Hardly anyone knows the Porsche 911 Turbo as well as Walter Röhrl. 41 years ago he bought his first own and his first company car at Porsche was a turbo. In the Porsche Experience Center at the Hockenheimring, he remembers seven generations of the top model.
“The forefather of all turbos was a technical revolution in series automobile construction. The first variant with 260 hp and four-speed transmission was still very powerful in terms of its power delivery, but precisely because of that it was a wonderful challenge for experts. The visual appearance of the 930 was also a dream, the exhibited fenders in combination with the Fuchs rims and the large rear spoiler. Less than four years after the market launch, in 1979 I fulfilled this very personal dream and bought my first own 911 Turbo. "
“The successor still had 3.3 liters displacement like the last variants of the 930 models. Visually it was still beautiful, the wide fenders with the high headlights and the mighty wing. Technically, like the 964, the new models with ABS and power steering ensured significantly more driving safety. However, the engines of the first variants were a bit outdated. In terms of longitudinal dynamics, it was not a big step towards the predecessor, which is why the early models are more of the less popular models today. However, with the Turbo 3.6 that changed fundamentally, the 360 hp variant with the fundamentally redesigned engine is still a dream car today. "
“The next big step: all-wheel drive. I believe that I was not insignificantly involved here with my saying: “A car without all-wheel drive is an emergency solution.” During development, I said early on that you couldn't make a car with 408 hp without all-wheel drive. In many experiments we then preferred the new viscous coupling with the variable force distribution to the front over the old principle with the rigid distribution. Particularly in combination with the new Weissach rear axle and the harmonious power delivery of the biturbo engine, the 993 Turbo was simply wonderful to drive and hard to beat in terms of driving dynamics. "
“With the new generation came the next milestone in development: water cooling. Technically, the car was excellent, even the PCCB ceramic brake system from racing was now available in series. The 996 was by far the best turbo that had ever existed. Only optically were the new cars little loved, many complained about the fried egg headlights. In my opinion, however, this is completely unjustified. For me, the 996 Turbo is perhaps the insider tip, especially from today's perspective. A still very fast and fully everyday sports car at a reasonable price - but personally I would prefer the manual transmission. The Tiptronic automatic transmission, introduced in a turbo for the first time with the 996, significantly sharpens the 420 hp. "
“With the 997 generation, we have taken a step into the modern age, especially in terms of looks. Even today, the cars are barely aged and still embody the aesthetics of a modern Porsche. Technically, the 997.2 Turbo had once reached the magical limit of 500 hp, and the PDK dual clutch transmission was used for the first time - it was wonderful to drive with it. Even today, I can't find anything negative and I always enjoy sitting at the steering wheel of a 997 Turbo. The feeling in the coordination of steering, chassis and brakes is wonderfully analog. "
“The even wider fenders are almost reminiscent of the original turbos. In addition, the refined power distribution of the all-wheel drive, the introduction of rear-axle steering and, of course, the further increased performance: The 991 Turbo models set the bar so high in terms of driving dynamics that it is hard to believe that there is still room for improvement. The responsiveness, the balance and the irrepressible power of the engines, it's amazing. "
“I'm being completely honest here: I just couldn't imagine how the experience of the previous generation could be enhanced. But when I drive the 992 Turbo at Hockenheim today, it's just unbelievable. It has grown again in so many dimensions that it almost leaves me speechless. The 992 Turbo moves on a super sports car level and yet you can put anyone behind the wheel without worrying. There is no oversteer or understeer. You're just incredibly fast. I take my hat off to the development department, because the talents that the new car unites were simply unimaginable a few years ago. For me too."
Of course that had not happened yet!
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