930 v 991: Open-top Turbos

Though it is seldom recognised, 1986 was a very important year for Porsche. A full year before ‘Black Monday’ and the ensuing global financial crisis, the 911 was flourishing, buoyed by its resurgence in fortunes under charismatic CEO Peter Schutz. Sales were strong off the back of an ever-increasing expansion to the range: Carreras were available in Coupe, Targa, or even Cabriolet form – the latter, of course, being introduced just three years earlier – all of which could be specified in either a narrow or a widebody ‘Turbo-look’ body style.

However, the significance of 1986 lies not with the naturally aspirated 911 Carrera, but its forced-induction compeer. The 911 Turbo, still very much an automotive icon more than a decade after its first release, was finally allowed back into the United States after Porsche refined the car’s emissions credentials – though the caveat was the US Turbo came equipped with slightly less power than its European brethren. Also in 1986, the Turbo became available as a Cabriolet.

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Boasting a fully electrically-operated hood (which was then also offered as an option on Carrera Cabriolets) the Turbo Cabriolet brought fresh-air motoring to those who had wallets big enough to swallow a purchase of an illustrious turbocharged 911. The open-topped Turbo was a success: nearly 3,000 were sold between 1986 and the final year of 930 production in 1989.

However, the 930 Turbo Cabriolet looked set to be the first and last of its kind – seemingly killed off with its super-rare Targa variant – as both 964 and 993 generations of Turbo remained Coupe only. Of course, the Turbo Targa concept hasn’t rolled out of Zuffenhausen since, but the Turbo Cabriolet did return in 2004, by which time the 911 had switched to water for cooling with the 996.

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Turbo Cabriolets duly followed through both generations of the 997 era (including the Turbo S of 2010) and six months after the 991 Turbo and Turbo S were revealed in 2013, Porsche again unveiled Cabriolet versions.

There’s no denying the Cabriolet has established itself as an important staple of the Turbo lineage and to celebrate that fact, we’ve gathered two high specification drop tops separated by a quarter of a century of Zuffenhausen engineering. The duo of special Turbo Cabriolets in question, a 2014 991 Turbo S and a 1989 930 with full Porsche GB-fitted LE specification (which effectively grants it status as a Turbo S of its time) share a price tag of £150,000.

To read the full feature on our 930 Cabriolet v 991 Turbo Cabriolet head-to-head, pick up Total 911 issue 129 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.

See the Porsche 991 Turbo S Cabriolet’s Launch control in action here.

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