Porsche 944 – Wikicars

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Porsche 944

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The launch of the 944 traded upon the new car being a ‘brand new model’, in an attempt to bury the of all front-engined Porsches not being Porsches – a fate had befallen the 924. The car was released for to European markets in November with the UK getting their in April 1982, and the USA in May 1982. of the 168BHP coupe went the roof, with a massive 944s being produced by the end of

To put this figure into the entire Porsche company just 28000 cars in

The 944 was given an entirely new marketing – with the emphasis on new owners, not existing enthusiasts. The new owners came in the form of the young, cash-rich city-dwellers by the stunning looks and presence of the

The 944 is quite rightly termed as the of Porsche – the massive reserves that this made during the 1980s the company afloat (just) the world recession of the early

Improvements over the out-going 924 plain to see – beginning the flared front and rear arches. These became the of the 944, and pulled in the buyers due to the stance and powerful presence gave the car. Other were small but significant on US models, the ugly 924 side were replaced with bumper-line examples.

A rear lining the lift-glass, made the look more functional and Drag coefficient was reduced to over the 924, and the body were zinc-coated in all markets to corrosion.


Throughout the of the 944, many models produced to slightly change aspects of the car – be it performance or or purely to produce more These are highlighted below.

Pre-1985 – The Early

The pre-1985 vehicles were the 944s produced, and as such are the basic of the entire expansive range. Externally, the cars supplied with electric and the rear spoiler, along the distinctive ‘Cookie Cutter’ wheel design, which be painted with black or centres, or just left silver. Black-centred Fuchs alloys, as seen on the 911, optional.

Two types of front-valance available – one with a twin line grille, or one driving lamps inset to it. A under-valance was optional – was colour-coordinated to the bodywork, and featured a of vertical slats, each by black-painted mesh. A major over the 924 was the fitment of a flush

Interior-wise, very few changes made over the 924 – the dashboard was retained, however new colours and leather options available. Interior noise was reduced over the 924, by adding more sound but also by Porsche choosing to the engine mounts.

The engine although not quite living up to the rumours of a V6, was an inline four-cylinder in essence half of the Porsche V8 powerplant. Particular attention was to refinement – one of the Porsche great bugbears. A breakthrough in the form of TOP – Thermally Porsche.

This was a study by the in 1980 to find the optimum for the compression ratio, air and fuel cylinder head design and timing, and the 944’s 2.5 litre was the first Porsche engine to from the research. As mentioned the engine mounts were in the name of refinement, to a softer synthetic material, more to the absorption of engine-based vibrations.

power output of the engine was for the European market car, and for the USA market car. A boast for the was the then-remarkable 12,000 mile intervals.

The Porsche 944 Lux


1985 the 944’s first upgrade. entailed a complete revamp of the charts and interior options, as as the alloy wheel design the range-standard ‘Telephone Dial’ wheel was added to the range. changes to the powerplant involved to the material used to manufacture the valves.

The most significant arrived in the form of a completely new design, dominated by a smooth, oval dashboard. This all ties with the 924, and the move upmarket for the 944. The new design improved ventilation and leg room – something was limited by the now-dated square design.

The dash provided ergonomics for the instruments, with all components placed either the gearstick or on the strip running the dash, moving the buttons to an arm’s stretch from the

For 1986, the ‘Lux’ coupe was out of the limelight by the new 944 Turbo – a refined product’ as period branded it. The Turbo featured a 2.5 litre four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged standard unit but strengthened internals to cope the onslaught of power.

Other differences over the 944 coupe was the smooth bumpered look at the end, larger brakes, ‘Telephone Dial’ alloys and a which was identical to that of a 911 Although the car was a super performer in 5.5 secs), the buyers stayed – mainly due to the the fact the ‘superior’ 911 was the same price. in that price were of standard equipment, Recaro sports seats, a new, spoke ‘Lozenge’ steering

The model also brought doorcards and a distinctive rear to the fray.

Later in 1986, the 944 S updating the 944 range with a 2.5 litre engine. It’s specs placed it right the 8 valved models, NA and turbo’ed It provided a smoother delivery of power then the Turbo. could be a handsfull at the moment boost would kick in.

A 2.7 8 valve engine (a bored-out was offered to European markets it retained the same horse as the 2.5, but had slightly increased There were some that this 2.7 initially had reliability issues, and as it was least of all naturally aspirated 8 valve the unique engine parts, as the cyllinderhead are more sought and as such more expensive.

But the 944 was to face the same fate as its – Porsche had not advanced to quick enough to keep up competition, and the car was very expensive for it was, Porsche or not. began to fall in 1987, and with some sparkling editions in various markets, with the new 8v 2.7 engine, the slide unstoppable for the 944. A severe was planned for the 1990s.


The 944 Turbo

The covers were off the 944’s next-generation model in 1989, the stunningly contemporary 944 S2. as a company, were heading tough times and were on the 944 S2 and the new 911, the 964, to make money just to stay The new car had a development of the 944 S 16-valve engine, out from 2.5 litres to 3.0 litres.

To cut costs, the entire cylinder was taken directly from the V8, and the 16-valve engine provided performance with greater economy over the outgoing litre engine. A catalytic was fitted as standard on every S2 regardless of destination market and the Bosch Motronic ignition was modified to include twin sensors as well as storing which could be read, via a uplink, at services. Peak was 211BHP.

Upgrades to this engine in 1990, when the intake was modified, a larger oil cooler was and an automatic three-sensor knock was integrated into the ignition

The 944 S2 featured the smooth front and rear underspoiler, previously as standard, along with a new alloy wheel design the stylish ‘Design 90′. charts were boosted by new variations, as well as an exciting – the ‘colour match to option, which would a buyer to have the car painted in a to match any size of sample.

As a a large number of gaudy cars left the Neckarslum proving that some have more money taste. Very few interior were made, apart a rear luggage blind, and 1990-onwards, standard lift-out and split folding rear backs.

A headline model of the S2 was the Cabriolet, a model 944 buyers had for since the car’s inception in The Cabriolet, engineered by American Company, was rumoured to be two years in arriving on the market due to unprecedented flex problems. The finished despite being 70 KG heavier the coupe, displayed no obvious of such problems, and its clean found a place in many

The looks came at a price, with the boot being almost useless, and rear with an upright roof

The 944 S2 brought an enticing option to the lists, in the shape of the ‘ClubSport’, to emulate the successful ‘Turbo 944 Turbo-based racing series. The deleted all sound-deadening, removed all components and included the addition of bucket seats. Very few of cars were built.

Meanwhile, the 944 Turbo was generating sales year-on-year for Porsche to the model in early 1988. The 944 had been the basis of the highly and highly entertaining F1-supporting Cup’, very similar to ‘GT3 Supercup’. A decision was to uprate the power of the racing and it was decreed that the power should be passed on to the customers.

culminated in the Porsche 944 Turbo S, as the Turbo SE in the UK, and called ‘Silver by enthusiasts. The Turbo SE (standing for Equipment) was manufactured with an engine (with 250BHP), Koni suspension, a new ‘machined’ Design 90 alloys, forged magnesium, front and rear ‘Big Red’ brakes and suspension bushes.

Also, the were supplied in an eye-catching Rose’ metallic paint in essence a silvery-pink hue – a matching ‘Studio’ cloth again in a burgandy pink. All featured a stylised ‘Turbo’ on the wing, as a throwback to previous Porsches. The Turbo S cost a 10% more than a standard – moving the price to than that of a contemporary 911 but Porsche managed to shift 1000 of the cars.

Customer were met midway through as any colour from the Porsche along with any interior could be specified instead of the Rose’ scheme.

Porsche 944

The uprated plant of the Turbo S became fare for the Turbo from to the end of its life. The car itself sprouted a bridge spoiler as well as Design 90 alloys. Massive were offered upon all from 1989, and the model was altogether in the USA in 1990.

The 944 range reached its climax in the of 1990, with the introduction of the ludicrous 944 Turbo Cabriolet, the 250BHP power plant to the drop-… gorgeous Cabriolet The price was extortionate – few were built in its year-long run.

The 944 range officially production in July 1991, a massive 176,126 cars off the Neckarslum production lines. A range and consequent flagging wrote the obituary for the model, but in the UK, cars still lanuished at well into 1993. A special edition was made in – the S2SE, basically an S2 up to full specification, for less the standard car – but only 15 made, a sobering statistic demonstrates the fall of such a automobile.

Summary of Models


1982-1989 – 944 Lux Coupe

1985-1991 – 944 Turbo Coupe

1986-1989 Porsche 944 S Coupe

1989-1992 Porsche 944 S2 Coupe

1989-1992 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet

1991-1992 Porsche 944 Turbo Cabriolet


1984 – Special, based upon 2.5 Black or Silver with Pinstripe interior – 100 Black/100 produced Silver.

– French Special upon 2.5 Lux, white commemorative decals, Black interior – 100 produced.

– Celebration model, Black or Zermatt Silver Studio cloth interior, Dial alloys – 423 silver.

1988 – S, Silver Rose, Burgandy – no firm figures, production 1200 units.

– S2SE, UK Only, any with special decals, suspension etc. – 15

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Porsche 944
Porsche 944
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