Four-wheel-drive and advanced electronics in the 993 Turbo transformed Porsche’s ‘everyday supercar’ forever so the Turbo 3.6 is really the end of the old-school 911 Turbo era. The second generation of 964 Turbo 3.6 launched as a 1993 model year car. The 3.3 liter turbo engine was replaced by a 3.6 liter turbo engine. Power was up to 360 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and torque was up to 384 ft/lbs @ 4,200 rpm. Other mechanical upgrades included better brakes, lower suspension and 18 inch 3-piece Speedline wheels. The 964 Turbo 3.6 also got large red brake callipers. Less than 1,500 examples were produced.
The original 964 Turbo was meant to have an upgraded engine but Porsche ran out of time, thus choosing to launch with the carryover 3.3 liter engine. That was rectified for the 1993 model year with the Turbo 3.6 and a totally new engine based on the M64 unit (from the 964 Carrera 2 and Carrera 4). Its additional 301 cc in displacement was coupled with a higher compression ratio, bigger turbo and 50 per cent larger intercooler. The result was that the new Turbo 3.6 had 40 more horsepower than the outgoing Turbo 3.3 and an additional 30 lb/ft more torque. Power of 360 bhp @ 5,500 rpm and torque of 384 ft/lbs @ 4,200 rpm was fairly insane in 1994.
Performance was also up versus the Turbo 3.3. The the sprint to 60 mph was over in 4.6 seconds (the 3.3 did it in 5.4 seconds), the quarter mile was a quick 12.4 seconds (the 3.3 did in 12.9 seconds) and top speed was 180 mph (the 3.3 only hit 168 mph top speed). A thorough upgrade in the numbers department then. The Turbo 3.6 wasn’t just faster than the Turbo 3.3 that came before it, it beat the likes of the Ferrari 348 and Honda NSX which were considered top of the heap in those years.
Visually the car is marked out by polished Speedline three-piece split-rims (an inch wider at the front and rear) in the Cup style of the RS. The suspension is also 20 mm lower and the Turbo 3.6 also got the big red brake calipers. It was a rare car, with only 1,437 units being built.
We were lucky enough to drive a Turbo 3.6 recently and it was perfect. The interior is still luxurious despite being a little dated these days. The lovely Recaro seats offer electric adjustment and were comfortable to sit in. They did leave a little to be desired when we were pushing hard in terms of lateral support, but again not bad for a car built in 1993. All the other interior features work well and as expected. There’s air conditioning, power windows and mirrors and a stereo, and lots of leather. This really would make a great daily driver today.
Fears of the widowmaker label are in the back of my mind as we push a little harder as our confidence builds. In typical Turbo fashion, I find that taking a “slow in, fast out” approach is the best way to get the most out of the car. Overall, the Turbo 3.6 is less wayward than folklore suggests but there are definitely a few times where getting on the throttle too early did scare the sh-t out of me so that is something to note on your drive to work.
The Turbo is no RS. It is calm at low revs, but put your foot down, wait for 3,400 rpm and holy crap the thing rockets away. The ﬁrst time you get the full beans of 0.85 bar of boost it will make you giggle like a little kid. So. Much. Fun. Here were are in 2019 and the car is so much fun and still very fast by even today’s standards. Sure we have turbo engines today, but this is old school turbo fun. Floor it. Wait…for…it and then BAMMMM, the blower spools, the mechanical limited-slip differential engages and then a massive shove in the back. I can’t get enough.
The Turbo’s bipolar personality is a huge part of its appeal. A classic.