911 930 TURBO

Forced in­duc­tion turned a nor­mal 911 into the fastest car in the world

Motor (Australia) - - FEATURE : TOP FIVE 911S -

THERE WAS ONLY ever meant to be 400. Not 80,000 and count­ing. What be­gan in the 1970s as a lim­ited pro­duc­tion project to sat­isfy mo­tor­sport ho­molo­ga­tion rules, ended up cre­at­ing a mon­ster that has roared might­ily for 43 years.

Back in 1973, a new Porsche 911 ap­peared at the Frank­furt auto show. It had a 3.0-litre flat-six like the Car­rera RS on which it was based, but bolted to that was a tur­bocharger bor­rowed from the 917/30 which dom­i­nated the 1973 CanAm se­ries. At Le Mans that year and a 911 RSR ver­sion hit 315km/h on the Mul­sanne Straight be­fore it blew up.

When the pro­duc­tion Type 930 de­buted at the ’74 Paris Auto Sa­lon it was the fastest car in the world, but it was in the mid­dle of the oil cri­sis. Crude prices were go­ing through the roof and leg­is­la­tors were reg­u­lat­ing per­for­mance cars and gas guz­zlers out of ex­is­tence. Porsche only needed to sell 400 in 24 months, and ev­ery one af­ter that was a bonus. From 1975-77, it sold seven times that num­ber and the leg­end was born.

That 1974 show car sur­prised pun­dits who were ex­pect­ing a stripped-down ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cial. In­stead, the 911 Turbo was rel­a­tively lux­u­ri­ous, with air-con, a stereo, elec­tric win­dows and leather seats. Most of the ready-to-race mods were un­der­neath and be­hind the oc­cu­pants. The front guards were flared, but not as much as the hugely pumped rears which were so wide they needed stone shields to pro­tect the paint.

The 911 Turbo sported a mas­sive rear spoiler, which quickly earned the ‘whale tail’ ep­i­thet. This aero­dy­namic aid had two in­take chan­nels, one for the en­gine fan, the other for air-con. Be­low the whale tail was the 911 Turbo’s crown jewel: an al­loy 3.0-litre flat-six with Bosch in­jec­tion and KKK tur­bocharger, boost­ing out­puts to 193kW and 350Nm.

Porsche went with a beefed-up four-speed man­ual for the 911 Turbo be­cause the five-speed used in other 911s of the era couldn’t han­dle the Turbo’s prodi­gious out­puts. Sus­pen­sion was up­rated and big­ger brakes added to slow the beast down.

It took a spe­cial driver to get the most from this dif­fi­cult car and its bipo­lar power de­liv­ery. Lethar­gic be­low 2500rpm, when the tur­bocharger fi­nally awoke, all hell broke loose – quickly fol­lowed by the rear end. Should one hap­pen to be mid-cor­ner and push­ing on at this time... it took a very skilled driver to catch a slid­ing 911 Turbo.

De­spite that rep­u­ta­tion for re­cal­ci­trance, the Type 930 Porsche 911 Turbo was a huge suc­cess. More than 2800 were sold in the first three years, prompt­ing Porsche to com­mit to the 911 Turbo for the longer term.

In 1978, the Type 930 was up­graded with a big­ger 221kW 3.3litre six, now with an in­ter­cooler which re­quired a re­designed rear wing. This took the 930’s bru­tal per­for­mance to new highs.

Porsche would con­tinue to up­date the 930 through­out its long life, be­fore even­tu­ally suc­ceed­ing it with the 964 Turbo in 1990. By then Porsche had sold more than 21,000 Tur­bos.

But for many, the first 930 Turbo is the one to have de­spite its de­mand­ing na­ture. It is one of the great­est Porsches of all time be­cause if it had not suc­ceeded, the leg­endary Porsche 911 Turbo would not be with us to­day.

The blood­line the 930 Turbo sired is still the highly de­sir­able, in­cred­i­bly po­tent driver’s car of its day.

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