The Ultimate Guide To The Porsche 964: Review, Price, Specs, Videos, Pictures, Performance & More
964 Models & Variants
– 964 Carrera 4
– 964 Carrera 2
– 964 Turbo
– 964 RS
– 964 Race Cars
964 Engine Guide
964 Vin Numbers
964 Production Volumes
964 Specs & Performance
Production (MY): 1989-1994 / Units: 66,571 made / Assembly: Stuttgart, Germany / Designer: Benjamin Dimson / Predecessor: Porsche 911 (classic) / Successor: Porsche 993
In 1989 Porsche came out with the 911 Carrera 4 (964). The new 911 was a contemporary take on the classic two-door sports car and came at a time when many were predicting the end of the 911 (the company was producing the 944 and working on the upcoming 968). The long run of the previous 911 meant the 964 needed a major update and Porsche delivered on that promise with 85% new components and virtually none of the predecessor’s architecture used.
Save for the introduction of aerodynamic polyurethane bumpers and an automatically-extending rear spoiler which replaced the “whale tail” found on the 911 throughout the 1980’s, externally, the 964 kept the same style as the classic 911. The interior was an almost entirely reimagined Porsche 911 with more modern design that was intended to blend performance with comfort. The new 911 featured many creature comforts that had been lacking in earlier versions of the car including a Tiptronic automatic transmission, power steering, dual front airbags, dual-mass flywheel, ABS, retractable rear spoiler and twin-spark ignition.
The 964 rode on a completely redesigned chassis with rear suspension switching from torsion bar to trailing arms with Porsche’s “Weissach” rear axle, which added self-steering elements to reduce the chance of oversteer. It featured a naturally aspirated 3.6 liter boxer engine that produced an impressive 250 horsepower.
It was the introduction of an all-wheel drive Carrera 4 model that really captured the attention of the automotive community as a whole. The fully mechanical all-wheel drive system was revolutionary for its time, sensing wheels slippage and automatically transferring power elsewhere, ensuring that the driver could maintain a greater degree of control whenever the driving environment became less manageable.
After the 964 Carrera 4 was introduced, effectively solving many of the oversteer tendencies of the previous generation, a rear-wheel drive Carrera 2 was added 6 months later. The Carrera 2 was actually the rear-wheel drive version of the car which packed almost the same technical specifications as the base model. The engine was the same 3.6 liter unit which produced 250 horsepower and a maximum speed of 260 km/h while the 0 to 100 km/h acceleration was made in 5.7 seconds.
In addition to the base model Carrera Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa versions, the 1990 Porsche 911 offerings also included a Type 964 Turbo option. When first introduced in March, 1990, the 911 Turbo initially featured a turbocharged 3.3 liter boxer engine that was carried over (with updates) from the previous 911 Turbo model, albeit with reduced turbo lag. In 1992, the Porsche 911 Turbo was upgraded to a more powerful 3.6 liter power plant delivering 320 horsepower. At the end of 964 production in 1994, the Porsche factory had some 90 Turbo chassis left and gave them the Porsche Exclusive treatment to create a very special Turbo 3.6 S model with 380 horsepower.
Several other special edition 964s were made and they are some of the most sought after cars in the classic car market today. In 1992 there was the America Roadster which was essentially a turbo-bodied cabriolet. It had the standard electric spoiler and turbo guards and mechanically was the same as the standard model apart from 17″ cup wheels and the brakes and suspension. Only 250 of this variant were produced. There was also the Porsche 964 Speedster which came in two distinct incarnations. The first was the 1989 model year Speedster which was basically a 930 turbo under the covers. The “true” 964 Speedster was the 1994 Speedster which was based on the 964 Carrera 2 platform. More than three quarters (641) of the 800 built had the “Turbo look” wide-body option. Porsche planned to build 3000 examples of the 1994 Speedsters in 1992, but only 936 examples were built and sold.
In 1992, Porsche produced a super-lightweight, rear-wheel-drive only version of the 964 dubbed Carrera RS for the European market using their “Carrera Cup” race car as a base. It featured a revised version of the standard engine with 260 bhp and lightweight flywheel coupled an upgraded gearbox with closer ratios, asymmetrical Limited Slip Differential and steel syncromesh. A revised (track focused) suspension, no power steering and stiffer springs, shocks and adjustable stabilizer bars made it a real performer. It went a diet too with the interior totally stripped out and all creature comforts removed. Lightweight wheels, body parts and thinner windows also helped the Carrera RS weigh 345 pounds less than a Carrera 2.
There was also a heavier Touring variant (with sound deadening, power seats (optional), undercarriage protection and power windows) and an N/GT racing variant with a stripped, blank metal interior and a roll cage. A later ultra-limited production version, the Carrera 3.8 RS featured the Turbo body and a 300 bhp, bored out 3.8 liter motor was sold briefly in Europe. The Carrera RS was not sold in the United States.