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911 Turbo 3.3 – 320 ch [1991 à 1992]

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 It came at the right time, too, replacing the outdated 3.2 Carrera and boosting sales for Porsche when it needed them, the Carrera 2 and 4 selling 63,570 examples, those specials and the Turbos and RSs adding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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Friends reunited: 964 Turbo 3.3 retro road test

Winter time in Yorkshire, a cold day with a piercing blue, cloudless sky and a biting wind. The low sun makes the shadows under the overhanging trees deep black and impenetrable. Driving into the glare makes those shadows deeper than ever. The scary sudden blackness, combined with the inevitable damp patches, can sap a driver’s confidence as vision is lost for a few fractions of a second, eyes struggling to adjust regardless of
the position of the sun visor or shades. Perhaps not the best of days to be re-acquainted with the Porsche 964 Turbo.

We don’t see too many Porsche 964s on the roads these days. Sadly, the escalating prices mean many have been retired to a life of suspended animation beneath a fitted cover, battery saver blinking away like a life support machine. 964 Turbos are even less common, with just over 3,600 of the 3.3-litre cars built worldwide. So the opportunity to be re-acquainted with a car I last drove when it was cutting-edge performance is something I won’t turn down, even if we won’t be getting much heat into the tyres.

The last time I was behind the wheel of a 964 Turbo was actually back in the day when it was for sale brand new in the UK. I had a reasonable amount of experience in cars, but not so much in Porsches at that time. That car was Rubystone in colour: incredibly sought after today, but back then, not so much. That’s a whole different story for another time, but I can still vividly recall my quickening pulse as I walked over to it, doing my hardest to look nonchalant. I had the usual battle with the demisting system, for those familiar with it, before driving away to find a quiet piece of road. The memories of transition from off-boost lethargy to full-blown whistling velocity are even more vivid than that paint scheme. Now, more than two decades later, will the performance still be as striking, or is it a memory I’m about to have tainted by the passage of time?

This car is considerably more muted in hue, Marine Blue looking truly conservative, but the deep shine has stood the test of time. This colour was probably a lot closer to the option that most Porsche owners will have selected in 1991. Ordered new in right-hand drive by a UK Army officer serving in Germany, and delivered to his local Porsche Zentrum, it has some useful options, such as a factory sunroof and limited slip differential, something you would have expected to be standard. The 964 Turbo body looks just as curvaceous as ever – in my view it’s the pinnacle of the classic 911 silhouette, before the Darwinian advancement of the more aerodynamic designs, beginning with the 993, that changed the unique profile forever.

The rear wheel arches have a curvaceous quality that you never tire of admiring from any angle. A rather curious original factory option choice of no Turbo badging really doesn’t hide what this car is. Time to be reacquainted. Back in 1993, the 964 Turbo was one of the first Porsches I ever drove, so the impact on my senses was especially vivid. Many thousands of 911 miles later, I’m wondering…

To read the full feature, pick up your copy of total 911 issue 161 in stores now or get it delivered to your door via here. Alternatively, you can download the issue to any digital device via Google and Apple newsstands. Fancy subscribing? Hit here to take advantage of up to 30% off as well as early delivery. 

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One Take: 600 Horsepower Andial-Powered 964 Turbo

GT2s excepted, the 964 was the last widowmaker 911 Turbo. Lots of power, lots of boost, and trailing arm rear suspension made for a much trickier Porsche than the 993 Turbo which followed. Even stock, this is a car that wants you dead. As they say; the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel. Of course, the best approach to modifying such a car is to nearly double the horsepower. The video does not specify which 964 Turbo variant this started life as, but this build brought the already-intimidating base Porsche from somewhere between 316-380 horsepower to a full 600.

The engine was originally built by Andial for Jeff Zwart’s 1994 Pikes Peak car (which can be found about halfway down this page). While Andial is now defunct, though Porsche did purchase the name, the company left no small mark on motorsports. Victories include a 1994 class win at Pikes Peak with this motor, plus class wins in 1996, ’97 and ’98. Andial cars have also won the 24 Hours of Daytona (including powering all of the top 5 finishers in 1987), the IMSA Supercar series, SCCA World challenge, and more.

That level of development and provenance propels a 964 which is seriously impressive on its own merits. The builders shaved the roof rails, which is no small job on an air-cooled 911, deleted the heat and A/C, and replaced some of the glass with Lexan. All-told, the 600 horsepower, CIS flat-six has just 2,800lbs to motivate.

Of course, because  of the old-school CIS injection, the redline is limited to just 5,800RPMs. With the amount of power this Porsche produces, I’d guess few will miss the extra revs.

The post One Take: 600 Horsepower Andial-Powered 964 Turbo appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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Porsche 964 Turbo… Bad boys, bad boys….

C’est marrant, dès qu’on voit une Porsche 964 Turbo, on pense à celle de Mike Lowrey dans « Bad Boys » ! Car même si la grenouille n’a pas eu besoin de ça pour rentrer dans la postérité mécanique, son rôle a permis d’amplifier son image de missile sol-sol au physique de déménageur !  Son gabarit, ses hanches, […]

Cet article Porsche 964 Turbo… Bad boys, bad boys…. est apparu en premier sur De l’essence dans mes veines.

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Porsche 964 Turbo X88 v Porsche 993 Turbo S: Legacy of the 959

The financial cost to Porsche with the 959 might have been punishing, but the legacy it created would permeate through the company for many decades. Technologically, the 959 created a seismic shift in the sports and supercar marketplace that would see rivals take years to catch up.

Its resonance is obvious today, and the 959’s legacy would be immediate too, the 964-generation being the first 911 to benefit from the advances it introduced.

Four-wheel drive offered on the standard Carrera line-up, along with power steering and ABS, was offered in 1989. All 964s would benefit from the suspension revisions that the Carrera 4’s four-wheel drive necessitated, with the front and rear torsion bar setup from the previous 3.2 binned in favour of MacPherson struts at the front, with concentric coil springs and cast aluminium lower arms.

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The rear would benefit from suspension derived from the Turbo, with cast aluminium trailing arms with coil springs, the suspension front and rear allowing for improvements in the geometry, and ABS braking contributing to the wheel stability, too, to the benefit of control.

Visually, the 964’s adoption of thermoplastic bumpers and a bonded windscreen would modernise the 911’s look, while improving its aerodynamic efficiency.

Oddly, the teardrop rear mirrors, which improve both the look and airflow, wouldn’t feature on the 964 until 1992. The underbody airflow was managed more effectively, the 959’s influence again helping Porsche improve its core model’s high-speed stability.

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Significant as the 964’s gains are from the 959, they pale when compared to those of the 993. The 993 didn’t just borrow technology from the 959, but its front end has a lot of 959 in its DNA.

The lower bumper section in particular, as well as the shape and positioning of the headlamps and indicators, are all very evocative of the 959 (and the 965 missing-link that never reached production).

The most obvious link though would be technologically, the 993 Turbo adding another turbocharger into the mix (albeit parallel as opposed to sequential), that additional blower helping to drive the standard four-wheel-drive system that was fitted to the flagship Turbo.

To read more about the legacy of the 959 in our Porsche 964 Turbo X88 v 993 Turbo S head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 142 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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