Photo Credit: HERE
Few words go together like Porsche and turbo. Tell anyone that you just bought a turbo, and they’re going to assume you’re referring to a top-the-line Porsche 911. With up to 580 hp on tap in today’s 911 Turbo S, you’re in for a wild ride. 0-60 happens in about 2.5 seconds (reading that line probably took you more time) and the 911 Turbo S keeps pulling all the way to 205 mph! That’s faster than the Ferrari 488 GTB, Lamborghini Huracan, and McLaren 570S. Despite being over 40 years old, the 911 Turbo’s legacy shows no signs of stopping and will likely carry over until the death of the 911.
The legacy of the 911 Turbo, like any Porsche, started with racing. In the 1970s, turbocharging technology took off in the racing world; famous for its ability to turn a 600 hp engine into a 1600 hp engine. With F1 cars now making 1000+ hp and Le-Mann cars flying down the Mulsanne Straight at speeds close to 400 kph, Porsche decided to buy in to the new trend. Their first real success came with the development of the 917/30, a racecar designed to compete in the popular Can-Am racing series. With 1580 hp on tap thanks to its turbocharged flat 12, the 917/30 whooshed by the competition and outright dominated the Can-Am series.
With turbocharging having achieved success throughout Porsche’s racing division, it was time for the 911 to get the turbo treatment, and Porsche began development in 1972, to meet FIA homologation requirements for the Porsche 935 racecar. Despite it being intended as a homologation car, the 1975 911 (930) Turbo became a real hit with automotive enthusiasts throughout the world. Like the 911 Turbos of today, the 930 turbo was famous for its mind-bending performance, making 256 hp back in 1975. However, it was also a bit of a handful to drive due to the hilarious amount of turbo lag present. In 1975, there was no such thing as variable-vain turbos or active engine mounts, heck, there wasn’t even traction control meaning that if the boost kicked in mid corner, you were bound to climb a tree at 100 mph.
There is no doubting that the 911 Turbo was a great car, but it did have one problem: it was too docile. Featuring all wheel drive, a nice, luxurious interior, the 911 Turbo was more of a grand tourer designed for places like the Autobahn rather than the Nurburgring. It was quite a shame too, because of the performance potential of turbocharged engines. It took Porsche about 20 years to realize this potential, and once they did, the 911 GT2 was born. To make the 911 GT2, Porsche took the 993 911 Turbo, and put it on a diet. The rear seats were ripped out and Porsche’s sophisticated all wheel drive system was thrown out the window, along with every other “luxury” feature to cut down on weight. As a result the newly created 911 GT2 weighed in at a feathery 2844 lbs, 467 lbs lighter than the current 911 turbo, and was a whole lot faster too. As its name suggested, the 911 GT2 was built to compete in the GT2 which it did very well, not to mention it was a killer road car.
The 930 Turbo, was just the beginning. After it came the 911 GT2, after the GT2, there was the 911 GT1 that we wrote about last week, and after that, the 911 Turbo S and GT2RS, which are some of the fastest cars on the road today. Like I said, few words go together better than Porsche and turbo.
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