1975 – 1989 Porsche 930 Turbo

Porsche 930 Turbo

1978 Porsche 930 Turbo LM 3.3L
1978 Porsche 930 Turbo LM 3.3L

Development of the Porsche 930 

After returning to Porsche in 1971, Ernst Fuhrmann’s decision to improve the Porsche 911S resulted in the Porsche Carrera RS 2.7 which proved to be the special unicorn that Porsche was looking for improving its cash flow. Following the competition and sales success of the Porsche Carrera RS 2.7, the RS Porsche Carrera 2.8, and Porsche Carrera RS 3.0 followed. These cars proved too successful and earned a racing reputation for the Porsche 911 series.

When Ernst Fuhrmann returned to Porsche, the company had already conquered the European Interserie and the North American Can-Am series with their Porsche 917 Spyders.

Observing the racing success of the car, Ernst Fuhrmann came up with his next brilliant idea. He gathered the engineering team and asked them to apply the turbocharging technology developed for the Porsche 917 Spyders to their road cars to make them faster and more powerful.

Ferdinand Piech and Valentin Schaffer were the masterminds behind the turbocharging project to make the Porsche 917 more powerful instead of using a heavier V16 engine.

The engineers and designers pointed out that turbocharging may need more space in the engine compartment and there wasn’t enough room for it. It was impossible according to them. Ernst Fuhrmann then observed the engine compartment of a Porsche 911S and told them that there must be enough room.

Hans Mezger and Valentin Schaffer made room for a big KKK turbocharger when developing the next iteration of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS series, called Porsche 911 Carrera RSR.

Porsche 911 Carrera RSR was equipped with a 2.1-liter variant of the flat-six engine, to meet the FIA regulations to compete in under 2.0-liter class events.

1973 Porsche 911 RSR
1973 Porsche 911 RSR

The Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.1 was wider than the normal Porsche 911, and it was fitted with a massive swollen rear fender extension and a large rear wing to keep the car grounded by improving the downforce. Ernst Fuhrmann was embarrassed with the flamboyant rear fender extensions and mostly about the bigger rear wing. He ordered to paint it black to make it less prominent.

He also told them to update the series production Porsche 911 series to make enough room in the engine compartment for turbocharging. This would allow the Porsche 911 Turbo cars to compete as the homologized cars in FIA production class events.

Turbocharging and necessary modifications to make enough room for the turbocharger in the engine compartment were fallen to the hands of Herbert Ampferer. Being the leader of the project Type 930, he asked Fuhrmann whether the car will get air conditioning or a rear window wiper.

Fuhrmann assured him that the new Type 930 being a limited production run of just 200 units, purposefully build for FIA homologation requirements, has to have basic driver controls and aids only to keep the weight down.

The sales and Marketing department inspired by the sales success of the Porsche 991 Carrera RS 2.7, pointed out that producing a high-performance car with air conditioning and a rear wiper may result in increased demand and sales.

So, Herbert Ampferer started over again to complete the necessary demands and goals of the project.

Hans Mezger and Valentin Schaeffer were in charge of improving the Porsche 911 engine. They increased the cylinder bore to 95 mm which resulted in an overall engine displacement of 2994cc. This new Type 930/50 engine delivered 260hp at 5500rpm.

Porsche 930 Turbo engine
Porsche 930 Turbo engine

The naturally aspirated Porsche 911 cars were equipped with five-speed Type 915 transmission units, but the stronger power delivery and torque required a much stronger four-speed Type 930/30 transmission unit.

The rear wheels were eight-inch wider and came equipped with 215/60 VR15 tires. The wider rear wheels were to cope with the extra torque and extra horsepower. To make room for the wider tires, the rear of the car received 5 inches wider rear wheel arches. The wider body also resulted in improved stability of the car, taming its tail-happy handling traits.

1978 Porsche 930 Turbo LM 3.3L rear
1978 Porsche 930 Turbo LM 3.3L rear

The small ducktail was now evolved into something wider, flatter, and slightly kicked up at the rear end. This design improved the downforce massively and thus resulted in better road grip and overall handling of the car. The new rear wing was now commonly known as the whale tail by the Porsche enthusiasts, but in Germany, it was nicknamed the antlers for some weird reason.

Porsche 930 Turbo could achieve 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and the top speed was now 155mph.

Porsche 930 Turbo

The Porsche 930 Turbo with its exterior design inspired by the looks of the 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR 3.0 which was unveiled in the 1973 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries came up with an embargo in response to the Western support of Israel. This happened in October 1973 soon after the Frankfurt Auto Show was closed.

To deal with the situation the West German government came up with strict limitations on fuel purchases and driving on Sundays and public holidays to keep the fuel use down to save the already purchased stocks. The political and economic collapse of the European and American markets resulted in increased prices for raw materials and increased transportation and service costs.

Strict emission, highway safety regulations along the public demand for fuel-efficient compact cars eventually crippled the income of many major automotive firms such as GM and Ford.

Despite this economic crisis, Porsche delivered the early production batch of Porsche 930 Turbo to the European customers in late August 1974 as 1975 model year cars. The price of the Porsche 930 Turbo was DM 65,800 or $25,500 at the time. Despite the supercar level of acceleration along with decent 155mph top speed, the car was capable of doing 26mpg according to Porsche due to its smart turbocharging technology.

Despite the higher price tag, Porsche sold 274 Porsche 930 Turbo cars for the 1975 model year followed by another 654 cars for the 1976 model year. The US market also received 520 Turbo cars in the same year.

The main difference between the European spec car and the US-spec car was the prominent front and rear bumpers of the US-spec car to withstand crashes at 5mph without damaging internal components or safety-related equipment such as taillights, headlights, and indicators. This difference was done to comply with new US safety and highway regulations.

1976 Porsche 930 Turbo US spec
1976 Porsche 930 Turbo US-spec

To comply with new emission requirements, US-spec cars received catalytic converters reducing the power output to 234hp maximum at 5500rpm compared to the EU spec Porsche 930 Turbo’s 260hp maximum output at 5500rpm.

Porsche 930 Turbo EU spec and US-spec cars had air conditioning and rear wiper as standard along with many other creature comforts. The only option available was a sunroof.

1976 Porsche 930 Turb US spec rear
1976 Porsche 930 Turbo US-spec rear

For the 1978 model year, it received a newly revised engine, with an increased bore up to 97 mm from 955 mm, and increasing stroke from 70.4 mm to 74.4 mm. This resulted in increased engine displacement up to 3299cc. Maximum power output was now measured at 300hp at 5750rpm.

1982 Porsche 911 SC Turbo 3.3 Turbo
1982 Porsche 911 SC Turbo 3.3 Turbo

Porsche also introduced a new Flachbau aka flat nose option for all the markets. EU customers also got a new performance kit option that increased performance up to 330hp at 5570rpm.

Porsche 911 SC Cabriolet was introduced in 1983. Following its success, Porsche offered Porsche 930 Turbo in Cabriolet or Targa body variants for the first time for the 1987 model year.

Porsche 930 Turbo Cabriolet Flachbau front
Porsche 930 Turbo Cabriolet Flachbau front

Due to the strong demand and solid sales, Porsche 930 Turbo was sold until 1989.


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