The Porsche 944 is no stranger to GCFSB, with its superb balanced chassis mixed with everyday practicality. The turbocharged version is an entirely different proposition altogether, offering 911 levels of performance for much less cost nowadays. Here is a clean, low mileage example for sale that has been modified a bit to give it a performance edge, but all the original parts are included.
I have built an enthusiast website, www.vintageandsportscar.com and I’ve built a comprehensive page for this car in the portfolio section, as well as a few others that I have. Also there is a youtube video that you can link to.
The turbocharged version of the Porsche 944 was introduced to the press in January 1985 at St. Paul de Vence in the South of France. It was immediately hailed as one of the best cars Porsche had ever produced. It offered the same performance as the classic 911 Carrera, but with greater efficiency, comfort and less noise. It was also far more balanced and could achieve faster lap times as the handling was so predictable. In period road tests professional drivers were able to lap up to 2 sec faster in a 944 Turbo than in the 930 Turbo. With less experienced drivers the gap would be greater as the 930 was much more of a handful than the well balanced and predictable 944 Turbo
Porsche did their usual thorough job testing the 944 Turbo on the race track with several very popular one-make racing series in North America and Europe. Unique to the Porsche commitment to motorsport as development tool, they raced the 944 Turbo for a full year before introducing the model to the public.
Race testing at the 24 hour “Longest Day” of Nelson Ledges in Ohio led to new Aluminium rear suspension arms and a modification to the cylinder block casing which was made 1mm thicker, and a revised sump with more fins for air cooling.
To transform the normally aspirated 150hp 944 engine to achieve 220hp, Porsche used a new KKK turbo running maximum boost of 10.7psi, controlled digitally with Bosch Motronic engine management with anti-knock sensors. The turbo was mounted on the left side of the engine just below the intake manifold to reduce the problems of turbo bearings overheating. An oil supply of 6 litres per minute was fed to the Turbo bearings as well as water cooling from a separate reservoir after the engine was turned off, keeping bearing temperatures below 170 deg C. An intercooler was added that dropped the temperature of the intake charge 50 deg C at 140mph.
The clutch increased in diameter and the brakes were also upgraded with Brembo-souced aluminium 4 piston callipers with thicker and larger rotors. Road and Track went as far as to say that a new standard of “exceptional” needed to be added to their road test report to describe the 944 Turbo’s braking performance, as it “established a new standard which other cars will be measured”.
Total production came to 23,319 units, almost double the number of the 924 Turbo.
The 944 Turbo is one of today great buys, with sub 6 sec 0-60mph acceleration and a top speed of near 160mph, for roughly half what a 911 costs today, despite being priced higher when new.
Dry Weight 2,924lbs
Power 220hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque 243 lb/ft @ 3,500 rpm
0-100 km/hr 5.9sec
1-160 km/hr 14.2 sec
Standing Kilometer 25.8 sec
Maximum Speed 157 mph
Fuel Economy 15.2 mpg
About this 944 Turbo: This car has had one enthusiastic and fastidious owner for the last 16 years. The car was properly driven, maintained by Porsche specialists, and carefully stored. It has a clean Carfax. The car was purchased with 11,000miles on it, and now has covered just less than 25,000miles. It is in extraordinary condition, and unbelievably retains all of the original manuals, cards, stickers etc. from delivery. The white gloves Porsche thoughtfully supplied as part of the tire-change kit are still in the wrapper. It is still on its original Pirelli P7 tires. Quite simply, this 944 Turbo is one of the best extant today, and offers tremendous value, and even upside potential since very few of these cars remain in pristine condition.
At approximatley 10,000 miles the car was treated to some performance modifications to bring it up to “Turbo S” Spec. These modifications include:
-Turbo S struts, coil over shocks, torsion bars
-Weltmeister adjustable sway bars
-Weltmeister performance chip
-1 bar wastegate spring
-K&N cold air intake
-Performance brake pads
A dyno run was done on the car showing peak torque at 300 lb/ft and 248 hp at the wheel.
Apart from the performance modifications, the car drives as new. The engine shows no drivability issues, and starts up, idles and revs as new. The car doesn’t smoke upon start up or any other time. The car uses no measureable amount of oil. There are no leaks from the drivetrain, and the underside of the car is dry. The turbocharger and wastegate function correctly and will register up to 1 bar of boost before bleeding off excess pressure. The transmission and clutch operate correctly and there no balking changing gear. The car brakes straight. It does not pull to one side.
While the car has less than 1000 miles since its last service, it was in 2009, so the next owner should probably replace the oil, coolant and brake fluid. The A/C on the car was removed but it included with the sale, as are the original suspension, exhaust and air intake. The plastic underbody fairings have been removed to help keep the engine by cooler, and are included. The cars ride height has been set to its lowest level on the adjustable coil overs. The car will scrape easily. There is a minor draw on the battery, and after approximately 10 days the battery will discharge. The car has aggressive brake pads fitted and they squeel at low speeds. The timing belt was replaced about 5 years ago, with only a few thousand miles less than the current mileage. Both the sunroof switch and the power mirror switch operate intermittently.
The next owner could very well opt to put the vehicle back to stock, and would have no trouble as all the original parts are included. Alternatively the drivetrain modifications could be left in place, but the suspension height adjusted for more ground clearance and the A/C re-installed to make the car a fast and comfortable grand tourer. In its current configuration the car offers the maximum performance and handling.
The asking price of $15,000 is strong money for such an example, even considering the low mileage. With one day left and no bids, I’m guessing the seller may have to lower expectations a little to keep in line with the market. Even as good as these cars are, they will most likely not command 911 money anywhere in the near future.