Initiator of the 993 Turbo Cabriolet: MAHAG boss Fritz Haberl
In 1994 at the Geneva Motor Show, the idea of a 993 Turbo Cabriolet was born. Fritz Haberl, long-standing MAHAG CEO, was so taken with the 993 Carrera Cabriolet that he immediately asked if an open-topped version with the turbo engine might also be on the cards. There had also been an exclusive special series of the convertible version of the previous model, the Porsche 964 Turbo.
At that time, it was not possible to include a regular 993 Turbo Cabriolet in the range, as not even the 993 Turbo Coupé was available to buy. The first 911 Turbo with four-wheel drive and a bi-turbo engine was still in development and only went on sale in February 1995. It would have cost a huge amount in terms of both time and labour to develop a regular 993 Turbo Cabriolet, and many members of the development team in Weissach were working flat-out on the Porsche Boxster and Porsche 996 projects in 1994. The Porsche 911 of the 996 generation was the first 911 to be fitted with a water-cooled engine and shared a lot of components with the Porsche Boxster, which was first produced in 1996.
Due to Fritz Haberl’s good relations with the management, it was suggested that he visit Weissach. There was just capacity for a small series, and his idea was being pursued seriously. After a period of calculation, a report was sent to Munich to the effect that an exclusive small series would be feasible. Only ten buyers would need to be found who were willing to invest at least DM 204,300 in one of these unique items. To get some kind of perspective on this price, the reader should bear in mind that a 272-hp 993 Cabriolet was at that time featured in the price list at a basic price of DM 142,620.
Rolf Sprenger and Porsche Exclusive made it possible
In July 1994, Porsche Sales Germany informed the managing directors of the Porsche Centres of the development of a 993 Turbo Cabriolet, “Project 911 Turbo Cabrio – 911 Cabrio with Turbo 3.6l engine and transmission”:
As part of the Exclusive programme, Mr. Sprenger and his team have developed a small series of 12 911 Cabriolet Turbos (for the whole world). The price for this exclusive range with turbo engine, gearbox, chassis and spoiler is DM 89,500 rrp incl. VAT.
The conversion will be based on the convertible which accords with the customer’s wishes as regards colour, interior and M numbers. Additional options from the Exclusive range are of course also possible. For cost reasons, the vehicles will not be type approved. The vehicles will be registered by means of a specimen inspection and individual acceptance.
The price for the basic vehicle with the tuned chassis for the turbo engine, air conditioning, on-board computer and wind deflector was DM 150,800. However, the additional conversion price of DM 89,500 was not a problem for the interested parties: Fritz Haberl received six binding orders from Munich alone before the price was even known. The remaining eight vehicles were sold abroad.
The basis: the 993 Cabriolet with the narrow bodywork
The 993 Turbo Cabriolets were based on the narrow body of the Carrera Cabriolet. The engine and transmission were borrowed from the extremely powerful 964 Turbo 3.6, and the rear spoiler was painted to match the body colour All the vehicles were also given the braking system of the 964 Turbo 3.6. Fritz Haberl’s one-off was additionally equipped with a sports exhaust system and four tailpipes. It was first registered in May 1995. Instruments taken from the 964 Turbo 3.6 were installed in the dashboard. With the 360 turbo hp and a top speed of 280 km/h, the visually unobtrusive convertible turned out to be a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. With an unladen weight of only 1395 kg, the 993 Turbo Cabriolet was also more than 100 kilogrammes lighter than the 993 Turbo Coupé from February 1995.
Market situation: original 993 Turbo Cabriolets extremely sought after
It goes without saying that the fourteen original vehicles from the special series are highly-sought-after rarities. The erstwhile list price has already more than doubled. In 2018, one of the original 993 Turbo Cabriolets was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Paris for € 680,000. In the book Porsche 993 “25 Years” you will find separate, detailed chapters with a lot of background information on the following special models of the Porsche 993: Porsche 993 Speedster F.A. Porsche model year 1995 with 272PS, Porsche 993 Carrera Coupé Police “1000,000 Porsche”, model year 1996 with 285PS, Porsche 993 Turbo S “Project Gold”, the last 993 Turbo from model year 2018 with 450PS.