The ultimate Porsche

By: 
October 09, 1995

Zero-to-60 in 4.4 sec. A top track speed of 180 mph. The most powerful
production Porsche ever offered for sale in North America has it all: Twin
turbos, all-wheel-drive, a redesigned rear suspension, and new anti-lock braking
system. Its 3.6-liter, horizontally- opposed, six-cylinder engine produces a
whopping 400 hp @ 5,750 rpm, and 400 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm.

Inspired by the Porsche 959, a vehicle many acknowledge as one of the great cars of the 20th century, the 1996 Porsche 911 Turbo features the same mix of power and handling. But unlike its predecessor--a limited edition model offered for sale outside of America--the new 911 turbo is designed for daily driving on U.S. roads. Better still, it is priced at the same level as the model it replaces--$99,000--despite its considerable changes and enhancements.

(A) All-wheel-drive offers a 33% reduction in mechanical friction losses compared to its predecessor. A viscous center clutch responds to power, rpm, and temperature differences to vary slip between front and rear axles. Working with the rear locking differential, the clutch diverts power to those wheels with the most traction. An Automatic Brake Differential, part of the Bosch ABS, applies braking power to slipping wheels to help initiate traction.

(B)Twin K-16 turbo-chargers from KKK, Germany, produce significant improvement in throttle response compared to a single turbo-charger system with the same power output. A boost pressure control valve integrated into each turbocharger, working with the Bosch Motronic M5.2 system, controls air flow to optimize efficiency and response, and to program a power characteristic.

(C) Subframe-mounted rear suspension replaces the semi-trailing arms and struts of previous 911s. Four links in two horizontal planes, functioning like "A"-arms, define Porsche's Lightweight-Stable-Agile (LSA) system. Further development of the toe-correcting "Weissach suspension" pioneered on the 928 contributes to stability by forcing the outside rear wheel to toe-in during cornering.

(D) Anti-lock braking system from Bosch augments the four-wheel disc set-up, which includes cross-drilled rotors and four-piston fixed calipers from Brembo. Coupled with larger rear brakes, the new ABS 5 system helps ensure shorter stopping distances and better control on uneven surfaces.

(E) Hollow-spoked aluminum wheels save 24 lbs of unsprung weight. De-signed by Porsche and built by Speedline, the wheel's patented rim and spoke assembly are separate components bonded permanently by a friction welding process. No complex molding tools are required for rim production. Rim width, furthermore, can be varied.

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