Five Generations of 911 Turbos

The stars lined up to see five generations of turbos

We recently had a lucky day where five generations of 911 turbos were in at the same time for servicing. Making it an even more rare circumstance is that they were all black. From left to right are 997 Turbo, 996 Turbo, 993 Turbo, 964 Turbo and 930 Turbo.

Some information on the various generations from Wikipedia:

930 Turbo (1975-1989)

Porsche began experimenting with turbocharging technology on their race cars during the late 1960s, and in 1972 began development on a turbocharged version of the 911. Porsche originally needed to produce the car in order to comply with homologation regulations and had intended on marketing it as a street legal race vehicle like the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS.

When the homologation rules changed, Porsche continued to develop the car anyway, deciding to make it a fully equipped variant of the 911 that would top the model range and give Porsche a more direct competitor to vehicles from Ferrari and Lamborghini, which were more expensive and more exclusive than the standard 911.

Although Porsche no longer needed the car to meet homologation requirements, it proved a viable platform for racing vehicles, and became the basis for the 934 and 935 race cars. Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche, who was running the company at the time, handed development of the vehicle over to Ernst Fuhrmann, who adapted the turbo-technology originally developed for the 917/30 CAN-AM car to the 3.0 litre flat-six from the Carrera RS 3.0, creating what Porsche internally dubbed as 930. Total output from the engine was 260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp), much more than the standard Carrera.

In order to ensure that the platform could make the most of the higher power output, a revised suspension, larger brakes and stronger gearbox became part of the package, although some consumers were unhappy with Porsche’s use of a 4-speed whilst a 5-speed manual was available in the “lesser” Carrera. A “Whale-Tail” rear spoiler was installed to help vent more air to the engine and help create more downforce at the rear of the vehicle, and wider rear wheels with upgraded tires combined with flared wheelarches were added to increase the 911’s width and grip, making it more stable.

964 Turbo (1990–1994)

In 1990 Porsche introduced a Turbo version of the 964 series. This car is sometimes mistakenly called 965 (this type number actually referred to a stillborn project that would have been a hi-tech turbocharged car in the vein of the 959). For the 1991 and 1992 model years, Porsche produced the 964 Turbo with the 930’s proven 3.3 L engine, improved to produce 320 PS (235 kW). 1993 brought the Carrera 2/4’s 3.6 L engine, now in turbo-charged form and sending a staggering 360 PS (265 kW) to the rear wheels. With the 993 on the way, this car was produced through 1994 and remains rather rare.

993 Turbo (1995–1997)

Turbo version of the 993 was launched in 1995 and became the first standard production Porsche with twin turbochargers and the first 911 Turbo to be equipped with permanent all-wheel-drive (the homologated GT2 retained RWD). The similarity in specification and in performance levels inspired several comparison road tests with the Porsche 959. The 3.6 L twin turbo M64/60 engine produced 408 PS (300 kW).

In 1997, Porsche introduced a limited run of 182 copies of the 993 911 Turbo S with even higher performance. The additions include a boost of 24 PS (17.7 kW) over the regular Turbo’s 400 PS (294 kW). There are some modifications to the body as well, which includes a scoop on the side right behind the doors for engine cooling and vents on the whale tail rear spoiler.

993 Turbo models, because of raw power, reliability and their nature as the final air-cooled 911 Turbo cars still command a massive premium.

996 Turbo (2001–2005)

In 2000, Porsche launched the Turbo version of the Type 996 for MY 2001. Like the GT3, the new Turbo engine derived from the 911 GT1 engine and, like its predecessor, featured twin-turbos and now developed 420 PS (309 kW). Also like its predecessor the new Turbo was only available with all-wheel drive. A US$17,000 factory option, the X50 package, was available that boosted the engine output to 450 PS (331 kW) with 620 N·m (457 ft·lb) of torque across a wide section of the power band.

With the X50 package in place the car could make 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 3.8 seconds. This package is named as Turbo S in Europe. Later on toward the end of the 996 life cycle, a 996 Turbo S coupe also returned to the US along with a new debut of the Turbo S Cabriolet boasting even more power— 450 PS (331 kW) and 620 N·m (457 ft·lbff)— than the regular Turbo. The Turbo can reach a top speed of 189 mph (304 km/h).

Styling-wise, the car was more individual than previous Turbos. Along with the traditional wider rear wings, the 996 Turbo had different front lights and bumpers when compared to the Carrera and Carrera 4. The rear bumper had air vents that were reminiscent of those on the Porsche 959 and there were large vents on the front bumper, which have been copied on the Carrera 4S and Cayenne Turbo.

997 Turbo

The Turbo version of the 997 series featured the same 3.6 L twin-turbocharged engine as the 996 Turbo, but this time it developed 480 PS (353 kW; 473 bhp) and 620 N·m (457 lb·ft) of torque. This was in part due to the 997’s VTG (variable turbine geometry), which essentially combines the low-rev boost and quick responses of a small turbocharger with the high-rev power of a larger turbocharger. As well as producing more power and flexibility, the new turbocharger improved fuel consumption over the 996 Turbo.

With these performance upgrades, it accelerates to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds (with the manual transmission) and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h (193 mph). However, these are official figures and Porsche is notable for being conservative about their power and performance ratings. Motor Trend Magazine has clocked the 997 Turbo’s 0–60 mph time in 3.2 seconds with the Tiptronic transmission. Jeremy Clarkson on his “Thriller” DVD, showed that on a de-restricted stretch of autobahn with just the right downwards gradient, the car maxed out 200 mph (320 km/h). The optional Sports Chrono overboost package increases torque to 680 N·m (500 lb·ft) for short periods (maximum 10 seconds) but over a narrower rev range.

The 997 Turbo features a new all-wheel-drive system, similar to the one found on the Porsche Cayenne. Featuring PTM (Porsche Traction Management) the new system incorporates a clutch-based system which varies the amount of torque to the wheels to avoid tyre slippage. This, according to Porsche, aids traction and the handling by redirecting the torque to control oversteer or understeer, thus resulting in far more neutral handling, as well as greatly improved performance in all weather conditions (as opposed to older AWD system which gave the Turbo stability under hard acceleration). However, in the facelifted 911 Turbo, launched in August 2009, the PTM system has now been tweaked to give more a more rearward power bias. The new 911 Turbo also has paddle shifters for the PDK double-clutch gearbox for the first time.

The new 911 turbo uses a completely different engine. The previous water-cooled turbos (996 and 997) measured 3600cc and were based on the so-called Mezger motor that powered numerous race cars. The new engine measures 3800cc and was first developed for the new carrera that was launched in 2008. The variable-vane twin turbochargers have also been extensively reworked to increase responsiveness, and the intercooler and fuel system have been uprated. It develops 493 bhp which is 20 bhp more than the previous model. The steering wheel also houses a display showing when Sport, Sport Plus and launch control have been selected through the optional Sport Chrono package. Porsche claims the new 911 turbo will go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds and reach a top-speed of 312 km/h (194 mph). However, several tests done by Auto-Magazines and unpartial testers have revealed that the 0–100 km/h acceleration-time is generally as low as 2.9 seconds.

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