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With the 911’s future ensured, 1984 saw the launch of a replacement for the successful SC series. It was the model year 1984 911 3.2 Carrera, reviving the Carrera name for the first time since 1975. The 911 3.2 Carrera was the last iteration in the original 911 series, with all subsequent models featuring new body styling with new brake, electronic and suspension technologies.
A new higher displacement motor, a 3.2 liter horizontally opposed flat 6 cylinder, was utilized. At the time Porsche claimed it was 80% new. The new swept volume of 3164 cc was achieved using the 95 mm (3.7 in) bore (from the previous SC model) combined with the 1978 Turbo 3.3 crankshaft's 74.4 mm (2.9 in) stroke. In addition, higher domed pistons increased the compression ratio from 9.8 to 10.3:1 (although only 9.5:1 for the US market). New inlet manifold and exhaust systems were fitted. The 915 transmission was carried over from the SC series for the first three model years. In 1987, the Carrera got a new five-speed gearbox sourced from Getrag, model number G50 with proven Borg-Warner synchronizers. This slightly heavier version also featured a hydraulically operated clutch.
With the new engine, power was increased to 207 bhp (154 kW; 210 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for North American-delivered cars and to 231 bhp (172 kW; 234 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for most other markets. This version of the 911 accelerated 0–60 mph (100 km/h) in 5.4 seconds and had a top speed of 150 mph (242 km/h) as measured by Autocar. Factory times were more modest: 0-60 mph time of 6.3 seconds for the US version and 6.1 seconds for cars outside the American market.
The brake discs were increased in size to aid in more effective heat dissipation and improved oil-fed chain tensioners were fitted to the engine. To improve oil cooling, a finned cooler replaced the serpentine lines in the front passenger fender well. This was further improved in 1987, with the addition of a thermostatically controlled fan.
Driving refinement and motor reliability were improved with an upgrade of the fuel and ignition control components to a L-Jetronic with Bosch Motronics 2 DME (Digital Motor Electronics system). An improvement in fuel-efficiency was due to the DME providing a petrol cut-off on the overrun. Changes in the fuel map & chip programming from October 1986, further improved the power to 217 bhp (162 kW; 220 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for North American delivered cars as well as for other markets requesting low emissions, like Germany. Custom-mapped chips remain a popular upgrade. The fuel relay that is mounted externally on the DME is known to be a weak point of the system.
Three basic models were available throughout the Carrera years – coupe, targa and cabriolet. When launched in 1984 in the United States, the prices of the 911 Carrera lineup were $31,950 for the coupe, $33,450 for the targa and $36,450 for the cabriolet. Almost indistinguishable from the SC, external clues are the front fog lights, which were integrated into the front valance in the Carrera. Very modest cosmetic changes were made throughout the lifespan of the Carrera, with a redesigned dash featuring larger air conditioning vents appearing in 1986.
In 1984, Porsche also introduced the M491 option. Officially called the Supersport in the UK, it was commonly known as the "Turbo-look". It was a style that resembled the Porsche 930 Turbo with wide wheel arches and the distinctive "tea tray” tail. It featured the stiffer turbo suspension and the superior turbo braking system as well as the wider turbo wheels. Sales of the Supersport were particularly strong for its first two years in the United States because the desirable 930 was not available.
Total production of the 911 3.2 Carrera series was 76,473 cars (35,670 coupé, 19,987 cabrio, 18,468 targa).
Length : cm (in): 429 (168.9)
Width : cm (in): 165 (65)
Height : cm (in): 131 (52)
Wheelbase : cm (in) : 227 (89.4)
Weight: kg (lb) : 1210 (2671)
Displacement : flat six 3164 cc (193 ci), rear-mounted
Valve gear : 12
Fuel system : Bo L-Jet fuel inj
Gearbox : 5-speed, manual
Driven wheels : rear-wheel drive
Maximum power : 231 bhp at 5900 rpm
Maximum torque : 286 Nm at 4800 rpm
Top speed : 245 km/h (152 mph)