Porsche is famous for launching a special edition just about every six minutes, and in the late 1980s they launched quite a few for 1988. First off, they created a special edition of the 944 Turbo. The new option M758 “Turbo S” included a new turbocharger with redesigned vanes and a remapped DME which increased boost to a max of 1.82 bar. The resulting M44/52 had 30 more horsepower and 15 lb.ft torque to a max of 247 and 258, respectively. But the “S” package was far more than just more boost, as the cooling system was revised, the clutch and transmission were beefed up with hardened first and second gears.
Brakes were borrowed from the 928 S4 and now measured 12″ in front with four piston aluminum calipers. Wheels were Club Sport 16″ forged, polished and anodized units measuring 7 inches in front and 9 in the rear. Suspension was also beefed up with the M030 package; this included adjustable rebound Koni shocks and adjustable perch coilovers in front. Limited slip differentials (Code 220) were not standard, but a must-select option.
Within the already limited edition S (of which about 1,900 were shipped to the US), there was another special edition. The “Silver Rose” launch cars took all of the special aspects of the M758 S package and added a unique color (Silver Rose Metallic, LM3Z) and a very unique Burgundy Studio Check interior. Outside of the Turbo Cup cars, these very limited original models have become the most desirable of the 944 Turbos:
For those that haven’t had the pleasure of driving a 944 Turbo S, allow me to describe the sensation. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be the stone in a sling shot, it’s a pretty good analogy. My first drive in a S saw me pull up to a merge onto a secondary highway. The slightest gap opened in traffic, and since I was in a Porsche I naturally thought that half a car length with the closing traffic at 65 m.p.h. seemed doable. Clutch out, foot on the floor, and….nothing. I thought I stalled the car. I had just enough time to look down in disbelief, feel the blood draining from my head and look into the mirror, uttering “Oh…shi” when BAM – the car came on boost. Like the intro to Star Trek – The Next Generation, the front of the car stretched towards the sky and elongated as I rocketed forwards. How that manifests itself on track leads towards a very odd driving style. At my favorite track, Lime Rock Park, for example, in the Turbo S you need to be on throttle when you should be off throttle. Otherwise, if you wait for the car to be where you would normally hit the throttle, you’re halfway down the straight. The best example of where this odd throttle usage comes into play is in “Big Bend”. A decreasing radius corner, if you nail the throttle after the first apex, normally you’d spear straight off the road. The last thing you want to do when those front tires need to bite in a car with 250 horsepower is lift the nose up. But when you nail the throttle in the 944 Turbo, it doesn’t have 250 horsepower. It has 10. Maybe 12. So, you plant the throttle, turn in and as you’re about to hit the apex BAM, the boost comes on, helping to rotate the rear end and you can throttle out of the corner. Perhaps it was Porsche’s way of imparting 911 “don’t lift” DNA into the front engine turbocharged wonder! Regardless of how you drive it, though, these 944 Turbos make great friends for track adventures:
Ultra-low mileage cars always present a bit of a conundrum. Lust worthy? Without a doubt; I certainly look at every car that I have owned and wished that it was effectively in brand-new condition with no prior signs of ownership or the years that have passed. But what’s the cost of having had someone lovingly look after the car you’d desire today? Well, it’s relative in some regards. Let’s look at this 1988 944 Turbo S and break it down – is this mega-priced 944 Turbo S Silver Rose Edition still the giant killer it was 27 years ago?
Though I’ve recently posted two low mileage white 944s, neither for me is better than this to me. The 17,000 mile creampuff 1983 was certainly impressive, especially considering how few good condition 1983 come to market. But at $15,000, I’d probably look for an admittedly less perfect but good driver-condition 944 Turbo. So what about the ridiculously low mileage 1988 Turbo I looked at last week? Certainly that would fit the bill – or a lot of bills, considering the reported $40,000 asking price. No, a few things were off; I’d rather have a car with moderate mileage that I wasn’t afraid of driving, and if I was going for a turbo it would either be an early car with Fuchs, or a much preferred “S” example. And of the later Turbos, I can say without any hesitation this is my favorite; the “Silver Rose” 1988 Turbo S was stunning not only in performance, but in looks as well. The light pinkish grey exterior was set of by polished and forged Club Sport wheels that alone were a huge upgrade over the late Phone Dials in my opinion. Under the hood the boost was turned up; now churning out 247 horsepower, this was the hottest hatch you could get in the 1980s. To help keep it under control, the M030 adjustable suspension and 928S4 brakes were added to the package. But aside from all of the technical and exterior appearance bits that made the ’88 special, it was the interior that was really the piÃ¨ce de rÃ©sistance. The special pink gradient plaid interior was, and still is, the most amazing interior you could get in these 944 Turbos to me. Today, if you’re looking for a collectable 944 Turbo – or 944 at all – look no further:
One of the more rare-to-see models in the 944 lineup is the 1988 Silver Rose edition Turbo S. In October I wrote up a lower-mile Silver Rose that remains for sale, but now there are two on Ebay. In that earlier post, I suggested these Turbo S models are going to be more highly sought after because of the rarity of the color combination. Despite this, in a bang-for-buck comparison to it’s direct competitors – the Audi Quattro and BMW M3 – the 944 Turbo remains a solid value and outperforms either in stock form. In fact, I’d argue it’s a much better all-arounder if you’re only carrying two people. It gets better mileage, will out-turn both, has a sizeable hatch area, is more comfortable and relaxed on the highway, and will handily out accelerate either. Still, as it was the go-to car for such a long time, mint condition examples are drying up and expect to see values climbing very soon. So which of the two Silver Rose editions will be the one for you – lower miles or lower asking price? Let’s start with the old “cheaper is better” adage:
In the not-particularly rarefied world of 944 Turbos, you can usually find a nice example for sale just about any day of the week. While not imported in overwhelming numbers, there seem to be more good condition 944 Turbos up for sale at any given point than E30 M3s, 190E 16Vs, E28 M5s, E24 M6s, and Audi Quattros – combined. That’s because for as much of a performance bargain as the 944 Turbo is today, in the 1980s it was even moreso; a giant slayer that was cheaper than most of the direct competition. That led to many being sold and consequently, today there are many nice ones available in just about your choice of color for under $15,000. But if you’re a collector, there are two turbos that stand apart from the crowd; the unobtanium Turbo Cup factory race cars, and the 1988 Silver Rose edition Turbo S. Today there is a lower mile Turbo S just waiting for your deposit on Ebay:
Model: 944 Turbo S
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 43,847 mi
Price: $20,000 Buy It Now
Super clean and only 43874 miles with rare silver pink metallic paint only 1000 finished in this color you won’t find a nicer 944 turbo s out there it speaks for itself call with any questions 914-218-0053 thanks for looking
Yes, it’s slightly pink. Yes, the interior is pretty darn polarizing. But in terms of value, there aren’t any streetable 944 Turbos that are worth more than these. 1988 saw a host of improvements to the Turbo, including more power and the M030 suspension standard, along with new anodized wheels. This car appears to be all original and with under 50,000 miles, they don’t come much fresher than this. Though not much maintenance history is described, this car appears to be well cared for and in completely unmolested original form. That’s fairly rare for any Turbo 25 years on. $20,000 may seem like a lot of coin for a 944 Turbo, and indeed you could probably get two 1986s for the same amount. But consider what a collector status E30 M3 would cost, and this car is an absolute steal. The Silver Rose may not be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a collector grade 944 Turbo that can still be driven occasionally, here it is.