1986 Porsche 944: 80's Wonder
A 944 Turbo is quick, but when you add upgrades (chip upgrades), the power becomes unleashed and you really scoot.
Being an 80's car, they generally have issues with vacuum lines being old, cracked, and leaky. The dashes on these cars are typcically cracked ranging from very minor cracks to a gaping maw (the older, the worse... in most cases).
These cars do not ride like Cadillacs nor like a Geo Metro, these are sports cars. The suspension might seem a little rough, but it handles quite well. The weight ration from front to rear is at about 51%/49%, the car will see both over steer and under steer, so it's best that the driver take it easy and understand how the car handles. Once you get the hang of it, you'll sink into the seat when you're accelerating and around turns you will be stuck in your seat as they grip you.
1986 944 Turbo see's 217hp and 249Torque. An ECU upgrade and wastegate shims will bring you up to 270~hp and 300torque... One heck of an upgrade! Boost kicks in at 3,500rpms and stock hits about 13~psi. The aftermarket for these cars is not like a Honda, it's smaller but you will find all the upgrades you'll ever need. The turbo is oil fed and water cooled. These cars have an auxiliary water pump that turns on after you turn the car off which cools the turbo down after you've turned the car off. It's basically a stock turbo timer, the fans for the radiator kick on and the pump flows coolant to the turbocharger.
The interior is nice and not intrusive. Simple climate controls keep you warm or cool (if your a/c is charged). The rear seats are... well, if you had no legs you'd fit okay, but for small children its okay, the front seats might have to move forward a tad. The leg room is fantasic in the front! I am 6'4" and can still move my seat back. If back all the way, I'll have too much leg room.
I tend to do spirited runs quite often, the turbo lag is hard to get adjusted to as the power band is above 3,500rpms, if you dip below it takes a brief moment for the power to kick in and when it does, you have to be careful as to not spin out around a turn. Time and patience is the key in this area.
I would buy a 944 Turbo again, but it would not be a 1986 model, it'd be a later 1987 and up Turbo S model (89 Turbo is the same specs as a Turbo S). They came with a larger turbo, more power, beefier sway bars, better wheel offset, ABS, and i am sure other things as well but generally speaking, they cost more.
My '86 944 Turbo has treated me well, it has needed some work here and there (vacuum lines, clutch master cylinder) but it has all been general maintenance. This car pulls strong at 140,000 miles and being a car thats 21 years old.
These are great cars, go test drive one and see if it fits you.
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