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The Porsche 911 Turbo is a car worth celebrating. But to appreciate its place in 2021, it’s helpful to understand how it got here.
Here’s a brief timeline of the Porsche 911 Turbo.
The 911’s heritage can be traced back to 1959, when Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche drew the first sketch. The vehicle itself was originally designated as the Porsche 901, and 82 cars were built and badged as such. When French automaker Peugeot protested on the grounds that France had exclusive rights to cars whose names were formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle, however, Porsche changed the badge to 911. Production began in 1964, with the first 911s being shipped to the US in 1965.
Over the next ten years, Porsche would continue to make numerous modifications to their newest sports car and eventually develop the ground-breaking Turbo model, sold as the Porsche 930 in North America. The Turbo came equipped with wide wheel arches to fit wider tires, and a large rear spoiler often referred to as a “whale tail.” The initial 3.0L air-cooled engine made 260 hp with help from the turbo. In 1978, the engine was upgraded to a 3.3L producing 300 hp, which saw use until 1989.
The 964 turbo was introduced in March 1990 as the successor to the 930. It arrived with some minor improvements from the previous model, but it still used the same 3.3L engine, with modifications that brought the power up to 316 hp.
In 1992, the Turbo S was introduced with upgraded injectors, aggressive camshafts, more boost, a lightened interior and lowered suspension. This combination gave the Turbo S 376 hp and made it one of the fastest cars of its time.
The 964 would see another drastic modification in January of 1993 when the engine was upgraded to a 3.6 turbo. This version of the 964 would only be produced for one model year, with fewer than 1,500 being made, making it one of the rarest 911s of all time.
The Porsche 993 Turbo marked the end of an era and the last of the air-cooled 911s. This new model was drastically improved over the 964, and overall quite different. According to Porsche, only 20 per cent of the parts were carried over from the previous generation. The new model received a light-alloy subframe, coil and wishbone suspension, a six-speed transmission, and a twin-turbocharged 3.6L generating 402 hp. The 993 turbo was one of the first production cars in the world that featured the OBDII diagnostics system.
The 996 Turbo was first unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September of 1999 and went on sale the following summer in the US. The styling was bold, and distinctly different from the classic 911 design. A few of the noticeable features are the bi-xenon headlights encased in the newly designed “fried egg” lights, an electrically adjustable rear spoiler on the US model. The 911 is powered by a water-cooled twin-turbo 3.6L flat 6, derived from the 1998 Le Mans-winning 911 GT1 race car. This new engine produced 414 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque putting it down to all four wheels.
The 997 incorporated what customers loved about the 996 and expanded on it. The new model kept the water-cooled GT1 “Mezger” engine and added upgraded BorgWarner VTG twin turbos fitted to a two-stage resonance intake system. This system reduced turbo lag and gave the Porsche 473 hp and 502 lf-ft of torque. The new styling also marked the return of the traditional 911 aesthetics that enthusiasts love.
The 991 marked a huge leap forward for Porsche. Active aero, a wider body, optional 16-inch ceramic brakes, rear active steering, an upgraded engine producing 520 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, and 0–60 in 3.2 seconds.
While the appearance changes for the 992 turbo are slight from its predecessor, the performance upgrades are instantly noticeable. The new generation Turbo will do 0–60 in 2.7 seconds thanks to the 3.8L flat-6, putting out 572 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, outperforming the previous generations Turbo S.
Interested in a 911 Turbo of your own? View our inventory of new and pre-owned models here.
Date Posted: January 26, 2021