Monday, July 9, 2007

The Porsche Type 993, part 3

The 993 Turbo coupe was released in 1995. It featured a new and widely acclaimed turbocharged engine displacing 3.6 liters. Twin turbochargers and air-to-air intercoolers, electronic engine management, redesigned cylinder heads and other modified engine internals were used. The 993 Turbo was the first Porsche Turbo with all wheel drive. The electronic engine management helped the Turbo to achieve fuel efficiency far superior to any of the previous production Turbos. In connection with two catalytic converters and an on-board-diagnostics-system including four oxygen-sensors, it also made the 993 Turbo the cleanest sports car at its time. The Turbo's bodyshell differs from the Carrera body by widened rear wheel arches (approximately 6 cm), redesigned front and rear bumper moldings, and a fixed rear wing housing the intercoolers. New 18 inch alloy wheels with weight-reducing hollow spokes were standard.

During the second to the last year of production of the 993 (1997), Porsche offered the 993 Turbo S. Ultimately 183 pieces were sold. The Turbo S is a fully loaded Turbo including a power upgrade to 424 hp (SAE) for the American market and to 450 hp (DIN) in other markets. The inclusion of every thinkable amenity including carbon fiber decoration in the interior makes it different to the earlier lightweight, spartanic 964 Turbo S. The 993 Turbo S is easily recognized by yellow brake calipers, a slightly larger wing, a 4-pipe exhaust and air scoops behind the doors. This was the last of the air-cooled turbos; there was no 911 turbo in 1998.

The Carrera 4 S (1996) and later Carrera S (1997) shared the Turbo model's bodyshell, but housed the naturally aspirated Carrera engine in the rear. The 4S came with four wheel drive, and retained the Turbo model's larger brake discs with the characteristic red callipers. It could be described as a "Turbo without the turbochargers and rear wing", whereas the S was in all aspects a standard Carrera underneath (the wider rear fenders were compensated with 31 mm wheel spacers). Both S models had slightly lowered suspension compared to standard Carrera models. The wide body is widely acclaimed for its rear looks, but creates more aerodynamic drag, leading to slightly lower top speeds compared to the narrower siblings (about 5 km/h).

In particular, the Carrera 4S is a popular car. It has much in common with the 30th anniversary-model of the Porsche 964, a naturally aspirated, 4WD Carrera 4 in a Turbo bodyshell. The success of that car caused Porsche to build more than the 911 cars originally planned. After the 993, Porsche continued this model with the 996 Carrera 4 S, again a "Turbo without turbochargers and rear wing".

The Carrera RS is a no-compromise lightweight variant of the Carrera. It features a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter engine with 300 hp (DIN). On the outside, it is easily distinguishable by a special non-retractable rear wing, small front flaps and 3-piece 18 inch aluminum wheels. A closer look would reveal that the headlight washers were deleted for weight saving reasons. Inside the rear seats were deleted, and special racing seats and spartan door cards were installed. Sound proofing was reduced to a minimum.

There exists further RS variants, in particular a track-oriented Carrera RS Clubsport with only limited road usability. The Clubsport has a welded roll cage, and certain comfort features deleted, such as carpets, power windows, a/c and radio. It carries a larger rear wing and deeper chin spoiler.

The Carrera RS was produced in model year 1995 and 1996. It was street legal in European and many other countries, but was not exported to the US. As with the low-quantity RS variants of previous 911 types, owners sometimes attempt to turn their Carreras into RS clones due to the high market value of the RS (in European markets, a well maintained RS could easily achieve a 50 per cent premium over a standard Carrera; list prices showed a 15 per cent premium).

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