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
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”