The origins of the Porsche 944 are rather humble. Porsche had developed the 924 back in the 1970s, and unsurprisingly it wasn’t selling, since everyone that was shopping for a Porsche, or potentially so, knew that it was just a VW / Audi under the skin. Porsche did some major re-jigging of the car, and culminated with the 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo, which was finally a car worthy of its marque. It had flared fenders all around, excellent weight distribution, and superb handling, making it an easy car to drive hard – easier than the 911, which it certainly eclipsed by that point.
The Porsche 944 was powered by an inline four-cylinder engine, which was basically one half of the 928’s V8. At its peak, in 1988 and afterwards, it produced 250 horsepower. Top speed was an impressive 162 miles per hour, and 0-60 acceleration an impressive 5.7 seconds. The car’s impressive pick-up and acceleration, combined with its world-class handling, really gave the 944 Turbo its lettres de noblesse, but the front-engine configuration never made much headway among hardcore Porsche enthusiasts, no matter the performance.
The 1985 Porsche 944 Turbo remained in production, with some improvements and modifications, until 1991; a convertible version was also available in limited numbers, as were a few ‘Special Editions’.