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911 Carrera 3.6 – 250 ch [1990 à 1993]

30 yearsof 964: C2 v RS and Turbo v Turbo-look

Modernity is what the 964 brought to the 911, it arriving on the cusp of a new decade and would, in the then-CEO Heinz Branitzki’s words, “be the 911 for the next 25 years.” It never was, nor, admittedly, was it intended to be, but in the six years it was produced the increase in technology, as well as the proliferation of models, set the template for how the 911 would evolve into the model line we recognise today.

Its massively revised structure and chassis was able to incorporate necessities like power steering, driver and passenger airbags, an automatic transmission and also four-wheel drive. It was tested more rigorously on automated test beds, was built using more modern, cost-effective production techniques and brought the 911’s look up to date, without taking away from its iconic lines.

Such was Porsche’s focus on four-wheel drive it was launched as a Carrera 4, the Carrera 2 following it into production in 1989. Over the six, short years that followed the 964 would proliferate into a model line-up including Targa, Cabriolet, Turbo and RS in the regular series models, with specials like the Turbo S, RS 3.8, 30 Jahre and Speedster models all adding to the mix. It came at the right time, too, replacing the outdated 3.2 Carrera and boosting sales for Porsche when it needed them, the Carrera 2 and 4 selling 63,570 examples, those specials and the Turbos and RSs adding around 10,000 sales on top of that.

It was a successful, important car for Porsche, but just how does it stack up today, and which one to go for? The 964 is the car that introduced the 911 conundrum, one which, in part at least, we’re going to try and settle here today. We’ve four 964s here: a Carrera 2, an RS, a Carrera 4 widebody with its Turbo-aping hips, and a later 3.6 example of the 964 Turbo. The Carrera 2, naturally, is the most available, with some 19,484 sales globally, the RS selling some 2,405, the widebody being very limited (numbers are hard to come by) and the Turbo 3.6 finding 1,427 buyers for the year it was produced.

For many the Carrera 2 is the obvious choice, but take all the numbers out of the equation and things get a little bit different. To digest it there’s a natural split, the narrow and widebody cars, which is why I’m jumping first into the slim-hipped Carreras, and specifically that big-selling Carrera 2.

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’91 Porsche 964 Carrera 2… Amethys rétine destruction !

Encore une Porsche 911 chaussée en BBS… Ca va devenir aussi commun d’une Fiat rouillée ou qu’une VW Tdi qui pollue ! Donc vous pensez bien qu’à force, et devant l’offre, on devient plus pointilleux, plus difficile sur la qualité… Donc quand je suis tombé sur cette Porsche 964, j’ai pensé à vous…. Recette classique […]

Cet article ’91 Porsche 964 Carrera 2… Amethys rétine destruction ! est apparu en premier sur De l’essence dans mes veines.

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Porsche 964 Carrera versus Porsche 993 Carrera

Launched exactly a quarter of a century after the original 901, the Porsche 964 was meant to be “the 911 for the next 25 years”. Printed in the press material at the 964’s unveiling, these were the words of then Porsche AG Chairman, Heinz Branitzki.

As corporate claims go, it was simultaneously extravagant and conservative. Despite numerous small updates (and the continuous upsizing of the flat-six engine), the 911 had, technologically, seen few major changes between its Frankfurt unveiling in 1963 and the 3.2 Carrera’s exodus from the line-up in 1989.

The lack of wholesale development had nearly been the undoing of the 911 – declining sales in the late 1970s led Ernst Fuhrmann to the brink of axing the 911 – so to expect similar endurance from the 964 seemed optimistic at best.

Porsche 964 interior

The Zuffenhausen board boldly claimed that 87 per cent of the 964’s componentry was new though, suggesting that, in their eyes, die neue Neunelfer would be able to survive a similarly protracted product cycle.

Like Branitzki’s audacious assertion, the reality of the 964 Carrera was both contemporary and conventional. The 3.6-litre M64/01 engine was Porsche’s first flat six that could be offered unaltered around the world, however, it found itself mated to an upgraded version of the five-speed G50 gearbox seen in the 3.2 Carrera.

Aesthetically, it cut a familiar silhouette (smoothed slightly front and rear with integrated bumpers, a hallmark of Benjamin Dimson’s design) yet, under the metal sat a full-length undertray reducing the drag coefficient to an alltime low.

Porsche 964 Carrera front

After 26 years, the torsion bar springs finally bowed out too, replaced by coilover dampers, but the general suspension layout remained the same: a MacPherson strut out front with a semi-trailing arm at the rear.

The automotive dichotomy of the 964 didn’t deter buyers from placing an order for the new 911 however. On average, the 964 Carrera (if C2 and C4 figures are combined) sold nearly as well as its 3.2-litre predecessor – one of the most popular Porsche models of all time.

But, in an ever-changing automotive environment, faced with the impending age of digitisation, Porsche realised that it couldn’t afford to let its iconic sports car stand still again. Just four years after the 964 Carrera’s launch, it found itself replaced by a new generation: the 993.

To read our Porsche 964 Carrera v 993 Carrera head-to-head in full, pick up Total 911 issue 146 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

Porsche 964 v 993 Carrera rear

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Porsche 964 Carrera 2 ultimate buyer’s guide

The Porsche 964 last graced our Ultimate Guide pages in Issue 130 when we got beneath the skin of the awesome 3.6 Turbo. This time it’s the naturally aspirated Carrera 2 that’s the focus of our attentions.

Rather more accessible than the blown car, prices are nonetheless rising as buyers come to appreciate its abilities, but is care needed when buying one? Let’s find out.

On the outside, the bodywork needs the same careful scrutiny you’d afford any 911. The occasional track day and making full use of the performance on the road can result in accident damage, so examine the alignment of the panels, especially around the doors and rear quarter panels.

IP Black 964 C2 057

Examine the inside of the front luggage compartment for ripples in the floor or inner wings too. The original finish wasn’t that good, so particularly tidy seams could indicate previous repairs.

Stone chipping around the nose isn’t uncommon and look for cracks in the polyurethane bumpers and front lights, but if the paintwork is scruffy what else has been neglected?

The good news is that the shell was fully galvanised, which limits the advance of tin-worm, but it’s worth checking beneath the screen rubbers and around the scuttle for tell-tale bubbling where the wipers are fitted.

IP Black 964 C2 052

Blocked sunroof drain holes can cause problems too, so look for any corrosion around the opening or evidence that water has entered the cabin. This was the first 911 to get plastic wheel-arch liners, which afford extra protection, although an accumulation of road muck can rot the bumper mounts.

Rust around the inner rear wing and above the light units could be a result of poor accident repairs, and replacing cracked light units is around £800 a pair.

Another first was the electric rear spoiler, which rose at 50mph and disappeared again at 6mph and could be manually operated via a cabin switch. This switch can stick, so look for correct deployment as a sticking switch can result in engine overheating.

To read our full Porsche 964 Carrera buyer’s guide, pick up Total 911 issue 136 in store today. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device now.

IP Black 964 C2 023

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Porsche 964 head-to-head: Carrera 2 vs Carrera 4

The year 1989 turned out to be rather pivotal: the Berlin Wall crumbled with the rest of the eastern bloc, Asia began to rise as a global economic force, while in technology, the first unofficial text message was sent.

For Porsche observers, 1989 also brought the introduction of the new 964, a car that, with Porsche claiming it was 85 per cent new, was the company’s most radical revision of the 911 ever.

The internet was in its infancy then, a website typically only lasting 200 days, but nobody could have predicted the debate that Porsche’s new all-wheel-drive take on the 911 would impact on forums hosted on it. Thousands of pages on motoring websites still exist about it today, the 964 sparking a dispute that runs right through to the current 991 series 911: which is better, Carrera 2 or Carrera 4?

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It is a tricky argument, and one that is unlikely to ever be resolved given the intricacies and differences between both cars and what buyers expect from them.

The Carrera 4 introduced the 964 to the world, Benjamin Dimson’s design not just presenting a smoother aspect thanks to its integrated bumpers, that party trick pop-up rear spoiler and 16-inch Design 90 alloy wheels, but also flat under-body cladding that helped the 964 deliver a 0.32 coefficient of drag figure, as well as more work for Porsche technicians.

The introduction of teardrop mirrors, in place of the large ‘flag’ or ‘elephant ear’ mirrors in 1992 might have improved that drag figure further still, as well as been in keeping with the more aerodynamic direction the 964 represented over its predecessors.

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Even with the red Carrera 4 here featuring those older, larger mirrors, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s not often you get the chance to do some serious miles chasing a 964, but Dan from Paul Stephens is up ahead en route to the photo location in that Carrera 4, and I’m behind.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in a 964, and the first opportunity to really sample the 2 and 4 back-to-back on the same roads, in the same conditions, but chasing the 4 from the driver’s seat of the white 2 is a rare treat.

The 964’s styling may have had its detractors, but it’s always been one of my favourite 911s (even as a 993 owner), an evolutionary turning point blending old and new worlds, its significance in the 911’s lineage as impactful as the year it was introduced.

To read our full Porsche 964 Carrera 2 v Carrera 4 head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 133 in store. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device now.

964 Carreras

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