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The 964 was new in a whole host of ways, not least by in­tro­duc­ing Ne­unelfer buy­ers to a fresh ap­proach to aero­dy­nam­ics: the pop-up spoiler had ar­rived

Total 911 - - Contents -

Find out how the 964 in­tro­duced adap­tive aero to the 911’s reper­toire

The 964’s sleeker styling saw a far greater fo­cus on aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency, but early in its de­vel­op­ment the de­ci­sion was taken not to have any vis­i­ble aero­dy­namic de­vices. That spelled the end for the iconic ‘whale­tail’ that adorned many a 3.2 car­rera, and in its place came an elec­trome­chan­i­cally op­er­ated pop-up item. de­spite its smaller size it still pro­duced use­ful amounts of down­force, re­duced rear lift to neg­li­gi­ble lev­els and, ac­cord­ing to porsche, dou­bled the vol­ume of air drawn into the en­gine com­part­ment when it was ex­tended.

The ef­fect on cool­ing was sub­stan­tial, so much so that run­ning at high speed with­out the spoiler de­ployed wasn’t rec­om­mended. left to its own de­vices it rose at 50mph and dis­ap­peared at 6mph, but a switch in the cabin al­lowed the driver to raise the spoiler man­u­ally. The en­gi­neer­ing be­hind it was typ­i­cally intricate: an elec­tric mo­tor driv­ing a ca­ble which then op­er­ated gears act­ing on a quad­rant to raise and lower the unit. The com­bi­na­tion of main­tain­ing the 911s clean lines while still of­fer­ing aero­dy­namic ben­e­fits at speed en­sured that the new ar­range­ment con­tin­ued to both 993 and 996 gen­er­a­tions, on-go­ing de­vel­op­ment en­sur­ing that lev­els of down­force were in­creased with­out a no­table penalty on over­all drag, although the spoiler now rose at 75mph – a rather un­for­tu­nate speed in­di­ca­tor for UK mo­tor­way users. The 996 would also see the ad­di­tion of a third brake light on the spoiler’s trail­ing edge, an in­clu­sion con­tin­ued on the 997.

Fur­ther aero­dy­namic im­prove­ments meant the 991 car­rera was launched with a 0.29 drag co­ef­fi­cient – im­pres­sive given the larger di­men­sions – but while the rear spoiler still rose and dropped at 75mph and 50mph re­spec­tively, its height and an­gle of at­tack could now be ad­justed de­pend­ing on speed. The 991.2 took things fur­ther still, with a much greater de­gree of tun­ing pos­si­ble de­pend­ing on aero­dy­namic or cool­ing needs. The spoiler on the gts could ex­tended fur­ther than the one used on the stan­dard car­rera, while the adop­tion of tur­bocharg­ing al­lows more air to be di­rected to the in­ter­cool­ers – in high tem­per­a­tures, the spoiler can be fully ex­tended at speeds as low as 37.5mph. And it all be­gan with the rather spe­cial 964.

“De­spite its small size it still pro­duced use­ful amounts of down­force and re­duced rear lift”

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