993 Turbo: The Last Turbo Air-Cooled Porsche

The Porsche 993 is the internal designation for the Porsche 911 model manufactured and sold between January 1994 and early 1998 (model years 1995-1998 in the United States), replacing the 964. Its discontinuation marked the end of air-cooled 911 models.

The 993 was much improved over and quite different from its predecessor. According to Porsche, every part of the car was designed from the ground up, including the engine and only 20% of its parts were carried over from the previous generation. Porsche refers to the 993 as “a significant advance, not just from a technical, but also a visual perspective.

Porsche’s engineers devised a new light-alloy subframe with coil and wishbone suspension (an all-new multi-link system, Weissach axle), putting behind the previous lift-off oversteer and making significant progress with the engine and handling, creating a more civilized car overall and providing an improved driving experience. The 993 was also the first 911 to receive a six speed transmission.

The 993 had several variants, as its predecessors, varying in body style, engines, drivetrains, and included equipment. Power was increased by the addition of the VarioRam system, particularly in the midranges, and also resulted in more throttle noise at higher revolutions; as a consequence, it resulted in a 15% increase in power over its predecessor.

The external design of the Porsche 993, penned by English designer Tony Hatter, retained the basic body shell architecture of the 964 and other earlier 911 models, but with revised exterior panels, with much more flared wheel arches, a smoother front and rear bumper design, an enlarged retractable rear wing, and teardrop mirrors.

The 993 Turbo coupé was introduced in 1995. It featured a new twin-turbocharged engine displacing 3.6 liters and generating a maximum power output of 300 kW (408 PS; 402 hp).Air-to-air intercoolers, electronic engine management, rede- signed cylinder heads, and other modified engine internals completed the new engine.

The 993 Turbo was the first 911 Turbo with all-wheel drive, taken from the 959 flagship model. The Turbo’s bodywork differs from the Carrera by widened rear wheel arches (about 6 cm), redesigned front and rear bumper moldings, and a fixed “whale tail” rear wing housing the intercoolers. New 18-inch (460 mm) alloy wheels with hollow spokes were standard.

The 993 Turbo was one of the first production cars in the world to have an OBDII diagnostics system (the 3.8-litre and GT versions did not have that system, and the normally aspirated 993 variants did not receive it until 1996 model year). The car also had larger brakes than those on the base Carrera model.

Throughout the production run of the Turbo, the 1997 and 1998 cars had these differences from the 1996 cars: Stronger transmission input shafts (a known weakness due to the combination of immense power and AWD system) were used.

The ECU was able to be flashed and modified (the 1996 model’s ECU was not modifiable). With the addition of a Porsche child seat, the passenger airbag was cut off. Motion sensors for the alarm were integrated into the map light above the rearview mirror. Standard wheel center caps had “turbo” embedded on them (the 1996 version had Porsche crests).

Final: The Porsche 993 Turbo is featured in Need For Speed: High Stakes as the flagship car of the game, as well as in Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed.