“I want fun, I GAR” – the Gran Turismo with a glass dome

Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944

"I want fun, I go gas" – The Gran Turismo with a glass dome

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-dome
The Porsche 944 was a real type of winner photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome

This Porsche was a real type of winner: the 944 triumphed on race tracks with turbo technology – in the sales chart he drove so far ahead with the world’s largest four -cylinder in the world that he secured the survival of the sports car manufacturer. Nevertheless, the 944 was also a known size and cheap used, even for adventure tours to Africa.

Long-stretched bonnet, cool folding headlight and large glass dome heck: These were the exciting ingredients from which Porsche had built seductively shaped and just affordable four-seater sports coupes since 1975. A recipe for success that was launched with the Porsche 924 and that the muscular styled Porsche 944 led to the climax six years later.

Ideal for quick hunt for tight curves

Cult designer Anatole Lapine knew that thick baking for wider bikes and a massive rubber poiler under the glass dome was enough to spice up the 924 once contoured by Harm Lagaay for the performance -hungry 1980s. In addition, veritable Porsche engines instead of a power plant from the VW group and a gearbox placed at the back and the 944 in transaxle construction with almost optimal weight distribution for hunting for fast curves was ready. But the 944 also achieved life -saving sales records. Porsche wrote losses for the first time in 1980 and it was the then enthroned CEO Peter W. Protection that has a strategic realignment of the company. Protection revised the already decided setting of the Porsche 911, and with the broadly set up 944 portfolio, he drove the expansion of the front motor types. Although most of the time produces at Audi in Neckarsulm, the 944 won by technical delicacies such as the furious 944 Turbo (from 1985), the 16-valve 944 S (from 1986), the 944 S2 with the world’s largest four-cylinder (from 1988) In 1985 shown 944 Cabriolet important fascination potential. With this, Porsche managed to triple sales and return to profitability.

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-dome
The Turbo was also available as a convertible photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome

More than 160.000 cars produced until 1991

Not least thanks to its engine derived from the V8 in 928, the 944 was accepted as a "real" Porsche from the beginning, which could even assert itself against overwhelming rivals such as Mazda RX-7 and Nissan ZX in North America. The inexpensive Japanese did not even use the folding headlight and glass dome concept. No other Porsche model had sold as well and quickly as the 944. By the end of the production in 1991, 163.302 sports car of the series produced, the last units even at the Porsche tribe in Zuffenhausen, where the following type 968 then drove to the start line.

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"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-turismo

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The cult status

The Porsche 944 only reached one thing in mature classic car age: cult status. Just like all other front engine steadfast companions, the 944 decades of the all-radiant elf with its six-cylinder boxer in the rear stood in the shade. The used car nodes for the four-cylinder guild remained correspondingly low, although it reached extremely high mileage and their gran turisma qualities also showed as a business car. Perhaps new four -cylinders such as the 718 Boxster and Cayman models had to come to finally anchor the Porsche 944 as a collective level of milestone in mass sports in the hearts of sports car fans. After all, the 944 never lacked racing successes and others show sovereign driving dynamics.

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-glass
Today the 944 is a coveted classic photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome

"Four wins"

"Four" was already called in June 1981 at Le Mans 24 hours, because there was a Porsche 924 GTP – a prototype of the 944 Turbo – on the seventh overall from Rallye World Champion Walter ROhrl and Jurgen Barth. Efficient use of fuel the special price for the shortest boxing stays. What followed was heavily occupied racing series such as the 944 Turbo Cup, which was held from 1986 to 1989, which was initially dominated by Joachim Winkelhock, later by Roland Asch. The 944 demonstrated his almost indestructible reliability after the end of the official motorsport career where nobody expected it to be expected. In 2007, two British dared with an already 320.000 kilometers of 944 to wherever offices can be found a la Land Rover or Jeep: on a 21.000 kilometer road trip through the deserts and jungle paths of Africa to Cape Town. And in 2015, British mastered the desert -rich path from England to Mongolia in an almost 30 -year -old 944, to name just two spectacular examples in which the robust Porsche showed the resilience of their technical finesse.

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"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-dome

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Today, the Porsche 718 is sufficient for a 2.0-liter downsizing four-cylinder to attack the sports car establishment, while the 944 scored with power made of maximum large displacement at that time. In the beginning it was a 120 kW/163 hp four cylinder with 2.5 -liter displacement, which – simply to put it – corresponded to a cylinder bank of the V8 in the flagship Porsche 928, but then in 1988 with the 944 S2 the superlative: 3.0 liter displacement and 280 nm torque from a newly developed four -valve engine with forged pistons, no other four -cylinder offered that. This power bank also fueled the Cabriolet, which had finally gone in series in early 1989, which had already awakened anticipation for fresh air as a study four years earlier. In fact, the 3.0-liter engine in terms of perfect performance folding even the 2.5-liter turbo engine, which has been transforming the Porsche 944 into an everyday racing machine, but, as was customary at the time, needed plenty of speeds to get out of the notorious turbin to jump.

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-glass
The cover opens manually, optionally electrically photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome

"I want fun, I go gas"

Which did not change the fact that the Porsche 944 Turbo was one of the hottest pace symbols that "I want fun, I was a gas" decade. The last expansion stage 184 kW/250 hp 944 Turbo finally realized what the racing prototype had promised in Le Mans four years earlier: this sprint in 5.9 seconds at land street pace and on the outside of 260 km/h fast front engine. Porsche had the potential for the Ferrari and Maserati killer, for example in speed duels with Mondial or 222 E. The 944 Turbo Cabriolet built in 1991 even secured an entry in the register of records in 1991, as there was no faster four-cylinder fresh air striker at the time. However, Porsche also had this furious sun king paid for it: with prices from 103.He was the only 944 to be in the six -figure cost range and moved at eye level with Mercedes SL and Porsche 911 at eye level.

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"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-dome

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If you didn’t want to invest so much money in your frenzied tanning salon, you chose the Targa style with "removable roof with electrical lifting", the almost 2.000 marks cost cost. The Porsche 944 already experienced its best year in 1986. At that time were 27.688 Units of the Transaxle type sold-around 10.000 vehicles more than from 911. The 944 actually does not want to compete with this super athlete, but it is particularly amazed as a Gran Turismo with a brilliant room concept: supposedly under his glass tailgate even fits a bulky euro pallet-or the large luggage for a young family. Various talents that are rediscovered by classic car fans today and who reflect in rapidly increasing lover prices.

Chronicle Porsche 944:

1970: Under the development order EA 425, Porsche in Weissach begins the conception of a successor for the VW Porsche 914
1975: The press presentation of the 924 will take place in November. Available with four -speed gearboxes and optionally with three -speed automatic. On November third of the Porsche 924 production at Audi in Neckarsulm
1976: Every second Porsche produced is a 924
1978: The 50 runs in April.000ste Porsche 924 off the assembly line. In September the 924 Turbo is unveiled as a new top performer
1980: The 924 Carrera GTP starts with a 235 kW/320 hp two-liter turbo in Le Mans
1981: At the 24 hours of Le Mans, a Porsche 924 GTP, which is piloted by Walter ROhrl and Jurgen Barth Piloted, which occupies the seventh overall and achieves the special price for the shortest boxing stays, ultimately it is a prototype of the 944 turbo launched four years later. The lettering "944 Le Mans" on the engine block also announces this. In summer the Porsche 944 is presented to the press, the audience celebrates the Porsche 944 with 2.5-liter four-cylinder and initially 163 hp performance at the IAA in Frankfurt in September

1985: In spring facelift with a new dashboard and modified interior. The 944 Turbo (type 951) goes into production as a new top model, the production takes place in Neckarsulm. The 2.5 liter engine has a KKK turbocharger, produces 162 kW/220 hp, and the Vmax of the 944 Turbo specifies Porsche at 245 km/h. In tests from the specialist press, however, the Porsche 944 Turbo reaches up to 255 km/h. With a price from 72.000 marks is the 944 turbo between 944 and 928 S positioned. For model year 1986 there is also the Porsche 944 with a regulated three-way catalyst and 150 hp performance

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-Porsche Tradition years Porsche Gran
Protection led Porsche back to the winning road Photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome

1986: In September, the production of the 944 s with a 2.5-liter engine and four-valve technology and now 140 kW/190 hp begins. Optionally, a badge with the "16 valve" mint is available behind the side indicators. Start of a Porsche 944 brand cup. In this calendar year, the best year of the model series, 27.688 Porsche 944 sold, compared to a good 17.000 Porsche 911
1987: The strongest 944 will be the special model 944 Turbo S in September. A larger turbocharger and the boost pressure increased to 0.7 bar increase the performance to 184 kW/250 hp. The unit is derived from the racing engine from the turbo cup. The Turbo S is also upgraded by a height-adjustable KONI coilover, restricted differential and brake system as in the Porsche 928 S4
1988: In the 1988 model year, the catalyst engine is newly tailored to lead-free super fuel (previously normal gasoline), which increases the power to 160 hp. The 944 S is replaced by the 944 S2, which achieves an output of 155 kW (211 hp) with 3.0-liter hub space and four valve technology. This 3.0-liter petrol engine is considered at the time
Circular space largest in a series car in a series car. The 944 S2 has the body characteristics, the rear diffuser and (from model year 1991) the rear wing of the 944 Turbo. The 944 Turbo receives the engine of the 944 Turbo S and thus an increase in performance to 184 kW (250 hp), plus a new rear wing. Order start for the 944 S2 Cabriolet delivered from 1989, built at ASC (Weinsberg body works) in Weinsberg. The cover opens manually, optionally electrically
1989: In the 1989 model year, the displacement of the Porsche 944 is enlarged to 2.7 liters, the performance also increases to 165 hp.
1991: In February the special model 944 Turbo Cabriolet will be introduced at prices from 103.725 marks. The Turbo Cabrio is the only 944 that crack the 100.000 mark sound wall. In Turbo specification, the 944 S2 Cabriolet is the fastest four-cylinder convertible worldwide. The production of the 944 in Neckarsulm ends in April, the final 944 S2 are built in Zuffenhausen. In this last year of production, a total of 1.038 Porsche 944 Turbo and 5.369 Porsche 944 S2 delivered. The total number of 944 is 163.302 units. In June, the press presentation of the 968 model designed by Harm Lagaay as a coupe and as a cabriolet, a roadster is only created as a prototype. The 968 runs off the assembly line in the Porsche stemwerk Zuffenhausen. The successor to the 944 at the IAA in Frankfurt celebrates its audience premiere
1995: In the summer production run of the 968
1996: Presentation of the four-cylinder medium-motor series Boxster

Total production number:
163.302 units,
of which 112.369 Porsche 944, 12.831 Porsche 944 S, 25.245 Porsche 944 Turbo, 5.421 Porsche 944 2.7, 20.260 Porsche 944 S2.

"I want fun, I GAR" - the Gran Turismo with a glass dome-Porsche Tradition years Porsche Gran
In the 1989 model year, the displacement of the Porsche 944 is enlarged to 2.7 liters, the performance also increases to 165 hp photo: Porsche Tradition: 40 years Porsche 944 – Gran Turismo with glass dome


Technical data Porsche 944:

Second-door, 2+2-seat sports coupe or. Sports Cabriolet; Length: 4.23 meters, width: 1.74 meters, height: 1.28 meters, wheelbase: 2.40 meters.
Porsche 944 (from 1981) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 120 kW/163 hp, Vmax 220 km/h;
Porsche 944 Catalyst (from 1985) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 110 kW/150 hp, Vmax 210 km/h;
Porsche 944 Catalyst (from 1987) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 118 kW/160 hp, Vmax 218 km/h;
Porsche 944 Catalyst (from 1989) with 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 121 kW/165 hp, Vmax 220 km/h;
Porsche 944 S (from 1986) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 140 kW/190 hp, Vmax 228 km/h;
Porsche 944 S2 Coupe or. 944 S2 Cabriolet (from 1988 or. from 1989) with 3.0-liter four-cylinder with 155 kW/211 hp, Vmax 240 km/h;
Porsche 944 Turbo (from 1985) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 162 kW/220 hp, Vmax 245 km/h;
Porsche 944 Turbo Coupe or. 944 Turbo Cabriolet (from 1988 or. from 1991) with 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 184 kW/250 hp, Vmax 260 km/h.

This article was written by Wolfram Nickel/SP-X

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