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Porsche 944 - The Full Story & Timeline

The history, updates and story behind the Porsche 944.

Porsche 944 Model Guides

There were six core (mass produced) production Porsche 944 models over the years. Over the years, performance and looks changed as Porsche improved the core 944 platform. Below we take a look at the production 944 models in detail.

The base Porsche 944 coupe was built between 1982 and 1989, essentially the same platform as the Porsche 924 (there was some overlap as the 924 was produced till 1988). The 944 was intended to last into the 1990s, but major revisions planned for a 944 S3 model were eventually rolled into the Porsche 968 instead, which replaced the 944.
It didn’t take Porsche’s engineers long to significantly improve on the base 944’s performance by doing the obvious and adding a turbocharger to the engine. The 944 Turbo entered production in 1985 for the 1986 production year and it made a significant difference to the stock 944’s performance. Power of the new turbocharged engine was 220hp and torque was 243lb/ft, a significant increase over the naturally aspirated standard 944.
Porsche 944 S Coupe (1987 - 1988)
In 1987 Porsche debuted the 944 S, the “S” standing for “Super”. This “Super” Porsche 944 was fitted with a more high performance version of the naturally aspirated four cylinder engine. This engine version had dual overhead camshafts to operate the four valves per cylinder and a revised Motronic 2 engine management system with dual knock sensors to best handle the 10.9:1 compression ratio. Power was a comfortably adequate 187hp.
Porsche 944 S2 Coupe (1989 - 1991)
The covers were lifted off the 944's next-generation model in early 1989, the stunningly contemporary 944 S2. Porsche, as a company, were heading into tough times and were relying on the 944 S2 and the new 911, the 964, to make enough money just to stay afloat. Porsche upped the performance of the 944 S2 thanks to an upgraded engine, a 3.0 liter version of the DOHC double valve four cylinder that was good for solid 208 hp. The 16-valve engine was bored out from 2.5 litres to 3.0 litres.
The S2 was also available as a cabriolet, a first for the 944 line. The Cabriolet, engineered by American Sunroof Company, was rumored to be two years late in arriving on the market due to unprecedented chassis flex problems. The finished article, despite being 70 KG heavier than the coupe, displayed no obvious signs of such problems, and its clean lines found a place in many hearts.
The last iteration of the 944 Turbo was the 944 Turbo Cabriolet which was the 944 Turbo Cabriolet. This was a 944 Turbo S with a special cabriolet body made by the American Sunroof Company (ASC) of Weinsberg, Germany, who also made the bodies for the 944 S2 Cabriolet. 625 of the 944 Turbo Cabriolet were made with 100 being built with right hand drive and the remaining 525 being left hand drive.

Porsche 944 Special Edition & Motorsport Model Guides

Several limited and special edition Porsche 944s were made over the life of the model. There were a few race cars made, most importantly the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup cars for the series racing created for the 944. There was also the Celebration model in 1988 and the Turbo S model also from 1988. The final special edition 944 was the S2 SE, UK only special edition, of which only 15 were ever made. See below for all the details.

In 1981 Porsche developed two 944 prototypes to succeed the 924 GTPs which raced the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans. To coincide with the release of the 944 in fall of 1981, Porsche prepared a GTP version to promote the car before the launch. The GTP was equipped with a special Type 949 cylinder block with dry sump lubrication, KKK K28 turbocharger and an air-to-air intercooler.
In late 1985 Porsche developed the 944 “Weissach turbo cup race car” to provide amateur enthusiasts with a cost effective entry into motorsports. Porsche initially designed to participate in a single-marque racing series run in conjunction with 1986 German ADAC Supercup races, but soon spread to Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria , USA, Canada and even Czechoslovakia. The cars were modified extensively for racing duties, including taking out a lot of weight.
Porsche 944 Callaway (1983)
In 1983, American tuning company Callaway Cars began offering a turbocharged package for the US-Spec 944 in collaboration with Porsche. The standard 2.5 L inline-four engine was not suitable for forced induction because of the higher compression ratio of 9.5:1 which made the engine prone to failure when subject to forced induction along with the complex Bosch Motronic engine management system.
Porsche 944 Swiss Special (1984)
The Swiss Special 944 was a very limited edition 944 Special produced in 1984. Only 200 944 Swiss Specials were produced and it was largely a design exercise, with several upgrades to the normal 944. The changes included, Red-colored stickers on the back of "Porsche” “944", Special size teledial rims, Seats , rear bench and door panels in 924 Carrera GT fabric and dashboard plastic parts in black instead of the standard silver.
In spring of 1984 Rothmans cosmetic edition 944 was made, a batch of 100 numbered cars ordered by the French importer Sonauto (the subsidiary of Porsche AG) to celebrate the victorious Rothmans-sponsored Porsche 956 that had won Le Mans 24 hour race in France in 1982 and in 1983. At the time when the Rothmans 944 was sold, Rothmans-Porsche factory team decided to boycott the 1984 Le Mans race. Only 100 were produced. 
In 1988, Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo S with a more powerful engine (designation number M44/52) rated at a maximum power output of 250 PS (184 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm (the engine in the standard 944 Turbo generated 223 PS (164 kW) and 243 lb⋅ft (329 N⋅m)). This higher output was achieved by using a larger KKK K26-8 turbocharger housing and revised engine mapping to maximize boost for longer.
Porsche 944 Celebration Edition (1988)
The Porsche 944 Celebration Edition was a special edition of the 944 base model produced to commemorate the 100,000th 944 built in Neckarsulm, Germany. A total of 930 units were produced in one of two colors: Zermatt Silver and Satin Black Metallic. These celebration models- effectively standard cars brought up to a very high specification, featured black leatherette, the attractive grey or maroon "STUDIO" cloth and silver and grey carpeting. 
Porsche 944 S2 SE
The 944 range officially ended production in July 1991. A dated range and slow sales wrote the obituary for the model, but in the UK, brand-new cars still languished at dealers well into 1993. A UK-only special edition was made in 1992 and it was called the Porsche 944 S2 SE. It was  basically an S2 brought up to full specification, for less than the standard car. Very limited, only 15 were eventually made. Benefits listed include improved acceleration in higher rev range; flatter cornering due to stiffer springs and increased roll resistance...

Porsche 944 Performance Overview

Below we take a look at the performance and specifications for the core production model Porsche 944s.

Porsche 944 Data, Research & More

Porsche 944 Data, Research & More

Performance and technical specifications data as well as access to Porsche 944 sales brochures and equipment and options codes. You name it, we have it.

Porsche 944 Engine & Transmission

Engine codes and final drive ratios are very exciting reading around here at Stuttcars so we decided to share the excitement with our readers. Need engine and transmission codes for your Porsche 944?

Porsche 944 Sales & Parts Catalogs

Free to download Porsche 944 brochures. We have both sales brochures for the 944 as well as parts catalogs. The sales brochures give you a great look into how Porsche positioned the 944 in its sales materials. The parts catalogs are an invaluable tool for finding the information you need for replacements and DIY work.

Porsche 944 Specs & Performance (by Year)

Technical specs and performance numbers for every Porsche 944. In-depth detail you won't find anywhere else. From displacement to dimensions and everything in between, we have all the specifications you could ever want for your Porsche 944.

Porsche 944 Model Timeline
Porsche 944 Coupe Profile - Large
Porsche 944 Turbo Coupe Profile - Large
Porsche 944 S Coupe Profile - Large
Porsche 944 S2 Coupe Profile - Large
Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet Profile - Large

Porsche 944 News & Updates

Recent auctions, awesome review videos and all the latest news and posts regarding anything to do with the Porsche 944.

The 15th Targa California rally recently concluded with most drivers logging 1,000+ miles over the roads “less traveled” of California’s...

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