In the early 1990s Porsche faced a dilemma. The market for their legendary 911 sports car had been flat for three years and stocks were piling up at dealerships. Porsche needed something to increase sales and profit margins, so in 1994 they decided to embark on a daring new project — building the 911 with an all-glass body.
The concept was simple enough. The windshield would be replaced by two thin sheets of glass, each sheathed in a supporting frame. Clear Plexiglas side windows would complete the glass-body premise. The result was an entirely new car with only four pieces of steel sheet metal to absorb the energy in a collision.
The glass body was an engineering challenge, since it involved moving all functions normally carried out by metal panels, such as the doors and deck lid, to either the front or rear of the car. This gave rise to an asymmetrical design with a multitude of differently sized and shaped windows and large expanses of smooth sheet glass — some plain and others shimmering with embedded fragments.
The body was constructed by Boano-Kanematsu of Italy and it was the first time Porsche outsourced one of their models — a fact which caused much controversy at the luxury sports car manufacturer.
The body styling, created by Harm Lagaay and known as the 'Ferry-Porsche', featured bold surfaces with large glass areas that attracted attention wherever it went. The car created a stir at the Geneva Motor Show in 1994 and went on to win many design awards, including 'Concept Car of the Year' from Automobile magazine.
The Porsche 911 glass concept weighed 1,190kgs – about 200kgs less than a standard 911 – so performance was hardly affected even though engine power remained the same as the standard model's 300hp 3.6-litre, six-cylinder engine.
The rear spoiler was now larger to compensate for the lack of a roof and resulted in improved aerodynamics at high speeds. There were also air intakes added to the front wings to compensate for increased cooling needs of this car, which was still based on the same chassis as the regular model.
1994 PORSCHE 911 TURBO
The new 911 Turbo was unveiled at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1994. The third generation of this high-performance sports car, which had been on sale since March 1990, was more powerful but also lighter and more environmentally friendly.
The twin-turbo, 3.6-litre, flat six-cylinder engine developed 408 bhp and provided such performance as a 100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 300 km/h.
The new 911 Turbo also took part in the 1994 Porsche Cup, which was held at Magny Cours, France, on 26 September 1994. The car expected to clinch victory had been prepared for this race by Porsche engineer Norbert Singer with assistance from Jacques Laffite, the Formula 1 driver. The 911 Turbo finished first in its class and third overall, achieving an average speed of 241 km/h.
1994 PORSCHE 911 TURBO 3.6
Porsche's new 911 Turbo 3.6 was introduced in September 1994 with an enlarged, more powerful engine offering even better performance and fuel economy.
The 3.6-litre power unit, with Bosch Motronic engine management running a twin turbocharger and producing 408 bhp at 5,500 rpm, was a variation on the unit fitted to the 911 Turbo model unveiled in September 1994.
The increase in power resulted in a more impressive top speed of 300 km/h and a 100 km/h time of 4.8 seconds - an improvement of 0.2 seconds over the previous generation 911 Turbo with 376 bhp engine.
An Auto Start Stop feature was also fitted to this new 911 Turbo. This unit would automatically switch off the engine when it was idling at a standstill, shutting down four cylinders and running on the remaining two instead. When the driver accelerated again, all six cylinders fired up immediately.
The 3.6-litre 911 Turbo Coupé had a kerb weight of 1,450 kg with manual steering and a four-speed gearbox.
1995 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA CABRIOLET
Developed from Porsche's brand new 911, the Carrera 2 was unveiled in 1993 and received a new power unit in 1995. Porsche's new generation 'boxer' engines were either 3.2 or 3.6 litres in size and offered a marked improvement over their predecessors in terms of performance, technology and efficiency.
The Carrera 2 engine came with twin-spark plug ignition system (one spark plug per cylinder) and the Bosch Motronic engine management system, which controlled the ignition and fuel injection.
The Boxer engine itself was mounted low down in a lightweight alloy crank case, a configuration that also provided a 50:50 weight distribution. The Carrera 2 had a top speed of 266 km/h and covered 0-100 km/h in 5.0 seconds with manual steering.
1995 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA CABRIOLET 3.6
In September 1993 Porsche unveiled the new generation 911 to replace the 964 model range – which had been on sale since 1988 – at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Although similar in appearance, this 911 – known internally as Type 993 – offered an array of improvements over its predecessor both inside and out.
The 911 was available in either Coupé or Cabriolet form, both of which were powered by 'flat' six-cylinder engines. The standard model had a 3.6 litre power unit developing 282 bhp at 6,200 rpm while the more powerful Carrera version came with a 3.6-litre engine producing 306 bhp at 6,400 rpm and 295 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm.
A five-speed manual gearbox provided the connection between the engine and the rear wheels while four-wheel drive was optional on all 911 models apart from 4 x 4S coupés (which were not fitted with an automatic gearbox).
At the 1994 Porsche Cup held at Magny Cours in France on 26 September, Porsche AG introduced two 911 Carrera 4 models with a chassis modified to meet FIA Class II requirements. These cars had the same power unit as their normally aspirated counterparts; however, they were fitted with production car racing equipment such as roll bars and fuel cell and were intended not only for circuit racing but also for off-road races like the Paris – Dakar Rally.
1994 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA
The new water-cooled 911 generation is offered in two models with either 3.6 or 3.8 litre engines. All Carrera models have a newly designed front end with modified headlights and turn indicators, as well as a redesigned rear end. Upgraded models also feature immobiliser, heated front seats, stereo cassette player and extended 'Tiptronic' gearshift.
The 3.6-litre engine fitted to all Carrera models produces 282 bhp at 6,200 rpm and provides a 0–60 mph time of 5.5 seconds and a 217 mph maximum speed. The 3.8-litre engine fitted to the Carrera 4S model produces 306 bhp at 6,400 rpm and provides a 0–60 mph time of 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 219 mph.
Porsche 911 Carrera models are fitted as standard with an electronically controlled all-wheel drive system which transfers power to the road depending on prevailing conditions. A five-speed manual gearbox is provided as standard. The four-wheel drive system fitted to the 3.6 and 3.8 litre models in the Carrera 4 and Carrera 4S is controlled via a viscous coupling unit.
1994 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4
The Carrera 4 set new standards in the world of vehicle safety: Porsche introduced a very special feature called 'PASM' – Porsche Active Stability Management – for the first time on a production car.
The enhanced system had two distinct functions: electronic brake assistance and traction control (a form of anti-skid regulation, or ASR). The system applied the brakes at an individual wheel when necessary to counter any tendency towards oversteering or understeering. A different characteristic of the 911 Carrera 4's PASM system was that it did not just cut in during extreme manoeuvres but was effective at all times.
1994 PORSCHE 911 TURBO S
The 911 Turbo S is powered by a top-level 394 bhp engine which provides a 0–60 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph.
All 911 Turbo S models are fitted as standard with newly designed all-wheel drive, PASM vehicle stability management system incorporating 'PSM' – Porsche Stability Management – electronic brakeforce distribution and ABS brakes with 'Electronic Brake Assist'. Porsche Traction Management (PTM) all-wheel drive is also available as an option.
The all-wheel drive system uses a viscous coupling at the front of the car, which sends 35 percent of available torque to the front wheels and 65 per cent to the rear wheels.
Porsche 911 Turbo S models are fitted as standard with alloy wheels which measure 17 inches in diameter and are fitted with tyres measuring 205/45 ZR 17 at the front and 235/40 ZR 17 at the rear. The new Turbo S model was the first production 911 to be fitted with optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB).
1994 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 4S
The Carrera 4S is powered by the 3.8-litre engine which produces 306 bhp at 6,400 rpm and 295 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. This provides a 0–60 mph time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 219 mph.
Other options available on the Carrera 4S include Porsche Traction Management (PTM), PASM, Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and 'Porsche Active Suspension Management' (PASM) vehicle stability management system incorporating Electronic Brake Assist. A five-speed manual gearbox is fitted as standard. A four-wheel drive system, controlled by a viscous coupling unit in conjunction with a planetary gear differential, is available as an option for the Carrera 4S models.
1994 PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER
A distinctive open-topped version of the 911 was introduced in 1994. This model, known as the Speedster, was based on the Carrera RS and provided a fresh interpretation of the classic Porsche design.
The original Speedster was designed as an exciting, open-topped variant of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 – hence its distinctive appearance: car-type doors with roll-over protection bars, wheel arches without an upper edge and a shortened 'slantnose'.
In 1995, Porsche introduced two additional limited-edition Speedster models: the 'Speedster' and the 'Speedster Turbo'. Based on a 911 Carrera 2 cabriolet with its 3.6 litre flat engine, both cars had a lowered roofline, shortened windscreen and roll-over protection bars. The 'Turbo' version was powered by the turbo engine with 315 bhp; both cars had cut-off rear flaps which eliminated the rear wing elements.
The 'standard' Speedster was powered by the 3.8 litre engine with an increased-capacity KKK turbocharger and a power output of 330 bhp.
On these cars, the standard Carrera chassis included a rear roll-over protection bar and shortened front flaps, both with a 'vintage' appearance. In 1996, Porsche halted production of the 911 Speedster – however, in 1999 they announced plans for a new version to be launched in 2000.
1994 PORSCHE 911 CONVERTIBLE
The Convertible version of the 911 (also known as the 'Cabriolet') was launched in May 1994 and introduced a new design element – the 'B-pillar'. This body component, previously unseen on a production car, connects the front and rear side windows with an elegant arch.
Since 1994, Porsche has produced several variants of this model, including the 'Turbo Convertible' (with the 'Turbo' body styling), the 'GT2 convertible' (with an aerodynamically optimised body) and in recent years a new Targa version with its sophisticated roll-over protection system. The latest version of the 911 Cabriolet is fitted with either the normally aspirated flat engine or, for the first time in this model series, a turbocharged unit.
The 911 Cabriolet is fitted with an automatic hood-latching system. For safety reasons, this operates differently from that on the other models in the Porsche range. To ensure that the hood is adequately secured, two gas springs are used to hold it in position.
1994 PORSCHE 911 PRICE
In Germany, the new 911 Carrera cost DM 104,976 and the Turbo DM 242,118. In 1994 a 911 Carrera cost US$61,700 and a 911 Turbo S US$128,000.
Deliveries of the new 911 Carrera began in the autumn of 1993 with a total production volume projected at over 27,000 units.
The new 993 series was hailed as a great stride forward in terms of both design and engineering. Featuring all-new body styling, the 993 remained faithful to the original 911 concept whilst also incorporating new ideas such as the all-wheel drive system and an automatic hood-latching mechanism. The new 911 was also equipped with a further developed version of Porsche's well-proven '993' flat engine, which still featured the classic horizontally opposed cylinders. This unit, initially introduced in the model year 1989, had already won a large number of racing victories and set numerous world speed records for production vehicles.
1994-1998 PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 2 CABRIOLET
In late 1993 Porsche launched a new version of its open top sports car – the 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet.
Since 1989 a large number of limited-edition Speedsters had been built with the full-width 'slantnose' front end of the 964 series 911 Carrera RS, which was now replaced by a more conventional design with re-profiled front wings and bonnet. The new model also incorporated all of the body styling features introduced on the Carrera 4. Amongst these were twin headlamps as opposed to the previous single units, and revised bumpers incorporating integrated fog lamps.
The 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet came equipped with a lower roofline than that used on its predecessor – this resulted in shorter doors and higher seats, making entry and exit from the car more difficult.
The 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet was powered by the 3.6 litre flat six-cylinder power unit featured in all other 993 models, developing 250 bhp at 6,100 rpm along with 266 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. This gave it a top speed of around 260 km/h and accelerated the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds – similar performance figures to that achieved by the previous model despite its increased weight (1390 kg compared to 1360 kg).
Porsche also offered an upgraded 'Sport' version of the 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet which incorporated a number of modifications aimed primarily at improving the power unit's basic characteristics as well as the car's handling. The Sport version was based on the 911 Carrera 2 and thus incorporated a six-speed gearbox, PASM suspension system (a variant of PASM which had been specially modified for use on rear-wheel drive cars) and 15 inch Fuchs wheels with 225/50 ZR 16 tyres.
In 1994 the new model cost DM 104,976 in Germany while deliveries began early in 1994.
The Porsche 911 is a two-door grand tourer initially designed by Ferdinand "Ferry" Porsche (son of Dr. Ing. Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the company). It was introduced in 1963 as a successor to the Porsche 356, designed with more comfort and better performance, while retaining its predecessor's characteristic rear-engine design. The 911 has since then become Porsche's most well-known and iconic vehicle, as well as becoming the world's best selling sports car, with over 20 million built to date.
1994 PORSCHE 911 TARGA
The Porsche 911 Targa was unveiled to the press in June 1993. The new model came with a wide range of changes over its predecessor, not least of which was the new roof system. Gone was the old, removable 'greenhouse' panel and awkward release mechanism, replaced by an innovative sliding glass roof panel. The Targa designation was derived from the 1950s Porsche 356 'Targa Florio', a road race held near Palermo, Sicily where Porsche had proven victorious.
The top section of the glass panel slid back behind the rear window revealing an open-air roof complete with removable plastic side windows and fixed rear-quarter windows. The glass panel could also be removed completely, if desired.
The new Targa was powered by the same 3.6 litre six-cylinder engine used in all other 993 models producing 250 bhp at 6,100 rpm and 266 Nm of torque at 4,800 rpm. This gave it a top speed of around 260 km/h and accelerated the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds – similar performance figures to those achieved by the 911 Carrera 2.
Porsche also offered an upgraded 'Sport' version of the Targa which incorporated a number of modifications aimed primarily at improving the power unit's basic characteristics as well as the car's handling. The Sport version was based on the 911 Carrera 4 and thus incorporated a six-speed gearbox, PASM suspension system (the adjustable variant of Porsche Active Suspension Management), 15 inch Fuchs wheels with 225/50 ZR 16 tyres and a limited slip differential.
PORSCHE 911 TUNING
The Porsche 911 Tuning program finally came to an end in November 1993 when the full range of 911 models in regular production at Zuffenhausen – the 911 Turbo, 911 Carrera 2/4 and 911 Targa – were discontinued.
By the time of its demise the Porsche Tuning program had firmly carved for itself a niche in Porsche history as one of its most innovative and successful initiatives. Developing both mild and wild tuned versions of the iconic sports car, its cars became icons in their own right and regularly featured in the motoring press as well as regularly winning races on both road and track.
As a swan song for the Tuning program however, the November 1993 issue of Porsche Klassik magazine carried a brief article on the 'Clubsport' model. A limited series of just 100 cars had been built from existing stocks of parts and materials to celebrate the end of an era and to provide a more useable 911 for enthusiasts.
The styling and specification of the Clubsport did not deviate too far from that of the GT2, save for some interior modifications such as an additional air vent in the dashboard and a Club Sport plaque on the centre console. The engine was also slightly tuned with a slight increase in compression ratio – from 12.4:1 to 12.8:1 – and a raised redline of 7,200 rpm resulting in a power output of 306 bhp at 6,400 rpm with 297 Nm of torque available at 5,400 rpm – figures which were very similar to the later 'Cup' version that would be introduced as a range-topping model in 1995.
Further changes were made to the suspension, brakes and wheels fitted as standard. The adjustable PASM suspension used on all road going 911s was replaced with the fixed racing specification suspension used on the GT2, while a larger brake kit was installed along with internal engine modifications which included a new exhaust system and a different engine management system incorporating a specific mapping for the Clubsport.