The Porsche 944 was the successor to the Porsche 924. After a tumultuous 1970s, Porsche abandoned its initial plan to find a replacement for the 911 with the 924, and instead built the 944. The car's engine architecture was the focal point, creating a balance with the 911 and diversifying Porsche's offerings. It's an interesting car in Porsche's history that also caused some controversy.
Introduced in 1982, it was a coupe, which was not unusual for Porsche. Very different was the engine placement, which Porsche mounted in the front. Until then, all Porsches had rear-mounted engines, it had even become Porsche’s trademark, unofficially. Breaking away from it outraged many. Many Porsche enthusiasts were not pleased, nevertheless the sales of the 944 went well, prompting Porsche make the 944 more sporty and commercial over the years.
The 911 had a six-cylinder engine, and an eight-cylinder was too much for a Porsche entry-level model like the 944. Porsche extracted a four-cylinder from the 928’s V8 engine. The four-cylinder produced 163 horsepower and managed to accelerate from zero to 100 (0 to 60 mph) in just eight seconds. After three years, a turbocharged - thus more performant - version of the 944, the ‘944 Turbo’, was released. Two years later, an S variant with even better performance came out. In 1988, a ‘Turbo S’ combination of both was released, and in 1989, Porsche launched a convertible version.
In 1992, Porsche put an end to the 944 story. Initially, they planned to release another variant of the 944, but the new design was too discontinuous, and as a result, the 968 was born.
Despite some ideological differences, the 944 was a success. An estimated total of 163,000 cars were sold. Today, the Porsche 944 is an affordable and sporty classic car that certainly bears the reputation of a real Porsche.
Porsche 944 Turbo
In the spring of 1985, Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo. The design is almost identical, except for aesthetic improvements to the bumper and lights. This Porsche is turbocharged, making it considerably more performant than its predecessor. The same four-cylinder engine now produces 217 horsepower and goes from zero to 100 (0 to 60 mph) in just under six seconds.
A step to the future was taken when revealing the 944 Turbo, numerous technological innovations were incorporated into the car. ABS, heated side mirrors, and an alarm system were available as an option.
The controversy surrounding the car has faded, and Porsche enthusiasts have come to appreciate and even idolize the 944. The Porsche Turbo is by far the most popular 944 and prices have been raising the last years.