Wing and a prayer Porsche 911 RSR Turbo on track in Porsche’s gamechanging Le Mans monster plus all the Porsche 911 Turbo road cars from 1975 to today. The first Turbo to run at Le Mans and the foundation of a tradition that’s ongoing This Porsche 911 was the first turbocharged car to compete at Le Mans – so successfully that every Le Mans Porsche since has been force-fed. John Barker discovers a racing legend. Photography Alex Tapley.
That a crazy-looking car. I’ve seen plenty of pictures of the Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1, but to walk out into the pitlane at Rockingham Raceway and find it parked there is like going into your living room and finding David Bowie sitting on your sofa. I can’t help but laugh out loud. The confidence, the vision, the audacity that Porsche had to build something this off-the-wall is breathtaking even today – what must its rivals have thought when it was wheeled out into the pitlane at Le Mans in 1974?
The RSR Turbo is the extraordinary answer to an extraordinary question, that question being: what do we need to do to make a 911 RSR competitive if we stuff a 500bhp, turbocharged flat-six in the back? According to Norbert Singer, then just a few years into his career at Porsche, part of the answer was to fit 15in-wide rear slicks and the most enormous rear wing. FIA Group 5 was a silhouette class but, because race cars exist to sell road cars, the RSR Turbo had to look like a 911, so that huge wing was painted black in an attempt to make it less obvious.
Porsche built just four of these 2.1 Turbos, all of which were given ‘R’ numbers and, clearly not being superstitious, this is R13. It proved the most successful of the three that saw competitive action (the fourth was a development car), finishing second overall at Le Mans in 1974. This was an incredible achievement when you consider that it was the first turbocharged car ever to compete in the 24-hour classic and was up against a phalanx of proven, low-slung, open-cockpit sports prototypes: Matras, Lolas, Gulf Mirages, Ligiers, Chevrons and a couple of Porsche 908s.
In comparison with them, the RSR Turbo looked like a Funny Car dragster, its low, obviously 911 front end rising and then distending into caricature. Its rear side windows were replaced with panels with NACA ducts and the buttresses and rear wing extended its overall length.
And what a view from the rear. It’s the hefty turbo hanging in the wide cut-out that draws the eye. Then you notice the original 911 tail-lights either side of it. Flanked by the cartoonishly wide rear ’arches, the lights look so far inboard that you wonder if the original shell has been narrowed, but no: it’s just that the inside edges of the road-roller-like rear tyres sit outboard of where a standard 911’s wheelarches would finish…
It was pretty effective, too. The fastest of the sports prototypes qualified with lap times in the 3min 36sec range; the RSR Turbo was only about 16 seconds a lap slower than that but about 20 seconds faster than the 3.0 RSRs. It proved remarkably reliable and despite issues late on, could even have won outright.
It looks like the sort of car that would need a mechanic with a portable starter motor to poke around the back to churn the engine and get it going. It doesn’t. ‘It’s a Porsche: it starts first time on the key,’ grins Simon Harper, who works for the current owner. Our driver, the hugely experienced Joe Twyman, straps in, turns the disarmingly standard-looking key that’s poking out of the scrappy dashboard, and the flat-six fires up with a chug of dark smoke from the single tailpipe. It idles with a sound that’s got some blare to it but is surprisingly moderate given that the header pipes feed into the hulking great KKK turbocharger and then go straight to atmosphere.
As it pulls away, the note is hard-edged though not coarse, the typically lazy, confident flat-six beat staying high for a few yards, testimony to a long first gear, and then it’s out of sight. We all stand and listen, tracking its progress aurally. It’s a bit hesitant at first, reluctant to pull revs, but it hasn’t been used in anger for many years and Joe is treating it respectfully.
As it comes past the pits on the banking, still far from full-throttle, the flat-six drawl ricochets off the stands. For me, this is the sound of Le Mans: the noise I went to sleep with and hours later woke up to. By the third lap, the RSR’s engine is coming on song and the sound has gained an extra element: a high-pitched whine reminiscent of a jet engine. ‘That’s the turbo,’ smiles Simon.
The quoted output of the 2142cc flat-six is 450-500bhp at 7600rpm, an output that would be impressive still today. That capacity was chosen so that, with the FIA turbo equivalency factor of 1.4:1, the car would still be under the 3.0-litre limit for the prototype Group 5 class. Practically, the capacity was achieved by reducing both the bore and the stroke of the naturally aspirated 3.0-litre RSR engine, while to keep weight down its crankcase was cast in magnesium alloy.
Porsche had two seasons of experience of using turbochargers in competition with the 917, and had won the 1973 CanAm championship convincingly with the incredible 917/30, the 1100bhp monster driven by Mark Donohue. The RSR Turbo’s KKK ‘33’ turbocharger boosts to 1.4bar (20psi) and the engine is fed by mechanical fuel injection. Unlike the stock engine, the cooling fan sits on top of the engine (as in the flat-12s) rather than facing the rear because, although turning the drive 90º consumes more energy, this is more than offset by the fan cooling the air-cooled engine block better, allowing it to make more power.
Back in the pits, the turbocharger is still spooling down a good few seconds after the engine has been cut. The RSR is now exuding that rich-running, part-burnt-hydrocarbons aroma that old racers so often have.
It’s clear that R13 has never been restored. In fact, I could quite believe that, since its last competitive outing 40 years ago, it has only been washed to get the bugs off. The patina is glorious. There are nicks and scratches, stone-peck on the wing tops and missing paint on an ’arch where another car’s tyre has rubbed. The Martini stripes that flow sensually around the RSR’s curves were clearly applied by hand and even the sponsors’ decals are sign-written; you can see the brush-strokes in the almost transluscent ‘MARTINI PORSCHE’ script, as if two coats of paint would have been unnecessarily heavy.
I’m only half-joking. The more you look, the more you discover a fanatical approach to weight-saving. The bonnet shield is a transfer rather than an enamel badge and the doorhandles look like the standard metal ones painted black, but are in fact moulded from lightweight black plastic. Take hold, push the button and swing the door open. It feels as light as a crisp packet, and probably offers about as much side-impact protection because there are neither door-bars nor cross-bracing for the aluminium rollcage. Yep, aluminium. Every single possible gram has been shaved off, like it’s an aircraft.
And like an aircraft, it was designed to fly, not crash. Different times.
There’s not much of the original 911 steel bodyshell left, just the floorpan, front bulkhead and a few sections at either end of the tub. Almost all the bodywork is fashioned from lightweight glassfibre and, while the roof is still metal, it’s made of aluminium to help lower the centre of gravity. The deepdish wheels are the 917’s 15in centre-lock magnesium alloys, which originally would have been shod with Dunlop slicks. On this bitterly cold day they are instead wearing a set of Avon wets with Dunlop transfers.
The regular 911’s limiting torsion-bar suspension had already been replaced by a coil spring set-up on the 3.0 RSRs, and the Turbo’s chassis was further evolved. Its engineers created a completely bespoke arrangement of box-section aluminium arms and progressive-rate titanium coil springs, anti-roll bars and Bilstein dampers. It saved a massive 27kg (60lb) over that of the regular RSR set-up.
The result of all these weight-saving measures is impressive. With a full tank of fuel – all 120 litres (26.4 gallons) of it – the RSR Turbo 2.1 weighs in at just 828kg. Less than a Lotus Elise. That’s not simply Porsche’s claim, either, that’s the weight recorded at scrutineering for Le Mans. The long-distance fuel tank isn’t under the bonnet because, although it would help weight distribution, as the tank went from full to empty the front would unload to the tune of 90kg, changing the dynamic balance. Instead the tank sits in the middle of the car next to the driver, leaving a scant 266kg over the front wheels for a very tail-heavy 32:68 split.
Already I’m trying to imagine what that must feel like, and how the RSR will behave when that heavily turbocharged, small-capacity flat-six comes on boost. A colleague speculated that flooring the throttle would be like pulling the pin from a grenade… I’ll find out soon enough, if only from the passenger seat.
‘Seat’ is a generous description. Really it’s a small scoop of glassfibre covered with a swatch of velour, and supported by an aluminium tube at the front and pop-riveted to the bulkhead behind. It looks like it would struggle to cope with a heavy bag of shopping, let alone my weight, but a Group 5 car has to be a two-seater. Technically. ‘Be careful, please,’ says Simon. I do my best, lowering myself in gingerly, and – ta-da! – it holds. I am proof that this RSR is a two-seater.
It’s a bit cramped, mind; the central fuel tank pushes the rear bulkhead forward and the footwell is foreshortened too, so my knees are up round my ears. I feel like I’m squatting rather than sitting.
Joe fires-up the flat-six, snicks the lever into first and we trundle out onto the circuit, the gravelly-voiced boxer crooning away behind. A squeeze of throttle brings a whoosh of boost and a strengthening of the push.
Joe brakes early for the left that links to the infield section and, as he swings the car in, there’s a sharp crack! The fragile seat gives way and I’m sitting a couple of inches lower, eyes now level with the top of the dashboard. It means I loll drunkenly into the next corner. To stop myself rolling around and impeding Joe’s gear-shifting I have to shove my left arm down the side of the seat and my right hand high up into the corner of the rollcage.
As the lap progresses, Joe coaxes more from the engine, and I’m getting a flavour of the power. When the swell of torque takes hold of what little mass there is, it throws the RSR forward with delicious ease. Shame it is still stumbling with a misfire at around 5500rpm.
As period shots show, it’s not a stiffly setup car so there’s some roll. Occasionally Joe throws in a stab of opposite lock for a reason that I, sitting on something about as stable as a beachball, cannot feel. I can guess, though – it’s just above freezing and when I’d stuck a thumbnail into the tread of those Avon wets the rubber felt like Bakelite. I’m seeing just a glimpse, then, of the RSR’s potential. Oh for a warm track, hot slicks and a proper seat.
After three laps I can brace no longer. Back in the pits I apologise as I extricate myself. ‘It’s been repaired before,’ says Simon, pointing to a discoloured patch on the underside of the seat, the base of which has delaminated like puff pastry. Like many other parts of this car, the seat wasn’t expected to be in service into the next millennium. It’s now been repaired again – good as new.
It’s agreed that Joe will do two more laps so that we can get some shots of it cornering. Happily, the misfire clears and he stays out for a few more, getting his foot down to 6500rpm and treating us to a louder, more dynamic display. We’re really getting a flavour of what the car sounds like, the wastegate chattering its musical chu-chu-chuchu- chu on the overrun, the engine note rising and then rising faster as the boost kicks in. And visually it makes more sense when it’s slingshotting away from the apex.
‘It’s clear that they built it to be incredibly driver-friendly,’ says Joe when we catch up in the pits. He’s been lucky enough to drive lots of great Porsche racers – 3.0 RSR, 935, 956, 962 – but, unsurprisingly, this is his first time in an RSR Turbo 2.1. ‘It’s not a lot of effort to drive, as you’d expect of a car that’s designed to be driven for long stints. The clutch has a long travel so, although it’s heavy, it’s not easy to stall, and the gearbox is good.
‘It’s easy to figure out the handling – there’s nothing to catch you out. The steering is light despite not having assistance, and it’s obvious there’s not much weight at the front, but ultimately it seems easy to get into the apex.’ And that engine? ‘Lag is much less than expected but there’s enough to make you think about it. Boost comes in quite low down, so as long as you’ve got it spooled-up early it’s OK. In delivery it’s a lot like a 956. If you really leaned on it, it would wheelspin – it’s a beast waiting to be unleashed – but with those fat slicks I imagine the advantage it had over the 3.0 RSRs was acceleration out of the corners and top speed.
‘I think it could get quite warm in there. I was cold when we were just trundling around but it heated up once it was going a bit and the fluids really started to flow through the cockpit. Imagine what it would have been like in France in June.’
Second at Le Mans was outstanding, but drivers Gijs van Lennep and Herbert Müller could have been standing on the top step. While the sister car, R12, went out after eight hours with an ‘engine-bay fire’ – actually a massive blow-up at max speed caused by crank failure – R13 enjoyed a faultless run and climbed up the order as many of the sports prototypes hit trouble. With six hours to go, R13 was comfortably in second place behind the leading Matra Simca of Henri Pescarolo and Gerard Larrousse when the Matra hit gearbox trouble.
Ironically, it was using a Porsche ’box and the factory sent its two gearbox specialists down to the Matra garage to help out. Some 45 minutes later, the Matra was fixed and heading back out, by which time the Turbo was on the same lap. It was the honourable thing to do but some other companies, seeing an opportunity to win, might not have been so helpful. However, it was then the Porsche’s turn to have gearbox troubles, though that wasn’t enough to prevent it finishing second.
R13 competed three more times that year, van Lennep and Müller scoring another second place in the Watkins Glen 6 Hours, again finishing behind a Matra, followed by seventh at the 1000km at Paul Ricard and fifth at the Brands Hatch 1000km. It was enough to help Porsche secure third overall in the World Sports Car Championship.
Regulation changes for ’1975 led Porsche to create a new racer, but in private hands R13 raced twice in 1977, at the Daytona 24 Hours (DNF – piston failure) and finally at the 3 Hours of Mid-Ohio (26th) – in plain silver. Thankfully that was a fablon wrap and the Martini livery was intact beneath! Of the other RSRs, R12 is still with the factory; R5 and R9 are in private collections.
Of course, with the Carrera RSR Turbo, Norbert Singer was just getting started. The crazy-looking, turbocharged 911 prototype paved the way for even more radical and even more successful prototype racers, notably the 935, which in turn laid the groundwork for the Group C cars with which Porsche dominated sports car racing and Le Mans in the ’80s – the 956 and 962.
In fact, since the RSR Turbo, all of Porsche’s sports car racers have been turbocharged, right up to the 919. That’s quite some legacy.
THANKS TO Gooding & Company, which is offering the RSR Turbo for sale at Amelia Island, Florida, on 9 March. See www.goodingco.com.
Tech and photos
TECHNICAL DATA FILE SPECIFICATIONS 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1
Engine 2142cc air-cooled flat-six, OHC per bank, Bosch mechanical fuel injection, single KKK turbocharger
Power 450-500bhp @ 8000rpm (est) / DIN
Torque 405lb ft @ 5400rpm (est) / DIN
Transmission Five-speed Type 915 manual transaxle
Steering Rack and pinion
Suspension Front and rear: double box-section aluminium wishbones, progressive-rate coil springs, Bilstein dampers, anti-roll bars
Brakes Vented discs
Top speed 185-190mph (est)
‘SECOND AT LE MANS WAS AN OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT – BUT VAN LENNEP AND MÜLLER COULD HAVE BEEN STANDING ON THE TOP STEP’
‘FOR ME, THIS IS THE SOUND OF LE MANS: THE NOISE I WENT TO SLEEP WITH AND HOURS LATER WOKE UP TO’
‘WHEN THE SWELL OF TORQUE TAKES HOLD OF WHAT LITTLE MASS THERE IS, IT THROWS THE RSR FORWARD WITH DELICIOUS EASE’
Right and below The RSR Turbo looks menacing in the pit garage, yet must bravely face the probing microphone of the scrutineer checking noise levels… Above left and above Professional driver Joe Twyman takes control of this awe-inspiring 911 at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Above Fan faces upwards, like on racers’ flat-12s; two seats, but only the driver’s is usable.
Porsche 911 Turbo The road cars
It might have taken 45 years, but the iconic Porsche Turbo has matured from a wild widow-maker into the most civilised of everyday supercars. Words John Barker. PORSCHE TURBOS
Porsche Turbo. The words may go together as naturally as apple and pie or Jekyll and Hyde, but the Stuttgart firm didn’t get there first, second, or even third.
Oldsmobile had launched the Cutlass F-85 Jetfire in 1962. Why the GM brand went to the trouble of fitting a turbo and water/ methanol injection to a small V8 when it had the pick of much bigger ones is a mystery. The Chevy Corvair was next to get the turbo treatment for the Corsa and Monza Spyder and even BMW beat Porsche to it by a year with the handsome little 2002 Turbo, though that lag-prone limited edition was gone almost as soon as it had arrived.
So, Porsche may not have been the first, but it was the first to make it work well and, as is the way of the engineers at Stuttgart, then evolve and improve it. The first 911 Turbo concept was presented at the 1973 Frankfurt show and was essentially a 2.7 RS with a single turbo, a massive rear wing and Turbo decals. Despite the oil price quadrupling in late ’1973, the near-production Turbo was shown at Paris in ’1974. There were now widened, square-faced arches, wider, deep-dish Fuchs alloys with new Pirelli P7s, and the motor in the back was a 3-litre flat-six churning out 260bhp.
Internally, Porsche had harboured doubts that it would sell, but it was an instant hit in America, partly perhaps because it was related to another turbocharged Porsche, the awesome 1100bhp 917/30 that had dominated the 1973 CanAm series in the hands of Mark Donohue.
Today there are more powerful hot hatches but back then 260bhp was a decent chunk of power (a Ferrari 308 had 255bhp and much less torque). There were some complimentary reports in the press, but the Turbo also rapidly acquired a bit of a reputation as a ‘widow-maker’. It’s not hard to see why: adding more power and weight to the tail of a car that already had a reputation for spinning out when the rear grip was exceeded didn’t look like the best of ideas. Especially as the power came in with a bit of a rush.
Was it a scary car? It certainly had its challenges, the main one being getting the power you wanted when you wanted it. Or, more pertinently, getting it when you didn’t want it, that is in the middle of a wet corner. Despite the uplift to 3.0 litres there was still a lot of throttle lag, not helped by the early cars having space for just four gears inside their beefed-up gearboxes. I only drove one in the dry, and treated it with respect, gunning it mostly in a straight line, but even then I could see how it could bite.
I could also appreciate how, at launch, it must have offered a thrillingly different experience to the delicate, finely honed interplay of power and handling that cars such as the 2.7 RS had delivered. The rush of turbocharged power was exciting 20 years later so must have been mindblowing at the time. The 964 generation Turbo evolved the theme, ultimately mating a five-speed ’box with 376bhp in the Turbo S, but a revolution and a revelation was coming.
In 1995 Porsche launched the 993 Turbo with twin turbos, 408bhp and four-wheel drive. A not dissimilar specification to the 959, the 911 that had been fashioned around mid-’80s Group B regs. Yet while the 993 wasn’t nearly as sophisticated in its drivetrain or suspension, that didn’t matter because it was a phenomenally effective road car.
The launch was in the South of France and I can still recall coming across an inviting corner that I reckoned would be ideal for the action shots. The road was warm, the low-profile Michelins were up to temperature and I dropped a gear and attacked the corner. It was as if the car was magnetised to the road.
The lateral g-force built to such a level that mid-turn the photographer’s Billingham camera bag, which he’d wedged into one of the rear buckets, levered itself upright against the transmission tunnel and then rolled over it, hitting the other side of the car with a crash of filters and film canisters that sounded like a dropped tea service.
Like previous Turbos, the 993 had wider bodywork and a ‘whale tail’ spoiler, here packed with intercoolers. In my view it was the best-looking 993. Boost was still set at 0.8bar but that 408bhp was not only very accessible, it was also very exploitable. It got the 1500kg Turbo to 60mph in under 4.5sec and pushed it on to 180mph, which I unofficially verified on a two-lane straight that stretched to the shimmering horizon.
In the last year of 993 Turbo production, Porsche made a limited-run, 450bhp Turbo S. It was the last hurrah of the aircooled Turbo and answered the question: ‘How much more power can the 993 Turbo handle?’ It was dizzyingly fast in a straight line, pinning you firmly to your tombstoneshaped seat, and on full boost out of a second-gear corner it would be three-wheel drive, the inside front wheel hanging free like that of an early 911 racer.
It’s taken enthusiasts a long time to warm to the stepchange that was the 996. Gone was Butzi’s original, narrow 911 body and the air-cooled flat-six. The 996 Turbo moved the game on in many respects, exploiting the new rear ‘Lightweight Stable Axle’ with even wider tracks, and adding an active whale tail plus, of course, a new, water-cooled twin-turbo flat-six.
Power had risen modestly to 420bhp and was easier to exploit; the new bi-turbo flat-six drove more like a big-capacity, naturally aspirated engine. Arguably, it fitted the Turbo’s GT brief better than ever before but it lacked some of the excitement, some of the tactility and thrills of earlier models. What some saw as impressive competence and accessibility was for others aloofness and lack of engagement.
There was always something of the grand tourer about the Turbo, not in comparison with rival sports cars – compared with them the Turbo was still a remarkably compact (yet accommodating) and very sporty coupé – but it wasn’t as sharp as other 911s. Sure, turbo lag was barely an issue now, but response was soft when judged against naturally aspirated 911s such as the GT3 and RS, which were also lighter and blessed with crisper steering response, too. The Turbo was playing out its role in the range as the less visceral, less demanding but still astonishingly fast model, and, despite being fully equipped, it was still capable of 0-60mph in the mid-3s and over 200mph.
With each generation, the 911 Turbo got closer to the technical sophistication of its grandaddy, the 959. The 997 Turbo bested the 959’s 450bhp, boasting 472bhp with variable vane turbochargers for a more even spread of torque, plus active dampers and an active four-wheel drive system. Initially it felt almost too relaxed, too much the cruiser, but when you sharpened your inputs, the 997 pushed back, snapping to attention in remarkable fashion. The limits of the 993 Turbo had felt astonishing but the 997’s were even higher.
During the launch in Portugal, Andrew Davies, boss of Porsche GB PR, rang and said: ‘If you can make the scheduled afternoon rendezvous, I promise you won’t regret it.’ So we did and discovered that Walter Röhrl was giving rides on a bit of closed, single-track road. Basically, it was a special stage and Walter, despite the lack of overalls and helmet, was on it. It was an incredible demonstration of the new Turbo’s abilities and his skill. From the start-line, he got to fourth before the first corner and, just as I went for the imaginary brake pedal, he shifted into fifth. It was a master class; the lines he’d left from previous runs, right at the edge of the track, were clustered together within three, maybe four inches. Incredible. The car took it in its stride.
Then, in 2008, the Nissan GT-R came along and trashed the 911 Turbo’s Nordschleife lap time. Porsche wouldn’t let it lie. It conducted its own tests with a GT-R and showed it wasn’t nearly as fast as Nissan claimed, but their engineering response was the 997.2 Turbo, a mid-cycle refresh that resulted in a much harder-edged Turbo. It retained all the usual equipment and refinements but had dynamics that felt appropriate for the more focused GT2 (which is what you get if you cross a Turbo and an RS). Power was up to 493bhp from a 3.8-litre flat-six and the six-speed manual I tested hit 60mph in just 3.2sec and 100mph in 7.3sec… in the wet! But it didn’t offer the stand-easy comfort of the previous model.
And then came the 991. Another watershed, the 991 of 2014 was dynamically so well developed that it didn’t feel like the engine was rear-mounted. You could say that this was what Porsche had always been working towards – all the advantages of the layout without the compromises – but the 991 lost some of the magic in the process.
The loss of character and engagement is a complaint levelled at every new 911, of course, but the new model really did lack steering feel because of its new electric power steering (EPAS). It has taken a few years of development to get that back but the Turbo and other very-high-performance 911s were a chunk better right away because they had rear-steer. Right from launch you could have a Turbo S, with power raised from the regular Turbo’s 513bhp to a lung-squeezing 552bhp, and it was good for 0-62mph (100kph) in a claimed 3.1sec. Some tests nailed 60mph in just 2.6sec, which is virtually Veyron fast.
There was no manual option, however; it was almost as if having a gear lever and clutch would have introduced an unwanted variable, hampering the car from optimising itself.
Under the skin, the 991 Turbo made the 959 look simple: besides the 552bhp, 3.8-litre flat-six there was an evolution of the four-wheel drive with torque vectoring, active anti-roll bars and engine mounts, adaptive aero, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and launch control. Plus, as ever, despite the incredibly dense packaging at the rear (slice off a rear corner diagonally and the section revealed would look like a five-bird roast), the robustness of the new Turbo wasn’t in doubt. There’s a water-cooled front differential that must have helped when Road & Track made 50 consecutive launch-control starts to 100mph, all of them sub-3sec to 60mph runs, with no issue.
The Turbo evolved from a scary car into an all-weather supercar, with huge, exploitable performance. It’s never been the sharpest or most engaging 911 because turbocharging dampens intake noise and throttle response. The irony is that today every new 911 bar the GT3 and GT3 RS is turbocharged; light pressure turbos are the modern way of having big performance with small emissions. But these are turbos with a small ‘t’. There is only one Porsche Turbo.
Left The original Porsche Turbo concept was launched at Frankfurt in 1973 and was production-ready after just over a year. The 930 was powered by a 260bhp 3-litre flat-six and quickly earned a reputation for wayward behaviour if the turbo spooled up mid-corner in the wet. Clockwise from above left From 1991 to ’1994 the 964 ruled with a 3.3- and then 3.6-litre engine; next up was the 993, which introduced twin turbos; the 997 (Gen I) variant arrived in 2006 with a ‘stock’ 473bhp: Gen IIs had more power. Right and below For the 991 generation Turbo, four-wheel drive was compulsory and paddleshift standard; latest incarnation was given a power boost to 513bhp for the regular Turbo or 552bhp for the Turbo S derivative.