What a fantastic review. You paint a fantastic picture of driving pleasure. What a joy to read this on the internet. I am buying one this weekend after 4 years of 924 driving. Can't wait. Time I upgraded.
I owned two 911's (993 & 3.2) and they were great cars, but decided to buy a 944 turbo to have some fun at PCA DE events. This car has been very reliable and has incredible performance. It does has the S engine, chip set, boost enhancer and light weight tricks (AC delete, GT Racing hood just to name a few) but is basically stock.
My first time on the track resulted in some very fast times, and really PO'd some of the other drivers that could not catch me in their $100k+ machines. That in itself was worth the money that I have invested thus far!!
Yes, the Porsche 951 is a truly amazing car, and fairly easy to modify with incredible results. Modified with chip and MAF modification, even without a K27 turbo, the acceleration is 4 to 4.5 seconds for 0-60 mph, depending on rear tyre grip. Top speed probably 180 mph, as it is a quite light car. It is very stable at even over 130 mph. The lag is almost gone as it spools in around 2-2,500 revs, instead of 3-3,500 revs. Ergo, the advantage of a supercharger and turbo.
Like the other writer wrote, the joy is to pull up easily alongside $100,000 or more exotics, modern Vettes and stock modern 911 turbos, knowing that you've spent a mere fraction of what they did!
I have had a 911 Targa and a 944 S2 cab before; didn't go much on the 911, but it was an old one.
I bought the 944S2 cab, nothing went wrong, loved it, but had to sell it for funds for a venture. This was 5 years ago.
Last year I got a turbo cab, I thought 'Turbo' was just another fancy word, and only bought it because of it's rarity (only 100 were ever sent to the U.K. and that number is now sub 30).
Again, very reliable, chipped it, added the dual port wastegate (best mod yet) then got a 340 RWHP kit, that's not flywheel but rear wheel. For those who have done dynos, they'll know that 25% is lost in the drivetrain, so this thing was putting out close on 420 hp.
Have now swapped the 2.5 with a 3.0 turbo motor to it, I did it all myself and I am not mechanic. THESE CARS ARE AWESOME! I love it, performance is mental, it gives some very quick bikes a run for their money on the highway, acceleration is fantastic in any gear, 100 mph comes far too easy, it is still pulling very strong!
You can get used to the speed, to the extent that a 'normal' car is very very dull after!
It spins the 275s in the dry in second and sometimes third. I will never part with this car, best value for money for performance, spec and a decent marque, plus it is a rare one being a cab.
The only negative I would say is that the 944 was designed and made in the 80s, panel gaps are big, doors don't shut easily, interiors can be dated, and controls can be heavy in comparison to newer cars, but the build quality is great.
Economy with the 3.0 is better too, much much less lag and very driveable.
These cars are very easy to work on, 2nd hand parts are everywhere, and I would recommend one to anyone who is prepared to get their hands dirty to save hundreds!
I have driven many 944s having done a lot of PCA track days. I am considering a 944 for my next track car but with that said, I have never run across a 944 that is as fast as you assert your 944 to be. When you say that it well outperforms $100k sports cars that would imply GT3s and 911 Turbos... Sorry. I just don't buy it.
To the last poster, I can vouch for 944 Turbo's being very fast cars when modified. My Turbo has mild suspension and engine modifications, and I've had NO PROBLEM keeping with and passing 996 Carreras on the track; the older 911 Turbo's from the 1980's don't have a chance. I would rank my car very close in performance to the BMW M3 of 2001-2006 (?); I've run with many of these, and find my car very even in acceleration and handling. My car has about 325 hp (about 280 to the wheels)
It's not difficult or expensive to get another 100hp out of these cars. With that power, they will be running with the $100k cars for sure. I'm told that they can "stay in the mirrors of GT3s" on the track...
I wrote this review - now here's an update after 17 months of ownership and nearly 12,000 miles of driving.
I still love this high-performance beauty. But fast, beautiful things often don't come cheap. I've spent just over $4,200 on repairs & maintenance.
Among the things that were addressed:
A stone cracked the windshield - $500 to replace.
Turbo o-ring oil leaks meant a $1396 remove the turbo and replace the o-rings and crush washers.
A fuel line leak cost $282 and two extra vacation days to fix while on a road trip.
Motor mounts cost another $600 or so to replace (genuine Porsche parts).
A heater temperature valve was also needed, along with new plugs and an oil change.
And a new set of Michelin PS2 "N3" Porsche approved ultra high-performance summer tires did $900 of wallet damage.
I've driven and loved every mile from Utah to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Florida, Wisconsin to Indiana, Wisconsin to Kentucky and Wisconsin to Michigan in separate road trips, averaging 27-28 mpg, even with bursts of 100 mph-plus acceleration runs. Great car that hangs with 911's. Over time the repair costs will recede from the current monthly average...
You are my kind of driver!! I just spent a week in the Tennessee Smoky mountains doing exactly that with a V-Twin sport bike, and now I just came across a beautiful pristine burgundy 944 N/A and I can't wait to get my hands on her! It has a very solid feeling 5 speed and a sweet sounding exhaust note. The suspension is a little soft, but I expect that's what 27 year old shocks would feel like. Some new Bilsteins or Koni's should take care of that. The previous owner just had the timing belt done, so I have 30K miles ahead of me until the next change. I pick it up in a week and can't wait to enjoy her!