911 Turbo (Type 930) (1974–1989)
In 1974 Porsche introduced the first production turbocharged 911. Although called simply Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe, it was marketed as Porsche 930 (930 being its internal type number) in North America. The body shape is distinctive thanks to wide wheel-arches to accommodate the wide tires, and a large rear spoiler often known as a “whale tail” on the early cars, and “tea-tray” on the later ones. Starting out with a 3.0 L engine 260 PS (256 hp/191 kW), these early cars are known for their exhilarating acceleration coupled with challenging handling characteristics and extreme turbo lag. For 1978, capacity rose to 3.3 L 300 PS (296 hp/221 kW), and an intercooler was added which was placed under the rear spoiler.
Production figures of the basic 930 soon qualified it for FIA Group 4 competition, with the racing version called the Porsche 934 of 1976. Many participated at Le Mans and other races including some epic battles with the BMW 3.0 CSL “Batmobile”. The wilder FIA Group 5 version called Porsche 935 evolved from the 2.1 L RSR Turbo of 1974. Fitted with a slope nose, the 500+ PS car was campaigned in 1976 by the factory, winning the world championship title. Private teams went on to win many races, like Le Mans in 1979, and continued to compete successfully with the car well into the 1980s until the FIA and IMSA rules were changed.
Only in 1989, its last year of production, was the 930 equipped with a five-speed gearbox. The 930 was replaced in 1990 with a 964 version featuring the same 3.3 L engine. There have been turbocharged variants of each subsequent generation of 911.
In 1981, a Cabriolet concept car was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Not only was the car a true convertible, but it also featured four-wheel drive, although this was dropped in the production version. The first 911 Cabriolet debuted in late 1982, as a 1983 model. This was Porsche’s first cabriolet since the 356 of the mid-1960s. It proved very popular with 4,214 sold in its introductory year, despite its premium price relative to the open-top targa. Cabriolet versions of the 911 have been offered ever since.
It was during this time, that Porsche AG decided the long-term fate of the 911. In 1979 Porsche had made plans to replace the 911 with their new 928. Sales of the 911 remained so strong however, that Porsche revised its strategy and decided to inject new life into the 911 editions.