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40 years

911/83 engine: A Porsche 911 history

The story of the Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS is well documented here at Total 911. However, it has now been 40 years since the famous 2,687cc flat six engine was last fitted to a production car at Zuffenhausen.

Prior to the Carrera RS, on the race track, Porsche had been campaigning an upgraded version of the 2.4-litre Porsche 911S (known as STs). However, thanks to the class structure, that car could only have an engine enlarged to 2.5 litres, leaving Zuffenhausen lagging behind the competition.

For the 1973 racing season, Porsche needed a bigger engine. Initially, Zuffenhausen’s engineers were at a loss as how to achieve this. Not only was the 911 shell originally designed for a 2.0-litre engine but, the 2.5-litre flat sixes in the 911 STs were bored out as much as Porsche dared take them.

Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RSH

An answer came through Porsche’s experience with the 917 prototype. The Nikasil cylinder coating developed for the 917 allowed the 911’s barrels to be bored out to 90mm without losing too much strength. The nickel-silicon carbide material also provided less friction compared to Biral cylinders.

Combined with the 70.4mm stroke from the 2.4-litre cars, the new engine measured in at 2,687cc (allowing it to be enlarged all the way up to 3.0 litres, if need be, for racing purposes).

Codenamed the 911/83 engine, the new flat six featured a magnesium crankcase providing a 10kg weight saving over the previously considered aluminium version while the new barrels featured 11 cooling fins (rather than the 15 seen in the 2.4S).

Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7

Like the 2.4-litre 911S, the box-type pistons remained forged and the cylinder head was largely the same with the same 8.5:1 compression ratio, valve sizes and timing. The 2.7-litre’s 20hp boost and 44Nm torque increase came solely from the greater displacement, providing totals of 210bhp and 255Nm respectively.

Originally, the engine was destined for a 2.7-litre version of the 911S featuring wider arches. However, the planned new car was so extreme, the ‘S’ badge didn’t seem to do it justice. Instead Porsche settled on calling it the Carrera RS.

Even after production of the 2.7 Carrera RS stopped at the end of 1973, the 911/83 engine continued for another three years, fitted into the ‘Rest of World’ version of the Porsche 911 Carrera (the first 911 to sport impact bumpers).

For more historical online features, check out our full selection of ‘Porsche 911 history’ articles now.

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40 years of improving your Porsche 911 driving

We’ve been blessed with anniversaries this year, from the 25th birthday of four-wheel drive 911s, to the four-decade anniversary of the iconic 911 Turbo, via a 30-year celebration of the 3.2 Carrera.

While it’s easy to purely celebrate the legendary cars that rolled off of the Zuffenhausen production line though, 40 years ago, an important Porsche institution roared into life.

It’s August 1974 and, prompted by the release of the potent new 911 Turbo at the Paris Motor Show, the air around the Hockenheimring circuit is filled with the sound of flat sixes and tyre squeal.

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This is the first meeting of the newly formed Porsche Sport Driving School where Porsche owners take to the track not to improve their lap times but to improve their skill and control behind the wheel.

Fast-forward to the present day and the Porsche Sport Driving School has gone from strength to strength, with approximately 100 instructors running courses in 15 countries around the world.

“We want to instil an instinctive feel for driving and with it the art of reading and understanding the car better,” explains instructor, Carsten Dreses. “When drivers sense the harmony in their cars, they’re automatically more secure- and also faster as a result.”

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From sitting the right way, to perfect steering and braking application, the Porsche Sport Driving School was always designed with non-racing drivers in mind, with Zuffenhausen aware that it has a responsibility to teach people in the ways of the 911, especially as the Turbo was garnering a fearsome reputation from the outset.

Over the years, the Porsche Sport Driving School courses have become more clearly structured, with courses running from one to three days. The emphasis is clearly on driving pleasure though the participants now show a greater level of interest in the technical elements.

“The customers come with an ever greater degree of interest and ambition,” observes Dreses. “They don’t just want to drive better and more safely, they also want to understand when and how the cars do what they do.”

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As Porsche creates ever-faster iterations of the 911, the value of the Porsche Sport Driving School continues to increase. While the courses are designed to improve the owners’ speed, the focus on safety is naturally paramount.

“Their driving automatically becomes more commanding when they’re calm and composed,” Kreses explains. By feeling in control, the Porsche Sport Driving School allows owners to enjoy their driving more. You can’t put a price on that.

Have you done a Porsche Sport Driving School course? How did it help your driving? Share your experiences in the comments below, or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.

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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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