Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6 Flatnose: an exotic oddity
Foot flat to the floor in third gear, I’m still waiting to make any meaningful progress around the high-speed test track, the location for today’s latest Total 911 drive.
As the orange needle on the VDO tachometer sweeps past the 3,000rpm mark though, the whistling that had previously been but a mere mumble through the cockpit grows to a more pronounced shriek. The flat-six sound track swells, too, in unison, growling angrily as the aural experience combines with an old school dollop of single turbo boost.
The pace has switched from ‘pedestrian’ to ‘brutal’ in the blink of an eye, the 911 Turbo galloping forward with indecent haste as the tree trunks lining the road blur into an organic mess in my peripheral vision.
The road has seemingly narrowed, too, with this Neunelfer chasing the horizon so violently that it appears to have outsprinted my eyes’ ability to compute the perspective of the situation. In fact, the 964 Turbo 3.6’s 385bhp, wrought from a single KKK turbocharger, has left nearly all of my senses needing recalibration.
My first experience of the Turbo 3.6’s full throttle theatrics thumps me in the small of my back, leaving my internal organs feeling like they’ve been deposited some distance further back down the road; the place where the full 0.8 bar of boost kicked in; the place that is now almost invisible in the rear view mirror.
After too long spent in silky smooth twin turbo 911s, I had forgotten what a magical experience the old 911 Turbos could deliver, like a roller coaster that has just pitched over the top of its crest.
Each time I push down with my right foot, after an appreciable half-a-second or so of lag, I’m continually shocked by the ferocity of the acceleration, the car squatting over its wide rear haunches like a 100 metre sprinter launching from the blocks.
I didn’t realise a car that is now 22 years old could pack such a powerful punch. The sound track to this barely-tamed beast only serves to heighten the addictiveness of the thumping motor’s boost, the bark of the flat six overlaid with an unbridled whoosh from the turbocharger, followed by that classic air-cooled chatter and a subtle hiss as 11.6psi of pressure is suddenly exhaled on the overrun.
I’m so excited by the speed that it seems incredible this particular 911 has only seen 1,014km of action. How could the previous owner have just this left car idle for most of its life?
To read our test of the super rare Porsche 964 Turbo 3.6 Flatnose in full, pick up Total 911 issue 139 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.