Advantages Great handling and reasonable running costs
Disadvantages Can attract unwanted attention
The extravagant claim in the title is based on the fact that these cars no longer depreciate noticeably, and can be driven on classic insurance. They are also very long lived and generally reliable, and don't do too badly on fuel. Essentially you can run an old Porsche for a fraction of the cost of a new Mondeo!The text below describes the features, weaknesses, and benefits of the 944 model variations.
First a bit of history. The Porsche 944 was introduced in 1983 based largely on the earlier 924 model. However the 944 included many changes and upgrades compared to the earlier model, the most obvious visual clue being the flared wheel arches to cover the wider track of the new model, the air dam and the rear spolier. Perhaps the biggest change however was in the engine department.The 924 used a VW derived 2 litre engine, but the 944 was fitted with a Porsche developed four cylinder engine, effectively half of the porsche 928
This new engine made the 944 acceptable to the Porsche customers that had previously rejected the 924 as a rebadged VW, and led to the recovery of the company through the 944's sales success.The standard engine was enough to power the car to 60mph in under 8 seconds, figures as low as 7.4 have been quoted for the Lux, quite respectable even by todays standards.
The S model from 1986 featured 16 valves but offered few extra horsepower and was in fact slower in magazine tests from the time. A possible cause for this was the extra weight of the new S model.The S model increased in capacity for 1988 to 2.7 litres, and for 1989 as the S2 it rose further to 3.0 litre capacity and 211 bhp. The S2 is often regarded as 'the one to have', but along with the performance hike came a raging thirst for fuel. The S2 does 0-60 in around 6s, while the Turbo really moves and is down in the low fives.
Fuel economy varies considerably with usage and the weight of the driver's right foot. Early models were sometimes fitted with a fuel economy meter as an optional extra, later models from 85 on (with the face lift dash) had this vacuum driven device fitted as standard. My 944 Lux averages 29mpg in mixed use, on a long motorway run this can increase to 36mpg if driven carefully, although 33mpg is more usual.The Turbo and the S2 drop into the low 20s in fuel economy, I've been told it's all but impossible to get either to pass 30mpg no matter how carefully they are driven.
So the newest 944 you can buy is 14 years old, the oldest 22! At this age most cars will start to give trouble at some point, but as with all cars there are particular things to watch for that will be costly.Possible Problem Areas
Engine - All the variants have special surface cylinder bores - very tough, but if you run them low on oil virtually impossible to repair, no simple rebore is possible on these engines.
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