“It’s nearly impossible to underestimate the Ferdinand Porsche’s influence on the development of the automobile. The most popular car of all time – Volkswagen Beetle – is only one of his works. Since 1948, along with his son Ferry, he has started a car-manufacturing company, focusing on sports cars from the very beginning. Although the first Porsche car – the 356 – was mainly based on the Beetle, it differed in many ways from its progenitor, as it was much faster and more comfortable. However, it was only the iconic 911 model, designed by Ferdinand’s grandson, that showed the true potential of Porsche cars. The 911 model line lasts for over 50 years now and still amazes by how it combines performance with unbelievable reliability. And it still has the 6-cylinder boxer engine behind the rear axle.

There were some more conventional cars in the history of Porsche with a front engine: it’s the 924/944/968 series and the luxurious 928 coupe. None of those was such a great hit as the 911, but all of them share the same outstanding Porsche quality and near-perfect weight balance.”

Porsche 911

A classic Porsche 911 needs no advertising. Without any exaggeration we could call it the most recognizable sports car in the world. Perhaps even the best? For more than 50 years Porsche has been proving that this model is still setting a standard that others are trying to pursue…

A classic Porsche 911 needs no advertising. Without any exaggeration we could call it the most recognizable sports car in the world. Perhaps even the best? For more than 50 years Porsche has been proving that this model is still setting a standard that others are trying to pursue.

The history of the legendary 911 began with a small scandal which included Peugeot as one of the main characters. It protested against the initial “901” name claiming that all numeric markings with a zero in the middle are a patented trademark of the French company. Therefore the name was changed to “911”. The earliest version achieved 130 HP from a flat-4 engine and had single circuit brakes. Changes were introduced almost every year, with subsequent letters being added as a recognizable sign of successive series. Significant years in the history of the classic “911” are: 1972 (the introduction of a 2.4 engine with fuel injection), 1974 (a complete lifting), 1975 (a Turbo version), 1984 (a new 3.2 6-cylinder unit) and 1989 (end of production of the first 911 series). Cars from 1974-1989 are often called by an additional name of the G-Modell, a reference to the letter representing the production series.

The first large change came in 1989 with the premiere of the 911/964. The sale offer began to include an all-wheel drive and the construction of the car was largely inspired by solutions from the 959 rally supercar. A complete novelty was also the Tiptronic automatic gearbox, which could adapt to a driver’s style and allowed for a manual gear change. Already in 1991 two airbags became a standard feature. From the outside the 964 was little different than the previous 911 versions.

The last air-cooled generation was the 911 993 from 1994-1998. The exterior underwent a complete overhaul, but even more attention was devoted to the technology, introducing a totally new, multi-link rear suspension, which reduced lift-oversteer to a minimum. Meanwhile the engine, among others, received a VarioRam variable intake manifold.

Porsche remained loyal to air cooling as late as 1998, when the 911 993 model was replaced by the 911 996 with an water-cooled engine. Until this day the placement of the engine nor its boxer layout has not changed.

Engine: 3164cm3/B6
Power: 231KM/284NM
V-max: 245km/h
0-100km/h: 6,1 s
Year: 1986
Engine: 3600cm3/B6
Power: 250KM
Year: 1992
0-100km/h: 5,7 s
Engine: 3600cm3/B6
Power: 272KM/330NM
V-max: 267km/h
0-100km/h: 6,6 s
Year: 1995

Porsche 944

A front engine pushed back towards the bulkhead, the gearbox in the back – can you imagine a better distribution of mass in a sports car? In the 80s Porsche’s engineers achieved near perfection in designing a balanced out coupe…

A front engine pushed back towards the bulkhead, the gearbox in the back – can you imagine a better distribution of mass in a sports car? In the 80s Porsche’s engineers achieved near perfection in designing a balanced out coupe. At first it had the shape of the 924 model, which in 1981 evolved into a stronger and faster Porsche 944 with a completely new, 4 cylinder 2.5 engine. In reality it was quite simply… half of the V8 unit from the larger 928 model. Already in 1985 extensive changes were carried out, in order to improve the distribution of weight even more – for example aluminium elements were introduced in place of steel suspension arms. The cabin was also redesigned.

Successively more powerful and faster versions were introduced: in 1986 – the crazy 944 Turbo with a slightly terrifying torque curve, which consisted of a huge “turbo-lag” and rapid increase of torque (and power) after surpassing 3,000 rpm. A year later – the valued 944 S version with a 16-valve engine and in 1989 – the pinnacle achievement and most in demand today S2 variant, with the engine capacity increased to 3 litres, but still naturally aspirated, achieving 208 HP. Three liters and only 4 cylinders: sounds strange? Every person that has the chance to drive a 944 S2 will quickly change their opinion.

Engine: 2990cm3/R4
Power: 211KM/280NM
V-max: 240km/h
0-100km/h: 6,8s
Year: 1991
Engine: 2990cm3/R4
Power: 211KM/280Nm
V-max: 240km/h
0-100km/h: 6,8s
Year: 1991

Porsche 928

The concept for a large Porsche with an 8 cylinder engine in the front stemmed from the German’s producer concern that cars with engines in the rear would be forbidden in the USA after the scandal with the Chevrolet Corvair…

The concept for a large Porsche with an 8 cylinder engine in the front stemmed from the German’s producer concern that cars with engines in the rear would be forbidden in the USA after the scandal with the Chevrolet Corvair. These predictions did not come true, therefore it was decided that the 928 would be sold simultaneously with the 911, only targeted at a different client. Although it never achieved its sale goals, the car remained in Porsche’s sale offer for 18 years as profitable enough (1977-1995).

The power train in the V8 unit was designed from scratch, without the use of VW technology, contrary to the 924 model from 1976. Initially the engine achieved 222 HP from 4,5 litre capacity and was extremely durable thanks to thick cylinder walls and an excellently designed cooling system. A weak point was a highly complicated timing. Thanks to the transaxle layout (the gearbox integrated with the rear axle) used already in the 924 an optimal 50/50% weight distribution was achieved. The body was made partly from galvanized steel and partly from aluminium (doors, fenders, hood) in order to decrease the weight of the car. The increase of stability in sudden maneuvers was achieved by implementing passive rear wheel steering.

During 18 years of production many changes were made, enlarging the capacity of the engine first to 4.7 litres, later to 5.0 litres and finally to 5.4 litres. Already in 1980 the mechanical fuel injection was replaced with an electronic one. Numerous more powerful versions were produced – from the 928 S (in 1980, with 300 HP) to the top of the line 928 GTS model with a 350 HP engine, presented in 1991. Production closed off with 61 thousand units made.

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Engine: 4957cm3/V8
Power: 320KM/430NM
V-max: 275km/h
0-100km/h: 5,7 s
Year: 1990

Porsche 968

In 1991 the 944 model was replaced by the 968, which due its characteristic headlights was nicknamed “baby-928”. The headlights were no longer hidden under visors as they did in the 944 and 928 – they remained visible all the time and after being turned on raised up to a standing, vertical position…

In 1991 the 944 model was replaced by the 968, which due its characteristic headlights was nicknamed “baby-928”. The headlights were no longer hidden under visors as they did in the 944 and 928 – they remained visible all the time and after being turned on raised up to a standing, vertical position. The guidelines from the 944 were maintained: though the producer claimed that 80% of the parts were designed from scratch, in reality 968 was still the same car, though with several rather significant improvements. Most importantly all cars with a manual gearbox have six speeds, thanks to which they are even more quiet and economical in highway driving. Second – the 3.0 engine had been fitted with a variable valve timing VarioCam system on the inlet cam, so that the car would have a better reaction to the acceleration pedal, while the maximum power increased to 240 HP. The power source of the 968 model is the largest 4 cylinder gasoline engine in a post-war personal car.

Customers could optionally choose a 4 speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox and LSD.

Despite a fantastic driving experience and overall quality of workmanship, the 968 was not a success. Only 11 thousand were produced, which is nine times less than the entire production of the 944 model in the standard, S, S2 and Turbo versions.

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Engine: 2990cm3/R4
Power: 240KM/305NM
V-max: 252km/h
0-100km/h: 6,5 s
Year: 1993