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Porsche Index: 997 Turbo S

History and spec

The Gen2 997 Turbo was an exceptionally accomplished sports car, and we’ve sung its praises many times within these pages. Improving upon such a special recipe was a tall order for the engineers at Zuffenhausen, yet they did exactly that, creating an instant classic.

With just 2,000 made, production amounted to virtually half that of the regular 997.2 Turbo, and those few lucky buyers would have been very impressed with their new purchase.

There was still the same 3.8-litre motor beneath the engine cover, but it had been fettled to produce 530hp and 700Nm of torque – an increase of 30hp and 50Nm respectively. Most of that increase came from turning up the wick on the pair of variable-geometry turbochargers, maximum boost now raised from 1.0 bar to 1.2 bar.

Still directly injected and equipped with VarioCam Plus variable valve timing, the latter had been revised on the intake side and the air intake was fashioned from a carbon weave.

Drive was sent to all four wheels via the seven-speed PDK transmission – Sport Chrono Plus was standard, which meant the addition of launch control – and there was the usual blizzard of driver assistance acronyms in the form of PASM, PTM (Porsche Traction Management) and PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring).

Despite all of the enticing technology, outright performance wasn’t markedly different from its non-S stablemate, mere fractions of a second shaved from the major benchmarks meaning just modest gains were on offer.

Not that it wasn’t explosively fast as it stood, 0-62mph reeled off in 3.3 seconds and 195mph beckoning if you had the space and nerve. So it had the pace, but reasonably there was a question – one asked in some contemporary road tests – over what buyers were really getting for their additional £17k.

Well, had the buyer ticked the box marked ‘S’ when it came to ordering their 997 Turbo they would have discovered it also came with PCCB brakes as standard, fronted by ‘RS Spyder’ centre-lock wheels. And on top of the already lavish Turbo specification their new purchase boasted the likes of adaptive Sports seats, a six-disc CD/DVD system and a choice of exclusive interior trim colours.

Whether all of that could be viewed as money well spent is open to question, but with the 991 all set to take centre stage this ultimate expression of the 997 Turbo would have been very hard to resist.

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The Porsche Index: 993 Turbo

Development of the Neunelfer has always been viewed as evolutionary, but since the 1984 launch of the 3.2 Carrera, Porsche was determined not to let the grass grow under the 911’s wheels.

That model was replaced by the substantially redesigned 964, a car that introduced modernities such as power steering, anti-lock brakes and four-wheel drive. By 1993 it was all change again, Tony Hatter’s interpretation bringing a smoother look and the promise of a body that was 80 per cent new.

More rigid and boasting new VarioRam-equipped engines and a sophisticated multi-link rear axle, the 993 proved hugely popular and was a fitting curtain call for the air-cooled era. But for the best part of a year, the range had lacked a crucial element, one that had featured on 911s for two decades.

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That situation was remedied for the 1996 model year with the arrival of the Turbo. As befitting a range-topping 911, buyers who stumped up the £91,000 asking price were treated to a unique styling and aerodynamic package, which included voluptuously flared rear arches and a fixed rear wing to replace the pop-up item found on other models.

But it was beneath that rear wing where the real intent lay, Porsche equipping the new car with an engine that, GT2 aside, was the most powerful yet fitted to a road-going 911, the 408bhp output and 4.3-second 0-62mph time eclipsing the figures of the Ferrari F355 that had been launched two years earlier.

Those numbers came courtesy of a 3.6-litre M64/60 motor that had been thoroughly revised. The new forged alloy cylinder heads contained a single spark plug per cylinder; there were stronger internals, and a pair of smaller KKK K16 blowers that negated the laggy throttle response, which had characterised previous turbocharged 911s.

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And the technological advances didn’t stop there, the 993 benefitting from a strengthened six-speed manual transmission – the 540Nm of torque precluded use of the Tiptronic automatic – that drove through a new, power-assisted clutch.

A 911 Turbo first was a viscous coupled four-wheel-drive system distributing the power, while stopping duties were taken care of by 322mm discs, Big Red calipers and Bosch ABS to convince buyers they really were buying the ultimate incarnation of the 993.

Until 1998, that is, with the unveiling of the Turbo S from Porsche Exclusive. Boasting the aggressive Aerokit II body addenda, power and torque were hiked to 450bhp and 585Nm respectively, numbers that ensured this model a place among the quickest of 911s.

To read our Porsche 993 Index in full, including expert market analysis and tips of prospective owners, pick up Total 911 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it to your digital device now.

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