Porsche 930 Turbo: The Widowmaker

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Rear engine, rear wheel drive, short wheelbase, huge turbo lag, snap oversteer a-plenty. Meet the Porsche 930 Turbo, aka the Widowmaker.

With their turbocharged flat sixes, Porsche aimed to give the Italians and their V12 road cars a run for their money. The 917/30 Can-Am cars had used turbo technology to devastating effect (with up to 1580 hp depending on boost), and Porsche boss Ernst Fuhrmann decided it was high time the faithful customer had his fun with forced induction.

Due to the 930’s rather dicey handling and all-or-nothing turbo technology, stability improvements over the normal 911 were needed. Upgrades included a reworked suspension system, bigger brakes, and a strengthened gearbox. The car’s track was widened to improve grip resulting in some beautifully flared wheel arches and an iconic ‘whale tail’ spoiler was added in increase downforce and flow to the air cooled engine. For 1978 the 930 was given an air-to-air intercooler which helped to increase power from 256 to 300 hp and was also provided similar brakes to the ones in use on the 917 racing car.

Even with the widened track and fatter tires the 930 was still a handful to drive. The fact that the turbocharger was essentially on or off meant that drivers had to be incredibly careful and precise with throttle application to avoid spinning. Flooring the throttle in one has been compared to a few minutes of turbo lag up to 4000 rpm followed by rocket ship acceleration until around 6000, at which point g-force induced tunnel vision subsides.

The 930 began as a simple homologation special, but created a trend that continues in 911s to this day. It is one of the most revered cult cars of all time.

Posted @Whippstagram on Instagram, Dec 29th 2015

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Porsche 930 Turbo: The Widowmaker

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