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Porsche 911 Turbo through the decades

2007 Porsche 911 997 Turbo, Shardeloes, Buckinghamshire, UK

1974 Porsche 911 Turbo #1 chassis no. 911 560 0042
1974 Porsche 911 Turbo #1 chassis no. 911 560 0042. First owned by the late Louise Piëch (older sister of Ferry Porsche), the 2.7-litre 911 Turbo prototype is now on display in the Porsche Museum

Inspiration for this feature came from the post published by Porsche in December 2020. It covers the seven generations of the legendary 911 Turbo from inception in the mid-1970s right up to the current 992 model. No apology is made for using some of the text from the original feature, as this includes the unparalleled comments from rally legend, Walter Röhrl, who assisted with the development and testing of these models over the years.

1974 Porsche 911 Turbo #1 chassis no. 911 560 0042
1974 Porsche 911 Turbo #1 chassis no. 911 560 0042. First owned by the late Louise Piëch (older sister of Ferry Porsche), the car was photographed in the underground car park of the Porsche Museum where it is now on display

The experience gained from the turbo technology used in the 917/10 and 917/30 in 1972 and 1973 in the Can-Am series in the USA, paved the way for this technology to be used in a road car application. During this time, Porsche perfected the use of turbocharging in motorsport, ironing out many of the challenges associated with this technology. In the spring of 1975, a quarter of a century after Porsche began building cars in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the 911 Turbo was launched.

1976 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0-litre Coupé
1976 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0-litre Coupé

It is today 46 years since the first 930 Turbo was launched, and one of its early customers, Walter Röhrl, bought his first Turbo in ’79. He recently gathered an enviable group of seven 911 Turbos at the Porsche Experience Centre at the famous Hockenheimring. Although this author makes no claims to being able to analyse any of those 911 Turbos, but I have been fortunate enough to drive some, and so, we can bring our own flavour to this feature with some additional comments.

The 930 generation

Walter Röhrl: “The forefather of all Turbos was a technical revolution in car production. The first variant with 260 PS and a four-speed gearbox was still very sharp as regards its power development, but that made it a fantastic challenge for skilled drivers. The visual styling of the 930 was also a dream: the flared wings in combination with the Fuchs wheels, not to mention the large rear spoiler. I fulfilled a very personal dream in 1979 when, within four years of the market launch, I bought my own, first, 911 Turbo.”

1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0-litre Coupé
1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0-litre Coupé in the grounds of Porsche Werk 7, Ludwigsburg

The 930 was powered by a 3.0-litre flat-six engine, and with 260 PS under the engine cover, a top speed of 155 mph was possible. The all-important number was of course the acceleration figure of 0-62 mph in a blistering 5.5 seconds, which for a production car, was astonishingly quick in 1975. The 930 also looked the business with a rear wing that was larger than on the ’73 Carrera RS, ensuring that the car stayed glued to the road. The first generation 930, from 1975-1977, kept the 3.0-litre engine but from 1978-1988, the Turbo was fitted with a 3.3-litre engine.

Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3
The G model – Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3

This writer’s first experience of the 930 Turbo was in 1976, when as a car-mad 19-year old, I witnessed a dark green 930 laying down a strip of rubber in the town where I lived. Porsches were quite uncommon in South Africa at that time, attracting a 110% import tax, and so when this sleek 930 came around the corner and the driver floored the accelerator, I was transfixed as it disappeared down Station Road in a flash of colour…and tyre smoke! Up until that time, there was nothing else on the road that could accelerate like the 930, and from that day onwards, it was my all-time favourite 911.

1975 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0
1975 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 undergoing testing in Weissach

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