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Porsche Centre Oakville is currently in the midst of a Classic Restoration Project featuring a true piece of 80’s sports car nostalgia, the Porsche 944. Bringing an historically significant vehicle of this stature back to perfect condition is no easy task – a lot of questions need answering.
It’s in that spirit that we’ve taken to the Internet to find the most frequently asked questions about the 944, putting together this blog post to answer them. Read on to find out more about the 944, including how many different 944 trims there are, which is the most powerful, what’s happening with the car’s value, and why you probably shouldn’t do an LS motor swap.
The Porsche 944 built between 1982 and 1991 offered a range of trims and power outputs as well as a stylish cabriolet model. Based heavily on the 924 platform, this front-engine rear-wheel-drive configuration allowed the 944 to perform beautifully while also looking the part.
The 944 S boasted a higher power output than the base model, delivering a brisk 190 hp and 169 lb-ft of torque.
Upgrading to the Porsche 944 S2 saw a further increase in power to 211 hp, derived from the largest production four-cylinder engine at the time. Along with a revised transmission built to handle the increase of power, as well as a limited slip differential, the 944 S2 was a venerable performance vehicle and a much sought after model at the time.
The S2 was also manufactured as a convertible model, based on the same design and partly manufactured by the American Sunroof Corporation in Weinsberg, Germany. During the first year of production in 1989, only 16 units were manufactured for the US market, making it quite a rare find today.
First introduced in 1986, the Porsche 944 Turbo was greatly revised in order to handle the increased power and improved overall dynamics. Improvements included external engine and transmission oil coolers, improved dynamics thanks to an integrated front bumper among other additions, Brembo 4-piston calipers and discs borrowed from the 911, and the widest turn signals fitted to any car at the time.
When it was released, the Porsche Turbo S offered a maximum of 250 hp and a respectable 242 lb-ft of torque. This was achieved with an upgraded turbocharger and a highly effective engine mapping allowing for full boost to be maintained all the way to 5,800 rpm. The driveline was also completely revised, allowing for a stiffer, more precise driving experience.
The Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet used the same 250 hp engine as the Turbo S, but fitted to a convertible body to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind experience in a stylish coupe convertible that drove just as good as it looked. Manufacturing for this model was extremely limited seeing none of the roughly 600 units built being delivered to North America.
Arguably the most powerful and capable 944 is the Turbo S. With a 250-hp engine, this automotive icon has a 0-60 mph (97 km/h) time of just 5.5 seconds, which is very commendable seeing as sports cars have only progressed to be just a little over 2.5 seconds quicker in almost 30 years. With a manual transmission fitted with a high-friction clutch disc, a limited slip differential and a dedicated external transmission oil cooler, the 944 had no trouble delivering that power. The chassis was stiffened to deliver a tighter driving experience while the 7-inch 225/50 front tires had no trouble controlling the power brought by the 9-inch wide 245/45 rear tires fitted in the rolled fenders, in order to accommodate their size.
As with any classic sports car, demand is always on the rise, so when choosing the right 944, one should always consider the power and trim options included as standard. Porsche has a habit of fitting their best options to their fastest models, so if looking for a Porsche 944, always look for the latest model in the best condition that fits your budget. Keep in mind that any non-standard modifications are a giveaway to a mistreated car. A full mechanical inspection is always recommended to get a better insight of the vehicle you are planning to purchase, and a full or even partial service history is always welcome. This will in turn allow you to visit the shop that maintained the vehicle, in order to source information about its condition, the way it was maintained and how much or how little it was neglected.
Classic sports cars have always been and will always be in demand, which brings us to the question of value. Purchasing a classic sports car from a distinguished manufacturer like Porsche is always a good investment so long as the car is close to its original condition. The worldwide demand for classic sports cars is always on a consistent rise, and in the last decade prices for certain models and examples have soared. Currently, models like this 1989 944 Turbo are being sold online for around US $79,990.
Here’s our take: LS Swapping your 944 is something that no Porsche or even classic sports car enthusiast would recommend due to an irreversible loss of value you would inflict to the vehicle. The originality, the very DNA of this exotic classic is diminished the moment it is fitted with an all-powerful LS. Having mentioned that, the 944 is one of the best examples for a high-powered project car. The platform is more than capable and can easily handle the power and torque of an LS, while the analogue nature of the chassis and components gives you the chance to easily modify and upgrade anything necessary to handle and control the increased power an LS would provide.
Date Posted: July 26, 2019