The Porsche 930

The most refined use of turbocharging the world has seen.

Beautiful unrestored 1977 Porsche 930


The Porsche 930 made history. It was the first production car to make practical use of a turbocharger. First of all, let me answer the obvious question: "What's a 930?" Well, when you hear "930," that is referring to the factory "type" number given to production vehicles. For instance, when the original 911 was introduced in the sixties, it was called a "911", but often referred to as "type 901". In this case, "type 930" designates a 911 with a turbocharged engine. So you might see a turbocharged Porsche referred to as 930 or 911 Turbo--these designations mean the exact same thing.

1977 Porsche 930 rear view
1977 Turbo Carrera

For the 1976 production year, a new model, called the "Turbo Carrera" was available (type 930, but officially titled "Turbo Carrera"). The car was a 911, but a very special one. It was turbocharged. This new model had the 3.0 liter engine, modified suspension, fender flares, and the most well-known trademark of all, the whaletail. It developed 234 hp and 246 lb-ft torque. It could go from 0-60 in 6.7 seconds, and cruise to 156 mph. The car was fast, powerful, and extremely tail-happy. It was the first significant use of a powerful turbo engine the world had seen (production wise).

However, the 1976/77 Turbo Carrera was simply an intro to the "big" 930, the 1978 model. In 2 years of further development, the car was upgraded into a 3.3 liter, intercooled, turbocharged monster that could go from 0-60 in 4.9 seconds, and allow the speedo needle to soar past the 165 mark. This type 930 was now just titled "Turbo" on the rear decklid. Sadly, 1979 was the last year for the 930 in America. The 930 was discontinued in the US due mainly to emissions requirements. There are grey market 930's running all over the states, though.

1979 Porsche 930 engine After a 7 year absence, the Turbo finally returned in 1986. It was virtually the same model, sporting the 4 speed gearbox and a very nervous rear end. Yet by 1989, the car had a 5 speed box, 285 horsepower, a better suspension, better brakes, and wider tires. Performance was down from the Euro version due to strict emissions laws. It was unfortunately slower than the 1978-79 model. In 1990, no 911 Turbo showed up in the brochures. Sales were down, prices were up, and the 930 was, I guess, impractical.

But the engineers were busily at work. They were preparing the 1991 911 Turbo (No longer designated type 930), a car rolling on the 964 chassis, but with a 3.3 liter engine, instead of the 3.6 of the Carrera. They worked wonders with the exhaust system, and even with all the required emissions crap, the '91 Turbo arrived as the fastest and safest 911 yet.

1992 Porsche 911 Turbo
Beautiful 1992 911 Carrera 2 Turbo

Each year, we thought that the 911 Turbo was at its peak. Not yet so, because for 1993, the engine size was increased to 3.6 liters, and more power, more speed, and better handling was set forth. It now had 360 horsepower and 383 lb-ft torque. It had dual exhaust, better brakes (how???), and totally redone engine components. The 911 Turbo 3.6 (below), as it was now called, showed the world how much Porsche could improve on something already thought to be perfect.

1993 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 Liter
The first displacement upgrade for the Turbo in 15 years

The Turbo 3.6 led the way for 2 years, and was discontinued by 1995. At Geneva in 1995, Porsche introduced the 1996 911 Turbo. It had the updated 993 body style with flared fenders and a new, melted-look whaletail. The engine was of 993 variety, but this time with twin turbochargers! The car could SOAR to 60 miles an hour in 3.7 seconds, which to put in perspective is only ONE TENTH of a second slower than a $1Million Ferrari 333SP Prototype car!! It can run the 1/4 mile in the LOW 12s. Top speed? Well in excess of 180mph. I know, I know, you can't stop laughing. But you have to get used to it. It just doesn't give other cars a chance.

1996-98 911 Turbo
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