As air-cooled 911 development continued, Porsche occasionally debuted limited-production, high-performance variants to widespread acclaim. These included the Carrera RS in 1973, the 930 Turbo in 1975, the all-wheel-drive 964 series, and, finally, the ultimate iteration of air-cooled technology with the 993 series—recognized by many enthusiasts as the best air-cooled car Porsche ever made.
The Type 993 Porsche 911 Turbo S provided a dramatic and fitting final chapter for the air-cooled era, being the last air-cooled 911 Turbo built by Porsche. A true limited-production model, only 183 examples were manufactured for North America, each carefully and uniquely prepared by the Exclusive Department with bespoke features and numerous engine and chassis upgrades throughout. Powered by a 3.6-liter SOHC flat-six engine fitted with alloy cylinder heads and case, the “S” also received larger twin KKK K24 turbochargers for instant throttle response and a new Bosch Motronic engine-management system modified to handle the additional horsepower (now increased to 424 horsepower at 6,250 rpm for the US market). A higher-performing engine also led to greater heat production, which was diffused by adding a secondary oil cooler.
Many 993 Turbo technical advancements were adapted from the legendary 959, including handling assisted by electronically controlled all-wheel drive—a first for Porsche Turbos. Stopping power for the “S” was supplied by bigger 12.68-inch cross-drilled, multi-piston ventilated disc brakes cooled by replacing fog lamps with brake air ducts on the front valance, and active rear brake cooling intakes were sculpted into the rear fenders above the wheels.
Yellow brake calipers easily identified the Turbo S, along with a redesigned Aerokit Turbo II front end and an enlarged twin-blade fixed rear wing with integrated vents feeding air to the intercooler. A wide-body tail design matched the wider, 18-inch tires and cast alloy wheels holding the Turbo S to the road, while the exhaust sang through four pipes. An upgraded six-speed manual gearbox helped the Turbo S achieve 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 184 mph.
THE FINAL AIR-COOLED TURBO
This stunning Turbo S example presents in its original factory finishes of Arctic Silver Metallic over a special-order extended black leather interior; more than 40 codes on its accompanying build sheet note cabin surfaces to be specially finished in black leather. The car’s pair of standard sport seats were further specified with embroidered headrests featuring the Porsche logo, while the suite of cabin instrumentation has been rendered in a brushed aluminum finish that provides a nice, easy-to-read contrast among the sea of black leather. This extremely well-optioned Turbo S is further improved by the very practical addition of Porsche’s automatic cruise control system, an electric sliding moon roof, Nokia DSP audio system, and carbon composite side mirrors.
Sold new to a resident of Irvine, California through Porsche of Newport Beach on 9 July 1997, two years later this Turbo S was subsequently exported to their residence in Blenheim, New Zealand. Regular service stamps in its accompanying maintenance booklet show that it remained with its original owner until 21 January 2014, then indicating approximately 18,450 miles.
Showing fewer than 19,650 miles on the odometer at time of cataloguing, this example has been professionally maintained since new, with service kept up to date via a select group of authorized Porsche specialists in Southern California, and New Zealand. Now back in the United States, this Turbo S has just been treated to a major servicing by Rusnak Porsche of Thousand Oaks, California in preparation of its imminent sale.
Exhilarating performance, one-year US-only limited-production status, advanced 959-inspired engineering, bespoke features, and assembly by Porsche Exclusive—with upgraded factory components throughout—all came together in one definitive sports car only a few select Porsche enthusiasts could acquire in 1997. The serious collector seeking an exceptionally uncommon, elegant, and powerful turbocharged AWD Porsche could do no better than this fine example.
The next owner of this 911 Turbo S now has a rare opportunity to experience the final evolution of air-cooled technology, heralding an end to what many aficionados consider as Porsche’s greatest era.