1985 Porsche 944 Coupe
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 2479cc|
Porsche's programme to diversify their model range beyond the 911 began in the 1970s, first with the 924 (originally intended as a replacement for the 914) followed soon after by the more luxurious 928. Porsche's entry-level model for the next decade, the 924 was a front-engined sports coupé with an extremely aerodynamic body design featuring a liftback, spawning a generation of Japanese imitators like the Mazda RX-7, Nissan 280ZX and many others. The Audi-derived, water-cooled four-cylinder engine with K-Jetronic fuel injection was another break with tradition and endowed the 924 with sparkling, if not earth shattering performance. Six years after the 924 was launched, most of the criticisms levelled at the model were answered with the 944, with more muscular styling and a Porsche-designed and built engine under the bonnet. Derived from the 928's V8, the 944's new cast-alloy four-cylinder engine displaced 2479cc and developed a healthy 163 bhp at 5800 rpm. Driving through a five-speed manual transmission (although there was an automatic option), the 944 was capable of reaching 137 mph and could reach 62 mph in just 8.4 seconds. Four ventilated discs provided more than adequate stopping power, while fully independent suspension endowed the new model with excellent handling characteristics. The 944 proved a smash hit, allowing a whole new generation to enjoy Porsche ownership, and more than 110,000 were built before the revised S2 appeared in 1989.