Published on April 18th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Porsche 944 used buy review
Porsche 944, worth its weight in metal today
Most of you might not remember the Porsche 944 unless you were born in my era or had a relative who happened to own one. It is not like the 944 is a reclusive sports car, it is just that in our part of the world it was not as popular as the iconic 911. Let us explain.
The 944 is a product of the Porsche 924, which was Porsche’s first attempt to deliver a front engine reasonably priced sports car to challenge the rising Japanese stars like the Toyota Celica, Nissan 240Z, Mazda RX7 Savanna and the Honda Perlude.
When the 924 did not get the sales attention it needed, Porsche decided to add some much needed aggression to it. So, the 944 was born.
The Porsche 944 made its debut in 1982 and it was first equipped with a 2.5-litre normal aspirated four-cylinder engine (which was an engine developed by Audi) which produced 163hp. This 944 could still manage to go from 0 – 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds, which was good for the early 1980s. Porsche engineers claimed that the top speed was 210 km/h.
The Porsche 944 was launched at the Le Mans endurance race and they had the 944 racing in the Le Mans. The cars performance and its impressive Le Mans 24 hours’ race result gave the car credibility and the presence of a high-tech Porsche engine under the bonnet meant that the 944 had become desirable.
The 944 provided excellent handling with a weight distribution of 50.7 : 49.3 split that was achieved by mounting the gearbox and differential transaxle at the rear of the car.
The Porsche 944 featured the same interior as the 924, but with flared fenders and slightly different styling. Two years into production and Porsche decided to give the 944 a new dashboard, door trim pieces and a fresh overall look. In 1987 Porsche added ABS which improved braking efficiency. In 1989 the 944’s engine capacity increased from 2.5-litres to 2.7-litres.
In 1986 the 944 got a turbocharger installed under the hood and it was significantly more powerful than the naturally aspirated 944. The 944 Turbo delivered 217 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. With all this extra power the 944 Turbo could accelerate from 0 – 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds which was a 2.5 seconds improvement.
944 Turbo S
Then in 1988 Porsche decided to give the 944 even more power to compete against the influx of more powerful Japanese sports cars and the 944 Turbo S was born in 1988. The “S” stood for “Super” and Porsche’s engineers fitted a new KKK K26-8 turbocharger and made some changes to the engine mapping. The new mapping kept the turbocharger boost at 10.9 psi up to 3,000 rpm and then dropped it to 7.5 psi at 5,800 rpm, increasing efficiency.
The Porsche 944 S produced 247 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. This gave it a 0 – 100 km/h acceleration time of just 5.5 seconds and a standing quarter mile run time of 13.9 seconds. Top speed was now 261 km/h which gave the Porsche 944 the title of being the fastest four-cylinder production car at the time.
After nearly 10 years in production and more than 160,000 Porsche 944s produced, the 944 became the most successful car in the company’s line up at the time.
944 Used Prices Today
There were not many brought into Malaysia in the 1980’s and 1990’s as the sales concentration was with its sibling, the 911SC and the 964. If you check the online classifieds regularly you might just stumble on a unit for sale and prices in the last year have gone up due to its rarity and the small surviving numbers. Some 3-4 years ago a first generation 944 in good condition was selling for between RM30,000 and RM40,000. The Turbo S maybe RM10,000 more. We have gone to meet a few and never managed to find a really good unit for sale.
Recently the prices have gone up by 100%. Recent checks online have sellers asking RM70,000 to RM80,000 and we do not see cars being sold. Sadly, the 944 does not carry a classic appeal and its interiors do not test time well. There are still a few really good condition units sitting in the homes of doctors and business tycoons which will not go on sale anytime soon. We have seen these units parked in reserved hospital car park lots and public listed company numbered car park lots and they are in pristine condition.