Since 1975, the “Turbo” has been the biggest attraction in the world’s most admired 911 series.
The Porsche 911 Turbo 964 model generation is, in quality terms, one of the most prestigious the sports car sector has to offer. It is excellently finished down to the smallest detail and is known to be very reliable. Nor can there be many iterations of the Porsche 911 Turbo that are lovelier to look at. The combination of Cup design and Turbo-look make the already very attractive lines of the 964 appear even more exciting and charismatic. The carefully modernized design of the 964 Turbo would hardly lead you to suspect that about 85 percent of all the parts under its steel skin have been developed from scratch.
These include in particular the chassis with the modern MacPherson struts at front and rear: a revolution which considerably improves driving behavior. Anyone looking for a 911 Turbo 964 model generation is confronted with the question of which to choose, there being two different engine variants available.
The 964 Turbo 3.3 was produced in the 1991 and 1992 model years.
Its engine was still based on the unit of the predecessor, with 3.3-liter displacement. It now had a power output of 320 hp with catalytic converter technology. A total of 3660 vehicles of the 964 Turbo 3.3 were produced. They are traded at a significant discount to the 964 Turbo 3.6, but are also a very clear recommendation.
The acceleration up to the 3000 rpm range isn’t much to write home about, but once the steam hammer fires up, any lingering doubts are resolved. The 964 Turbo 3.3 is simply a beautiful Porsche classic. At speed on the motorway, the needle of the fuel tank nears the reserve pretty quickly, but it was ever thus. Particularly in demand are performance-enhanced 964 Turbo 3.3 WLS with the kit X33. The factory performance upgrade helped the Turbo 3.3 to 355HP.
The 911 Turbo 3.6 was produced in the 1993 and 1994 model years.
It now had the new engine base of the 964 with 3.6 liters of displacement. If money is no object, you should of course select the 911 Turbo 3.6. With its 360 hp and big fat torque, it’s much livelier than its predecessor even in the lower speed range. Due to the small number produced, a mere 1436, and the lack of choice, it’s quite difficult to find an adequate specimen. The 964 Turbo 3.6 was one of the very big attractions in the movie “Bad Boys” and looked incredibly good with its 18 inch Speedline wheels.
The robustness of 911 engines is legendary. This applies in principle also to the more demanding Turbo engines, which are of course subject to greater thermal loads than their naturally aspirated relatives. If a Turbo engine is to have a decent life span, it’s vitally important that careful attention be paid to warming it up properly and to allowing it to cool down at idle after the car has been cranked up to speed. Regular maintenance, including the setting of the valve clearances, is very important.
The integrated dual-mass flywheel from Freudenberg was problematic in the early versions of the 964 Turbo 3.3, coming as it did with a wear-prone rubber element with a stated durability of about 70,000 kilometers or seven years. This was replaced in the factory after 1992 with the reliable dual-mass flywheel from LUK with its metal springs, with which virtually every car of this sort which is still on the road has at some point been retrofitted. This conversion should be checked. Oil leaks are occasionally to be observed in the 964 Turbo: these can come either from the control chain box or the cylinder heads.
If the engine of a 964 Turbo needs to be overhauled after 200,000 km, this is in any case a job for the specialists. Overhauling a Turbo engine will as a rule of thumb cost between € 10,000 and € 20,000, depending on how thoroughgoing it needs to be. You should in any case always subject the 911 Turbo you’re thinking of buying to a thoroughgoing test drive.
The manual five-speed transmission of the 964 Turbo causes little trouble, as this model didn’t yet feature a Tiptronic or PDK. The transmission is based on the G50 gearbox, which was built in several versions. This is considered very robust, and synchromesh issues rarely feature.
Price developments – The Porsche 964 Turbo cheaper again!
Many air-cooled Porsche rarities reached their highest price level in 2017 and have since fallen in price. A Porsche 993 Turbo was traded in 2017 in condition grade 1 around 200,000€ and can currently be purchased just under 20% cheaper. The situation is similar for the Porsche 993 RS or 964 Speedster. Prices also came back for the 964 Turbo 3.3. According to the experts at Classic Data, vehicles in very good condition are once again trading around 145,000€.
The Porsche 964 Turbo is one of the most fascinating opportunities ever to drive an air-cooled Porsche.
Consistently maintained vehicles in very good condition with low mileage are not uncommon.
If you have access to the six-figure sum required to buy a 964 Turbo and are not scared off by the appreciable maintenance costs, you will have all the joys of driving one of the most beautiful ‘Elevens ever made. You also have to bear in mind, however, that driving one isn’t without its challenges. For a super sports car from the 90s, it’s also comfortable and very well equipped even in its standard iteration. Knowing that you have a 964 Turbo in your garage or collection will always give rise to a special feeling. So you shouldn’t hesitate too long if you find a suitable candidate: after all, it may well sell very quickly from under you.
You can read the detailed buying advice for the 964 Turbo 3.3 and 964 Turbo 3.6 in our new book “Porsche 964 THE BOOK 1989-1994”.
The book also presents the special models 964 Turbo S Lightweight, 964 Turbo Cabriolet and 964 Turbo S Flachbau – Flatnose / Package Cars in separate chapters in each case.
On November 30, 2021, Berlin Motor Books will publish „PORSCHE 964 THE BOOK 1989–1994" in a limited edition of 1994 copies.
Special features in this book
- Detailed purchasing advice and price trends
- Extensive information about special models and prototypes
- Unpublished documents and photographs from the historic Porsche archives