As the air-cooled 911 prepared to give way to the water-cooled 996-generation, Porsche Exclusive was tasked with developing an even more performance-oriented and luxurious version of the vaunted Turbo. This very limited series of ultra-high-performance coupes, designated the 911 Turbo S, would deliver a delicious combination of speed and luxury. It was the apex of Porsche Turbo street car development on the air-cooled 993 platform. Porsche Exclusive produced just 345 examples over two years. Of that total, 183 were built for US market.
These power-packed coupes were fitted with 3.6-liter flat-six engines with the X50 power package, which developed a thundering 430 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 423 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. These light-alloy engines boasted a pair of larger K24 turbochargers which boosted mid-range and top speed performance, and included a large intercooler nestled under the engine cover. An additional oil cooler was fitted to better manage the increased underhood heat. An upgraded Bosch Motronic engine management system kept fuel and spark under precise control.
The Turbo S sent its immense power to the road through a six-speed manual transaxle with limited-slip and then to a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system first developed for the incredible 959 of the mid-1980s, with the all-wheel-drive configuration providing incredible grip and acceleration.
The Turbo S added an Aerokit II bi-plane rear wing, enlarged from that of the earlier 964 Turbo S. Also included were new front air intake ducting that replaced the integrated fog lamps, special air inlets (similar to the 959) on the rear quarters, a new exhaust system with quadruple tips, and Litronic headlamps. Model-specific badging was added at several points both inside and outside the car. Porsche’s “Turbo-twist” five-spoke light-alloy wheels, sized 8 x 18 and 10 x 18 inches, were finished in a special “metal gloss effect” paint from Cetelon, available exclusively on the Turbo S model. Behind the special wheels lurked large 12.6 inch power-assisted, ventilated, and cross-drilled multi-piston disc brakes with yellow calipers that delivered impressive stopping power. The Turbo S was capable of 0-60 mph sprints of barely four seconds. The standing quarter mile flashed past in about 12 seconds, and given room to run, the Turbo S could see a maximum of nearly 185 mph. Yet this was not a bone-shaking, full-on racing car. This most-developed, force-fed 911 was lavishly trimmed and well-equipped.
The example offered here was completed at the Stuttgart works on 9 April 1997 and delivered new to a California enthusiast who specified the exterior in desirable and sporting Metallic Black. According to the three-page factory specification sheet, a copy of which is included, this Turbo S was likely built to order, fitted with a long list of individual convenience, performance, and trim items, Power-assisted and automatic items abound: steering, brakes, seats, sunroof, windows, exterior mirrors, cruise control, climate control with air conditioning, a security system, and the list goes on.
Opening the door, the driver enters a full leather interior that includes fully adjustable and heated front bucket seats with the Porsche crest embossed on the headrests. There is thick carpeting underfoot and on the back of the folding rear seats, plus tinted glass, an onboard computer, a multi-speaker entertainment system with a remote CR-210 CD player, and a rear window wiper. The thick steering wheel is leather-wrapped, and nearly every switch and control is leather-trimmed. There is a full set of silver-faced instruments that offer a nice color contrast. A polished metal gearshift knob and parking-brake grip bearing the Porsche name as well as pedals with aluminum trim round out the sporting interior specification.
Carbon fiber adorns the lower dashboard and surrounds the gauges, covers the doorsills and the center console, door panels, and door pulls — a remarkable interior trim material for 1998. The VDO tachometer is red-lined at 6,600 rpm and the speedometer, with a maximum readout of 200 miles per hour, reveals this car’s potential. Opening the front trunk reveals a transverse carbon fiber strut brace and the remote CD changer, while behind the carpeting rests a 75 liter fuel tank. Under the floor carpet there is a collapsible Vredestein spare tire and wheel, tool roll, jack, and emergency air compressor in its case. This Turbo S retains its original Owner’s Manual and other documents in a black leather portfolio.
Under current ownership since 2018, this Turbo S appears to have been well-maintained and treated with the respect and reverence it deserves. It last changed hands in 2018, at which time the odometer displayed 19,426 original miles. The consignor, a noted collector, has added relatively few miles since his purchase. At cataloging, the odometer reads 20,322 miles. In August of 2021 the car was delivered to SST Auto in Danbury, Connecticut for a major servicing. That work order, which is included, entailed fresh fluids, a full brake service, and a set of new 18-inch Michelin PS2 tires.
The 911 Turbo S coupe as created by Porsche Exclusive delivered brilliant performance in a highly civilized package; it was subtle enough to be driven quietly on a daily basis, but capable of mind-bending acceleration and road-holding on demand. In the past 25 years the limited production Turbo S has become one of the most collectible variants of Porsche’s final air-cooled model and with prodigious power, styling cues all its own, classic 911 good-looks, and in the case of this example, low miles and recent servicing, it looks to remain so. For the Porsche purist, there may be no more sought-after model.
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