Ultimate Guide: Porsche 930 3.3
40 years ago, Porsche set out to challenge the established supercar elite. Entering a market dominated by Italian carmakers, a turbocharged version of the 911 was launched with 260bhp at its disposal courtesy of a Kühnle Kopp & Kausch blower, and a legend was born.
Performance was exceptional at the time, the iconic Coupe being capable of achieving 150mph and completing the 0-60mph dash in a mere six seconds. It was far from perfect, though, as marginal brakes, tricky handling and a hefty price tag conspired to make the original Turbo something of a specialist proposition, albeit a thrilling one.
The lag-prone power delivery didn’t go unnoticed either, but it mattered little – Porsche had proved their point, and three years later they decided to raise the bar yet again with the 3.3-litre 930.
The headline numbers were a capacity increase from 3.0 to 3.3 litres and a boost in power and torque to 300bhp and 412Nm respectively. To cope with the extra power and deliver the reliability demanded by Porsche, the engine internals came in for attention too, including larger main and big-end bearings.
Bosch K-Jetronic injection and the KKK turbo remained, but one of the biggest changes was the addition of an air-to-air intercooler mounted in the engine compartment. Capable of lowering the intake air temperature by around 60 degrees, the intercooler was one of the more obvious changes to the new engine, now codenamed M930/60.
On the road those changes translated to a top speed of nigh-on 160mph and a sprint to 60mph that was dispatched in less than 5.5 seconds, not to mention 0-100mph in 12.3 seconds – a production car record back then and equally impressive today.
Externally, it was pretty much business as usual, which meant sensuously flared rear wings and the now iconic Fuchs forged-alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli P7 tyres, but there was one key change: the adoption of a new design of rear spoiler that was to endure right through to 1989.
The now familiar whaletail design was dropped, and in its place was a type that became known as the ‘tea tray’. It was still fitted with the flexible rubber lip that had marked out the previous design, but it now featured a single large grille on top and box-section beneath that left room in the engine bay for the intercooler.
The cabin would have been familiar to owners of the earlier model too. There was still something of a scattergun approach to the positioning of the minor controls, the three-spoke steering wheel and spindly gear lever were both present, and the five-dial instrument pack was unchanged, save for a boost gauge on the rev counter.
To read more about the Porsche 930 3.3, including all the mechanical details and revisions, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 104 from the Imagine Shop now. Or, you can download it from Great Digital Mags.