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The Porsche 911 is a sports car made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. The famous, distinctive and durable car has undergone continuous development since its introduction in 1964. Mechanically it is notable for being rear engined and air-cooled.
In 1975 Porsche introduced the first production turbocharged 911. Although called simply Porsche 911 Turbo in Europe, it was marketed as Porsche 930 (930 being its internal type number) in North America. The body shape is distinctive thanks to wide wheel-arches to accommodate the wide tires, and a large rear spoiler often known as a “whale tail” on the early cars, and “tea-tray” on the later ones. Starting out with a 3.0-litre engine, it rose to 3.3 L for 1978. The early cars are known for extreme turbo lag.
Production figures of the car soon qualified its racing incarnation for FIA Group 4 competition as the Porsche 934, of 1976. Many participated at Le Mans and other races including some epic battles with the BMW 3 .0 CSL ‘Batmobile’. The wilder Porsche 935, a more highly tuned car in FIA Group 5 and evolved from the 2.1 L RSR Turbo of 1974, was campaigned in 1976 by the factory and won Le Mans in 1979. Private teams continued to compete successfully with the car until well into the 1980s.
As demand for the Turbo soared in the late 1980s, Porsche introduced novelty variants including a slant-nose version, while not significantly improving the range mechanically. Although these cars could be sold for extraordinary premiums over the standard models, the company’s reluctance to invest in research and development of the entire 911 line at that time turned out to be an almost fatal decision not only for the 911, but for the entire company.
Only in its last production year the 930 was equipped with a five-speed gearbox. Before, the five-speed gearboxes of the naturally-aspirated cars were not strong enough to cope with the torque of the turbo engines. With the four-speed gearbox the 930 was capable of exceeding 200 km/h (125 mph) in third gear!