The Classic: Porsche 911 Turbo

Virtually no other model epitomises the sea change that Porsche underwent in the mid-1990s like the 911 Turbo from 1995.

The turbo technology matured out of adolescence and left its teenage years behind it.

Often the era-defining significance of certain events only becomes clear when you look in the rear-view mirror. And when Porsche unveiled the new 911 Turbo in 1995, it turns out that this was a truly defining moment for the sports car brand. It marked an end and a beginning: the departure of the aircooled boxer engine and the arrival of a bi-turbo in a 911 series production model.

In 1995, the 993 generation 911 Turbo laid to rest the sometimes-brutish image of its predecessors. Virtually no other model epitomises the sea change that Porsche underwent in the mid-1990s like this one: the era of the air-cooled boxer engines that had characterised the young company drew to a close once and for all. The turbocharged 911 (993) was virtually the engine’s final, and perhaps even its most exciting, iteration.

At the same time, the new Turbo also marked the start of something new: biturbo technology made its way into series production cars – almost a decade after a similar engine design had given the limited-run 959 a legendary status. The power of the twin turbochargers has long since become a characteristic feature of the 911 family. And just like the German super sports car of the 1980s, the 993 generation 911 Turbo came with permanent all-wheel drive. Suddenly, everything changed.

The new model also marked an important stage of development for turbo technology as it matured out of adolescence and left its teenage years behind it. The era of explosive power delivery that struck the driver like an elemental force was over – even though the 911 Turbo (993), with 300kW, was faster and more powerful than any other series 911 before it. This was thanks to its new bi-turbo design, which replaced the previous single turbo. The result was astounding.

At just 2,500 rpm, 450Nm of torque unleashed a formidable yet smooth propulsion that continued to build all the way up to the limit of 6,800 rpm. At the same time, the four driven wheels ensured that the impressive power delivery could be converted smoothly into spectacular propulsion. Never had a sports car been catapulted so undramatically from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds. Never had a sports car been so relaxed on straights, even at full acceleration.


Those who pushed the car to its limits were still in for a surprise – just a more pleasant one.

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