 3.6 (more desirable than the 3.3 due to their rarity according to Tyler), and £85,000 for 993 versions, examples of the above sell very quickly.

Talking of a 993 Turbo during the summer by Paragon, Tyler mentions that it “was only on the website for about three hours, and it sold over the phone straight away.”

Porsche Bournemouth’s Karl Meyer, an expert in Porsche’s heritage line-up, agrees that 964 and 993 Turbos are proving attractive. However, he does have a preference.

Porsche 930 3.0 3.3

“I think a 930. It is just bonkers not to buy them,” he explains. “They’re still the most iconic, but they haven’t stretched their legs. Give it two years, and I think a £40,000 930 could be double its money.”

That’s a serious return, but to maximise your chances, Meyer points out that it is the earliest or the latest 930s that make the best prospects. The former “embodies the whole Seventies era,” while the latter gained the excellent G50 gearbox. Either way, your Turbo should be pumping into an air-cooled flat six.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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40 years of Turbo special edition bookazine launched

2014 sees the simply iconic Porsche 911 Turbo turn 40 and, to celebrate, the makers of Total 911 magazine have released a special collector’s edition bookazine for your enjoyment.

Lavished across 162 pages of stunning photography and world-renowned Porsche journalism, you can revel in all aspects of Turbo culture, reliving drives of famous models including the 930 LE and SE, learn about each model in-depth with our ultimate guides, and find out which Turbo comes out on top in our series of head-to-head road tests. This is all complemented by a huge group test of each and every generation of the revered 911 Turbo.

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Priced at just £9.99, the ’40 years of Turbo’ bookazine is endorsed by Magnus Walker, who provides an apt foreword reminiscing his own dose of ‘Turbo Fever’. To order your copy of the collector’s special bookazine, simply follow this link or download it via a wide variety of digital platforms.

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40 years of the Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche wasn’t the first manufacturer to release a turbocharged, petrol-engined road car. That accolade falls to the Chevrolet Monza, released in 1963. In fact, Porsche wasn’t even the first German manufacturer to achieve that feat, with BMW’s 2002 Turbo beating the 911 Turbo to market by a single year.

However, while other car makers rushed to implement a technology used in the aeronautical and maritime industries since the start of the 20th Century in their production vehicles, the board at Porsche AG turned to Weissach’s racing department to prove the forced-induction philosophy in the most unrelenting of arenas: the race track.

After the 917 was ruled out of international competition for 1972, Porsche turned its attention to a turbocharged version of the prototype designed to rule the US-based CanAm series – and rule it did.

Porsche 930 3.0 3.3

The 917/10 and its Penske-developed successor, the 917/30, were untouchable in 1972-73. Porsche was convinced of the concept, producing the 911 RSR Turbo 2.1 before, in 1974, an icon was born with the release of the Porsche 911 Turbo road car, popularly known as the 930 3.0.

This was a definite case of motorsport improving the breed, as the lessons learnt in the 1,000bhp+ CanAm monsters translated into the 930 3.0, earning its place as the fastest-accelerating road car ever produced upon its release to the public in 1975.

Only six years before, man had set foot on the Moon for the first time, and now here was a sports car truly worthy of the space age.

Porsche 964 993 Turbo

Thanks to its 2,994cc capacity and a single Kühnle, Kopp & Kausch turbocharger, the first 911 Turbo was capable of sprinting from standstill to 100kph (62mph) in 5.5 seconds.

Its 260bhp output may sound meagre today, but this was a car that enjoyed nearly 25 per cent more power than the previous range-topping 911 Carrera 2.7 (its engine taken from the fabled 1973 RS).

To read more about every generation of the legendary Porsche 911 Turbo, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 116 in store now. Alternatively, you can order a copy online or download it to your digital device.

Porsche 911 Turbo
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