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Brief History of the Porsche 944 Models
1982-1985 944
Introduced in the US as a 1983 model. These early cars are lighter than the later cars. The interior is a transplant from the 924. These cars were largely based on the 924 Turbo in that the maintained basically the same body (except for the larger wheel arches), the ventilated brake discs, and suspension. The 5-speed gearbox was an Audi transplant, while the automatic was from VW.

The totally new engine was a 2.5 litre inline four-cylinder developed at Porsche. This engine has been called half of a 928 engine, in that they do share the same cylinder head, valves, and bore & stroke (the 944 4 valve, 959, and 928S4 all have the same valves, valve guides, valve angles, and combustion chamber). The new engine utilized contra rotating balance shafts to cancel out vibration in the relatively large four-cylinder engine. Optional sport package available that added Koni/Boge sport shocks, front/rear sway bars. The forthcoming turbocharged version was originally intended to replace the aging 911.


1985/2-88 944
Forged aluminum front lower control arms, redesigned interior. The steering wheel was also moved slightly to give more leg clearance.

Radio antenna removed and flush bonded with the front windshield. Improvements in air vent flow, oil sump capacity, new front and rear cast aluminum control arms and semi-trailing arms, larger fuel tank, optional heated and power seats, revised starter, revisions in the mounting of the transaxle to reduce noise and vibration. For the 87 model year, ABS anti-lock brakes became an available option, and a new sport suspension package based on the Turbo Cup series also became available. Starting with the 88 model year, dual air bags became standard equipment.


1989 944
Larger 2.7 liter engine for the last year of the standard 944. This is the only year of production of a 2.7 liter engine.

1986-88 944 Turbo
Utilized KKKÕs K26 turbocharger, an external oil cooler, and an air-to-air intercooler. Featured Bosch Motronic engine management. A new front end and rear under-valence panel (new body pieces allowed the car to reduce the drag coefficient to 0.33), updated brakes, and larger spring-centered clutch. The head was also beefed up in that it received stronger valves and improved ports.

For the 87 model year, ABS anti-lock brakes became an available option. Starting with the 88 model year, dual air bags became standard equipment.


1988-89 944 Turbo S
The Turbo S engine is based on the normal Turbo engine. ItÕs equipped with a modified turbo with redesigned vanes. The DME computer has different fuel/ignition/boost mapping to give higher boost over the entire RPM range compared to the normal Turbo. The exhaust valves were also increased in diameter by 1/100th mm near the valve guide for better running at full load.

Water hose, pipe, mounts and turbo waterpump were all changed due to the reinforcements of the front end. The clutch had changes in springs and the friction liner is cemented and riveted to handle the extra power. Front and rear shocks are stiffer, the brakes are from the 928 S4. Larger anti-roll bars and torsion bars. The transmission has a limited slip and an oil cooler. 1st and 2nd gears were hardness blasted for increased strength. "S" coil springs are also harder and tapered to allow for wheel clearance. It also had harder rubber suspension bushings all around. Dual airbags and ABS were standard.


1987-88 944S
The 944S had the series' first sixteen-valve engine, at the same 2.5 litre displacement as its forebears. Duel camshafts were connected by a chain that was kept taught by a somewhat problematic hydraulic tensioner. A larger camshaft timing belt also went through some "teething problems" early in the model's lifetime.

The S also received an updated transmission that featured a larger, meatier pinion gear, the Achilles' heal of its eight-valve older brothers. It had the same gearing as the 944 Turbo, but a shorter final ratio like the eight-valve, aspiros.

From '87 on, ABS brakes were available in the 944 series as an option. In '88, dual driver/passenger airbags became standard equipment.


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