Year: 1975-1989 Generation: 930 Units built: ‘75–’77 (3.L) 2,819, ‘78–’89 (3.3L) 18,770
Engine: Single turbo flat-six | Power: 260 to 330 hp | 0 – 60 mph: 4.9-5.2s | Top Speed: 155-173mph
In 1974 Porsche introduced the first production turbocharged 911. In Europe it was called the Porsche 911 Turbo and in the United States it was called the Porsche 930. It looked different than the normal 911s, with wider wheel-arches, bigger wheels and tires and a large rear “whale tail” spoiler. Starting out with a 3.0L engine with 260 hp, it rose to 3.3L and 300 hp for 1978. Only in 1989, its last year of production, was the 930 equipped with a five-speed gearbox. The 930 was replaced in 1990 with a 964-version featuring the same 3.3L engine. There have been turbocharged variants of each subsequent generation of 911.
The 930 Turbo was Porsche’s top-of-the-range 911 model for its entire production duration. It was the fastest production car available and very quickly became known as the supercar beater and windowmaker. With 260 horsepower out of its 3.0-liter flat-six and a propensity to oversteer it was a real handful for even experienced drivers. This makes our list because it spawned an entire generation of Porsche cars we now love, and it was the first time Porsche really gave it to the folks at Ferraris and Lamborghini, showing it could beat the big guns.
A single turbocharger gave a huge boost in engine output. Unlike the smooth, predictable performance of modern Porsche turbos, the 930 had an on-off switch. All was well until the primitive turbo spooled up and then all hell broke loose. That unpredictability and rear engine layout was scary, and people loved it (in a snap oversteer is scary and mind kill your kind of way of course).
Other than the notorious handling characteristics and turbo lag, the 930 is an epic display of automotive pornography. The whale tail, the wide wheel arches, the noise it makes, nearly everything else about the 930 Turbo makes this Porsche 911 breed great.