History of the Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera
Let’s first start with the meaning of Carrera (Spanish for “race” and “career”) is a brand of Porsche automobile. The name commemorates the company’s success in the Carrera Panamericana race. The replacement for the SC series came in 1984 named 911 3.2 Carrera, reviving the Carrera name for the first time since 1977. This was the last iteration in the original 911 series, with all subsequent models featuring new body styling with new brake, electronic and suspension technologies. The last year for this program was 1989.
A new higher-displacement motor, a 3.2-litre horizontally opposed flat 6-cylinder, was utilized. At the time Porsche claimed it was 80% new. The new swept volume of 3164 cc was achieved using the 95 mm (3.7 in) bore (from the previous SC model) combined with the 1978 Turbo 3.3 crankshaft’s 74.4 mm (2.9 in) stroke. In addition, higher domed pistons increased the compression ratio from 9.8 to 10.3:1 (9.5:1 for the US market). New inlet manifold and exhaust systems were fitted. The 915 transmission was carried over from the SC series for the first three model years. In 1987, the Carrera got a new five-speed gearbox sourced from Getrag, model number G50 with proven BorgWarner synchronizers. This slightly heavier version also featured a hydraulically operated clutch.
With the new engine, power was increased to 207 bhp (154 kW; 210 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for North American-delivered cars and to 231 bhp (172 kW; 234 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for most other markets. This version of the 911 accelerated 0–60 mph (100 km/h) in 5.4 seconds and had a top speed of 150 mph (242 km/h) as measured by Autocar. Factory times were more modest: 0–60 mph time of 6.3 seconds for the US version and 6.1 seconds for cars outside the American market.
The brake discs were increased in size to aid in more effective heat dissipation and improved oil-fed chain tensioners were fitted to the engine. To improve oil cooling, a finned cooler replaced the serpentine lines in the front passenger fender well. This was further improved in 1987, with the addition of a thermostatically controlled fan.
Driving refinement and motor reliability were improved with an upgrade of the fuel and ignition control components to an L-Jetronic with Bosch Motronics 2 DME (Digital Motor Electronics system). An improvement in fuel-efficiency was due to the DME providing a petrol cut-off on the overrun. Changes in the fuel map and chip programming from October 1986 further improved the power to 217 bhp (162 kW; 220 PS) (@ 5900 rpm) for North American delivered cars as well as for other markets mandating low emissions, like Germany.
Three basic models were available – coupé, targa and cabriolet. The Carrera is almost indistinguishable from the SC with the external clue being the front fog lights that were integrated into the front valance. Only cosmetic changes were made during the production of the Carrera, with a redesigned dash featuring larger air conditioning vents appearing in 1986.
In 1984, Porsche also introduced the M491 option. Officially called the Supersport in the UK, it was commonly known as the “Turbo-look”. It was a style that resembled the Porsche 930 Turbo with wide wheel arches and the distinctive “tea tray” tail. It featured the stiffer turbo suspension and the superior turbo braking system as well as the wider turbo wheels. Sales of the Supersport were high for its first two years in the United States because the desirable 930 was not available.
The 911 Carrera Club Sport (CS) (option M637), 340 of which were produced from August 1987 to September 1989, is a reduced weight version of the standard Carrera that, with engine and suspension modifications, was purpose built for club racing. The CS had a blueprinted engine with hollow intake valves and a higher rev limit, deletion of: all power options, sunroof (except one unit), air conditioning (except two unit), radio, rear seat, undercoating, sound insulation, rear wiper, door pocket lids, fog lamps, front hood locking mechanism, engine and luggage compartment lights, lockable wheel nuts and even the rear lid “Carrera” logo, all in order to save an estimated 70 kg (155 lb) in weight. With the exception of CSs delivered to the UK, all are identifiable by the “CS Club Sport” decal on the left front fender and came in a variety of colors, some special ordered. Some U.S. CS’s did not have the decal installed by the dealer; however, all CS’s have a “SP” stamp on the crankcase and cylinder head. The UK CS’s were all “Grand Prix White” with a red “Carrera CS” decal on each side of the car and red wheels. Although the CS was well received by the club racers, because it cost more than the stock 911, but had fewer comfort features. According to Porsche Club of America and Porsche Club Great Britain CS Registers, 21 are documented as delivered to the U.S. in 1988 with 7 in 1989, one to Canada in 1988 and 53 to the United Kingdom from 1987 to 1989.
For 1989, Porsche produced the 25th Anniversary Special Edition model to mark the 25th year of 911 production. The 1989 Porsche brochure lists production of 500 U.S. market cars, of which 300 were coupés (240 in silver metallic paint and 60 in satin black metallic, and 200 cabriolet models (160 in silver and 40 in black). All had “silk grey” leather with black accent piping and silk grey velour carpeting. Included were body color Fuchs wheels in 6×16 (front) and 8×16 (rear), stitched leather console with an outside temperature gauge and a CD or cassette holder, a limited slip differential, and a short shifting gear lever, as well as small bronze “25th Anniversary Special Edition” badges
Porsche 3.2 Speedster
According to the manufacturer, around 150,000 911 cars from the model years 1964 to 1989 are still on the road today.
The 911 Speedster (option M503), a low-roof version of the Cabriolet which was evocative of the Porsche 356 Speedster of the 1950s, was produced in limited numbers (2,104) starting in January 1989 until July 1989 as both a narrow body car and a Turbo-look. The narrow version production was 171. The Speedster started as a design under Helmuth Bott in 1983 but was not manufactured until six years later. It was a two-seat convertible that featured a low swept windshield.
Total production of the 911 3.2 Carrera series was 76,473 cars (35,670 coupé, 19,987 cabrio, 18,468 targa).