Turbo Air in­takes

As per­for­mance grew, so did the need for more air. Porsche’s an­swer for the 911? Side in­takes that have fea­tured for more than 30 years

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Small parts can of­ten play a sig­nif­i­cant role in terms of en­gi­neer­ing, and that’s cer­tainly true of the side air in­take. Like a num­ber of ne­unelfer de­vel­op­ments this one stemmed from the Turbo mod­els; al­though ear­lier it­er­a­tions hid their sledge­ham­mer per­for­mance be­hind sub­tle body­work, the ramp­ing up of power called for ad­di­tional mea­sures, es­pe­cially in the area of cool­ing.

The in­takes were very much a case of func­tion over form, their ap­pear­ance on the mus­cu­lar 930 Le and Se mod­els re­quired to feed cool­ing air to the en­gine bay and hard­worked rear brakes. Sited low down, just aft of the doors and with a straked de­sign, they suited the Le/se’s more flam­boy­ant styling and worked ef­fi­ciently. nei­ther power out­puts nor per­for­mance were go­ing back­wards, so those in­takes were set to be­come a per­ma­nent fix­ture on blown mod­els, the next to get them be­ing the 964 Turbo S. They could even be dif­fer­ently shaped on each side of the car - on the rare ‘flat nose’ for ex­am­ple - be­cause of the need to ac­com­mo­date the oil tank in the rear wing.

The ar­rival of the 993 – and more specif­i­cally the ad­vent of twin tur­bocharg­ers – would put even more pres­sure on cool­ing and in­duc­tion sys­tems, al­though for this it­er­a­tion it was still only the more pow­er­ful Turbo S that ben­e­fit­ted from the ex­tra in­takes. by the time wa­ter cool­ing ar­rived all mod­els with tur­bocharg­ers had them, the items on the 996 de­scribed by Porsche as ‘crescent-shaped’ and feed­ing much­needed air to the blow­ers and in­ter­cool­ers. A re­design for the 997 saw them take on a less curved ap­pear­ance, and the in­takes were now promi­nently di­vided by a hor­i­zon­tal bar.

That last part was a fea­ture lost for the

991 gen­er­a­tion, the in­takes be­com­ing both larger and a lit­tle more sculpted in form.

They were also no longer just a fea­ture re­served for the ‘reg­u­lar’ Turbo model. While nei­ther gen­er­a­tion of the 991 gt3 fea­tured them, the rs cer­tainly did, where they were re­designed to pro­duce a ‘ram air’ ef­fect for the 4.0-litre en­gine’s in­duc­tion sys­tem, which was then re­tained for the gt2 rs. So, they’re items that both look great and func­tion su­perbly. it’s typ­i­cal Porsche, re­ally.

“The ramp­ing up of power called for ad­di­tional mea­sures, es­pe­cially in the area of cool­ing”

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