Porsche 911 Turbo – A Brief History

Perhaps the most iconic sports car of the century, the 911 is the flagship of Porsche’s current line up, and has been since 1963. It is a high performance rear wheel drive, rear engine grand tourer. While it has undergone many modifications and upgrades, the formula has remained the same, and as a result it is one of the most well developed performance cars available today.


The 911 has had many versions, such as the 911 Carrera, Targa, RS and perhaps most famously the Turbo. The first 911 Turbo (Type 930) was introduced in 1974, featuring a 3.0L turbo charged engine producing 260bhp. The Turbo’s were easy to identify from the standard 911’s due to it larger wheel arches, wider tyres and large rear spoiler. The 930 turbo was upgraded in 1978 to a 3.3L engine and had an intercooler added. It was only in 1990 that the Type 930 turbo was replaced by the 911 (964) model. This however was produced rather late on in the standard 964’s production, so was only produced for 3 years. As a result the 964 turbos are rather rare.

The new 993 Turbo saw two major changes to the range. It was the first Porsche to use twin turbo chargers and permanent all wheel drive. The 3.3L engine produced almost 400bhp giving the Turbo some serious performance. This combined with the all wheel drive meant it was gaining a reputation as one of the fastest performance cars out there. As if this wasn’t enough, in 1997 Porsche introduced a limited edition Turbo S, adding 20bhp to the standard engine.

In 1998 the 911 996 was introduced, and this was a big leap forward in terms of the engine and design of the 911. The air cooled engine was replaced with a water cooled one, and it benefited from a completely newly designed body shell. All previous 911’s had been based on the original shell from 1963. Although a new bodyshell, it still retained the 911 look, but improved aero dynamics at the same time. The Turbo benefited from all of this, and with the engine producing 415bhp, it kept its reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the supercar market.

The 997 Turbo was released in 2005, and while it featured the same 3.6L twin turbo engine as the 996, further development to the turbo’s meant this model produced 470bhp, and delivered more power over more of the rev range. The 997 also had slightly better aero dynamics than the 996. These upgrades resulted in a 0-100 time of 8 seconds and a top speed of 198mph.

With Porsche’s continued belief in the 911 throughout the years, it has become one of the fastest sports cars out there. While there may be better handling Porsche’s than the Turbo such as the GT3-RS, which is developed with the track in mind, the Turbo certainly leads the way on sheer power and straight-line speed, as well as having an incredibly rich history.