If you are already a Porsche buff, I don’t have to tell you how popular the Porsche 944 was and remains today. If you know Porsche’s you’re about to meet with some fascinating reading. Porsche has been building great cars for years, but in 1982 it came up with what was going to be a real winner. This was the year the first Porsche 944 hit the market. It was originally introduced as a replacement for the Porsche 924. This eventually did occur, but for a few years, both cars were actually on the market side by side. From the get go the 944 was immediately a very popular car available as either a two-door coupe or a two door convertible. So what was the 944 all about?
What Made The Porsche 944 Such A Hit?
Well, there were a few things, but mostly it was the high performance and look of this sports car. It was a success right from the beginning, with models such as 944S, 944S2, and the 944 Turbo. When first produced it had only the 2.5-liter engine, but over time there were options which also included a 2.7 liter and 3.0-liter engine. Both the 94-inch wheelbase and the 2932 curb weight also made this car very appealing to the sports car enthusiast. The first 944 to hit the streets had a straight 4 cylinder 2.5 liter engine an it had Mitsubishi’s patented balance shaft technology. It also had the look of a sports car.
Changes in 1985
It wasn’t until 1985 that it had any significant changes done to it. Those changes included some ergonomic changes to the interior, the movement of the antenna, and some improvements to the air conditioning. The optional heated seat was also added, as were powered seats, a larger fuel tank, and some technology to reduce noise. They also introduced the Turbo model in 1985. Within the Porsche Corporation, it was referred to like the 951, but the world knew it simply as the 944 Turbo. With the same engine but now with the intercooler and of course, the turbo now you got a whopping 220 BHP at 6000 RPM.
Years to Follow
- 1987 saw the introduction of the 944S – S standing for Super. This model had dual air bags and anti lock brakes as standard equipment. It also had the first 16 valve engine with 250 BHP.
- 1989 The S was no more to be with the equipment from the S model becoming standard on the 944 model. The engine was replaced with a 4 cylinder 2.7 liter engine.
- In 1990 Porsche released the Porsche 944 Series 2 known as the S2. It was a revision of the 944S which had the aerodynamics of the 951. It was also the year the 16 valves 3.0-liter engine was becoming the most popular engine ever in the 944.
Sales of the Porsche 944
From 1982 to 1989 113,070 were produced and 25,107 Turbo engines were built. The porsche 944 saw a total of 12,936 cars produced and the 944S2 had only 6,439 produced. In the big picture that’s not a lot of cars which is probably one of the reasons demand remains strong. Even though the Porsche 944 was retired in 1991, it doesn’t mean this is a car of the past and it certainly didn’t result in the sales dwindling. Instead it remains more popular than ever. In fact, today it remains a “must have” car in the Porsche world.
A Brief History of Racing Porsches
In the auto racing world, the early 1960’s were very significant from the Porsche point of view in that racing sports cars started to develop away from anything that could be driven on the road. To remain competitive in international events, Porsche had to follow this trend.
The Porsche 944 hierarchy collaborated with the company’s old allies, Volkswagen, to produce a cheaper car in the late 1960s. However, the Porsche company was not deterred in its attempts to keep a cheaper sports car in the range. It was decided that a break with tradition was needed and the front-engined water-cooled 924 was brought out in 1975.
Meanwhile, Porsche 944 re-entered Grand Prix racing with a new 1.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine. The old professor Porsche would have been proud to have seen his name on the world’s leading high-performance cars.