“Keeping Up with a Porsche 944 Has Just Gone from Difficult to Impossible”
Porsche released its Turbo version of the 944 for the 1986 model year, marking yet another step in the evolution from the original 95 bhp (!) 924 “nearly a Volkswagen” design, which dated from 1976.
The 944 Turbo featured a turbocharged and intercooled version of the standard 944’s 2.5 liter/151 ci inline 4 that produced 217 bhp. New forged pistons were included along with a strengthened gearbox and standard external oil coolers for both the engine and transmission.
Despite some major turbo lag, performance was quite good for the mid-1980s: Car and Driver managed to get a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 157 mph, though they noted that the base price of almost $30,000 might freeze out some previous 944 customers.
Looks weren’t sharply different from the “civilian” 944, which stayed in production. The nose was somewhat simplified with an integrated front bumper and the rear had a fairing fitted to clean up the appearance of some underside components. Wheels resembling those on the “big brother” 928 were fitted. The result looked quite good in commercials.
There is excellent club support for the 944 Turbo, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for an 1986 944 Turbo in #1/Concours condition is $50,000, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $14,000. I’m beginning to see 944s at judged car shows and they maintain a reasonable presence in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. Make mine Guards Red, please.