Porsche 930 SE: The slantnose appeal

Below are a few extracts from the feature, originally written by Wilhelm Lutjeharms. This Porsche 911 has divided opinion perhaps more than any other Stuttgart offering before or since. Total 911 got up close and personal with this incredible machine.

Porsche 930 SE driving

It’s perhaps surprising that there wasn’t an outcry when Porsche officially introduced the Flachbau Turbo straight from the factory in 1986. After all, the protruding headlights of the original 911 were – and still are – one of the most iconic design features in the industry. How can Porsche change a design so synonymous with the 911?

There is another side to the story, though. For ten years, Porsche raced 911s with noses that had been flattened for aerodynamic purposes. Surely then, when it comes to a fast road-going 911, it makes sense to replicate these race-bred design tweaks?

On the surface, this new Turbo SE model certainly tied in neatly with Porsche’s racing heritage.

Porsche 930 SE front

When it was launched in the mid Seventies, the original 911 Turbo grabbed the attention of Porsche and performance aficionados – its performance was unparalleled, while 911-derived Turbo race cars started to gain serious recognition.

You can imagine why purists were upset with the 930 SE at the time; the original upright lights flowing to the A-pillars and the sloping bonnet in between were part of the signature Porsche design.

Walking around the Flachbau, the car demands your attention from every angle – because of the additional addenda, the SE doesn’t feature the classic and smooth ‘Coke bottle’ design of the original Turbo. The classic look is replaced with something more intriguing – something that oozes real racing pedigree.

Porsche 930 SE rear

The owner has been kind enough to hand me the key from the moment we head out for the afternoon’s activities. With no power steering or electronic aids to help, the driver needs to be focused. The car feels planted, but you sense that wrestling with the car will be beneficial for both parties.

If you start to push on, it will respond and challenge you. Drop to second gear, bury your right foot into the – offset – pedal, and the needle swings around the dial with an inviting level of enthusiasm.

As we head back to Cape Town, I discuss the experience with the owner. We agree that the simple fact of having the SE in his garage and the privilege of looking at it is already half the enjoyment of owning such a car!

To read more of this feature, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 99 from the Imagine Shop. Inside we also take a first look at the Porsche 991 GT3, explore the legacy of the 996 and 997 GT3s, and interview Porsche rally preparer extraordinaire, Francis Tuthill.

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