RE: Porsche 944 Turbo | Spotted

RE: Porsche 944 Turbo | Spotted

Wednesday 24th November

Porsche 944 Turbo | Spotted

Good examples of the 944 are not easy to find - here's a lovely one...



Here's one for the pub quiz: did you know there was a rear-engined Porsche 944? It emerged in 1981 from the Weissach Development Centre as, and I quote "a top-secret test project." Exciting. Until you see that it was a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre with a 105hp. The engine was commissioned by Volkswagen as one that could be mounted sideways under a floor, so the Porsche engineers stuck it under the 944's boot floor, supplying drive to all-four wheels. Presumably it had something to do with rallying, because the engineers were eventually told to focus on Group B development elsewhere, so clearly that's where their skills lay.

I have good memories of the regular Porsche 944. I have never owned one myself, but my brother had a Turbo in glorious Guards Red - the later model with the 250hp engine. What a lovely thing it was, and I preferred it to the S2 my friend had. You still got the inherent 944 balance - the front-engine transaxle layout that kept the weight evenly distributed - but the 2.5 eight-valve turbo motor just added the extra layer of character that, to my mind, the S2 lacked.

Normally I'm not a big lover of forced induction, but while the S2's 3.0 16-valve motor offered great performance, it always seemed a little insipid. The Turbo, however, was different. Yes, it was still a four cylinder and no, it wasn't in the same league as a 911, but it had some sparkle nevertheless. When the turbo spooled, it switched on and flung you down the road - in a very old-school way with lots of lag - and changed the engine note from humdrum to highly tuned. It sounded good on the inside but from outside it was even better. If I was following behind and my brother hoofed it, the sudden rush of angrily expanding gases being pumped out of the large, oval exhaust in front would certainly give me something to smile about.



They look great, too, don't you think? The 944 has just the right mix of 70s design with a welcome degree of 80s excess. When I look at a 924 and 944 side by side and see those plumper arches, I am reminded of the transformation of a gangly, awkward-looking teenager who's blossomed into a handsome adult. This one isn't cheap, but it presents well and looks to be original, bar (from what I can see) a light smoke on the windows and sympathetic update that encompasses USBs and sat-nav. And it comes to you via the Porsche dealer network for some added peace of mind.

Off the top of my head, there are a few things to look out for when buying a 944. The sunroof gears tend to strip, so make sure it opens and closes as it should. Make sure also that it's had a recent belt change, because you've got the cost of the cambelt and the balancer shaft belts, plus the water pump and tensioners to think about - you may as well while it's stripped. Check the turbo is providing the correct boost, sounds smooth and isn't pumping out smoke.

And on that point, the 944 has Nikasil-coated aluminium bores, so be very wary of anything puffing out blue smoke - if it's bore wear that's a new block. I also remember the Brembo calipers corroding, which causes the pads to stick so the brakes bind. I ended up splitting the calipers and rebuilding them, saving the cost of renewing all four, which at the time was exorbitant, so I can only imagine what it would cost you now.


SPECIFICATION | PORSCHE 944 TURBO

Engine: 2479cc, 4 cylinder, turbo
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 250 @ 6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 258 @ 4,000rpm
CO2: N/A
MPG: N/A
Recorded mileage: 101,000
Year registered: 1991
Price new: N/A
Yours for: ยฃ49,500

See the full ad here




Author
Discussion

Turini

Original Poster:

259 posts

137 months

Wednesday
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Followed an S3 a few days ago and they are dainty, very much of their time and no bad thing either

LaurasOtherHalf

20,870 posts

167 months

Wednesday
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Lovely looking things especially these days but that otter splitter/defused thing always spoiled the rest end for me.

Kawasicki

10,422 posts

206 months

Wednesday
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I had a ‘91 in titan grey, with M030 including the LSD. The one in the article looks lowered to me.

Mine was great, but the boost control on a trailing throttle made it occasionally very tricky to drive.

Jon_S_Rally

1,500 posts

59 months

Wednesday
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Definitely looks lowered in the side profile image.

Do like these late 944s. Was never keen, but they have grown on me over the years. Don't think I'd own a standard one though. There's just something weird about the fact that they're a four-pot. I usually have very little preference about engine configuration, but these just seem a bit odd.

I remember seeing one in Practical Performance Car some years ago that had a five-pot Audi turbo engine in it. Something like that, with the right set of wheels and a couple of other tweaks and it would be spot-on for me.

Numeric

991 posts

122 months

Wednesday
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Guards red - sigh - was a teenager in the 80's and these were the car to aim for, they were so aspirational for someone hoping for the best in those days.

And still quite lovely today, though I fear I might be surprised by the driving experience!

Augustus Windsock

2,747 posts

126 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
There was a white low mileage one on here that hung around for months and mo the despite being £20k cheaper iirc
Sorry but I’ll call this out as being waaaaay overpriced even in today’s overheated market
Lovely cars in themselves, very much of their time and something I’d like to own but not at this price even if it is from a Porsche OPC…

Phil Cook

49 posts

27 months

Wednesday
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£50k for a 944, really?
I have seen plenty around as good for significantly less money.
I can also think of a lot of ways to spend £50k which doesn’t include a 944, as good as they are

928 GTS

254 posts

66 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
944 engines do not have Nikasil cylinders. Block is Alusil. Sounds about similar but there is significant difference. Nikasil is very thin coating on cylinder wall. On Alusil entire block is same material. Cylinder surface needs special process to prep it for pistons. Block repair between two are totally different processees. Though both are difficult and expensive. Therefore better make sure engine is ok and do not let head gasket to leak at all.

5lab

1,495 posts

167 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Jon_S_Rally said:
Definitely looks lowered in the side profile image.
the rear of a 944 has adjustable ride height, to my eyes it looks like it might be within that height range.

I ran a 944s2 a decade ago, which cost me £2500. Whilst a great car for that money, with this milage I just don't see the value in the price they're asking here. You're well into classic 911 money

article said:
The Turbo, however, was different. Yes, it was still a four cylinder and no, it wasn't in the same league as a 911,
the 250bhp 944 was slightly ahead of the contemporary 3.2 carrera performance-wise, according to some reports. Definitely in the same league either way


Edited by 5lab on Wednesday 24th November 08:29

james6546

337 posts

22 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Way way overpriced.

I'm keeping my eye on them as they are a car that I've always loved that will fit in my garage.

That's probably twice the price it should be, I've seen good ones (in the pictures anyway) for under £20k

Harry Flashman

15,908 posts

213 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Phil Cook said:
£50k for a 944, really?
I have seen plenty around as good for significantly less money.
I can also think of a lot of ways to spend £50k which doesn’t include a 944, as good as they are
This.

Scho

2,463 posts

174 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Had a 951.

88’ in black.

Bought it for four grand.

Kicked its head in.

Sold it for £4250.

Those were the days!

waynecyclist

2,104 posts

85 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Phil Cook said:
£50k for a 944, really?
I have seen plenty around as good for significantly less money.
I can also think of a lot of ways to spend £50k which doesn’t include a 944, as good as they are
Agreed, seems way overpriced to me

BigChiefmuffinAgain

586 posts

69 months

Wednesday
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I had a 944 S2 and a friend had a turbo. I thought they were good cars, but not great cars and suspect the dynamics will have aged. Turbos are very laggy and if the boost comes in when you are half way round a roundabout it can get a bit too exciting, especially in the wet...

As others have mentioned, there are far better ways to spend your £50k which looks a ridiculous price. On a car that old with 100k miles, you always suspect that there are some big bills lurking just around the corner...

s m

21,533 posts

174 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
5lab said:
article said:
The Turbo, however, was different. Yes, it was still a four cylinder and no, it wasn't in the same league as a 911,
the 250bhp 944 was slightly ahead of the contemporary 3.2 carrera performance-wise, according to some reports. Definitely in the same league either way
Yes, I remember the 250bhp 944 Turbo being very much in the same league as a few 911s when they were both current cars ( unless the author is alluding to a 4-cylinder engine not being as good as a 6-cylinder )

However I have noticed there is a tendency to “rewrite history” with regards to performance of some old cars or the findings/summaries of journalistic colleagues when cars were reviewed new

CedricN

636 posts

116 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
s m said:
5lab said:
article said:
The Turbo, however, was different. Yes, it was still a four cylinder and no, it wasn't in the same league as a 911,
the 250bhp 944 was slightly ahead of the contemporary 3.2 carrera performance-wise, according to some reports. Definitely in the same league either way
Yes, I remember the 250bhp 944 Turbo being very much in the same league as a few 911s when they were both current cars ( unless the author is alluding to a 4-cylinder engine not being as good as a 6-cylinder )

However I have noticed there is a tendency to “rewrite history” with regards to performance of some old cars or the findings/summaries of journalistic colleagues when cars were reviewed new
Looking at club racing etc lap times times here the old 911s are way behind. Its so easy to make the transaxle cars go fast even with modern standards, especially the turbos of course.

From a us test back in the day

J4CKO

34,977 posts

171 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
Oh give over 50 grand ?

Maybe half that and a bit more, they are alright but 50 grand opens up a lot of possibilities, like maybe buying a whole selection of other 944's or having the pick of Cayman GTS's.


I had an S2 about 7/8 years ago, it was enjoyable at the £4000 I paid, I just couldn't countenance paying 12 and a half times that for one, I was expecting a tiny miles example, not one at over 100k, looks spot on but still 50 grand.

cerb4.5lee

21,003 posts

151 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
I love the car, I don't like the price very much though. It does look very tidy for the mileage in fairness.

I've always liked the shape of these, and I definitely prefer front engined Porsches for some reason. I'm a big fan of the 928 as well.

Lowtimer

4,224 posts

139 months

Wednesday
quotequote all
I bloody love mine. Have had it 11 years now, putting a very substantial body and mechanical refurb into it, and it's the car I'll never sell.

Earl of Petrol

274 posts

93 months

Wednesday
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At least with 101k miles it’s useable, as opposed to one of those delivery mileage garage queens that pop up occasionally.
It’s quite pricey but remember we are living in the age of the 17 grand Nova…..