Go to the Table of Contents now!
The Porsche 964 was the model series for the Type 911 produced between 1989 and 1994. The Porsche 964 represented the first "modernization" of the 911 and is, by most measures, the most technically advanced while still still retaining the raw, classic sports car look and feeling of the original air-cooled 911 series. The 964 series also bridged the gap as an evolution between between the original 911 series and the model 993, destined to become the last air-cooled model of the 911 series:
The Porsche 964 was first introduced in 1989 in an all-wheel-drive configuration, called the Carrera 4 (or C4 for short), whose drive-train was evolved from the fabled 959 program in the mid-80's. Porsche said that around 85% of the parts in the C4 were new, with notable changes like a 3.6L engine, coil springs instead of torsion bars, ABS brakes, airbags, power steering, a retractable rear spoiler, and a new heating and air conditioning system that worked (!). Significant work was done on the body aerodynamics, and the 3.6L M64 engine was the first Porsche engine that was produced as a single engine for all worldwide markets, with 247 HP (net).
manual transmission was an updated version of the G50 5-speed introduced
in 1987. In 1990, the rear-wheel-drive version, the Carrera 2 (or C2), was
added. During the 964 program
there were coupes, Targa's, cabriolets, and Speedsters, "turbo
looks," plus the limited-run America Roadster, RS America (US only),
and Carrera RS (non-US). models. 964's
replaced 944's in the then 4 year old Porsche Cup racing series, and were
used from 1990-1993. 45 964's
were also prepared for a US race series that was cancelled, with the cars
mostly being returned to street guise and sold.
In the US, upwards of 13,000 964's were sold.
this point, the 964 line is pretty well shaken down, and there are some
things to be aware of if you're considering buying one. Early engines were
built without a cylinder head gasket, and in a small percentage of
engines, can leak. Porsche fixed those that were found leaking at that
time, with leaking being defined as wet to the touch. In 1991, Porsche
updated the production engines by adding a cylinder head gasket,
redesigning the cylinder head base, and installing all steel head studs.
The 1990-on 964's use a dual mass flywheel, which helps isolate drive-train
vibration, however, the early Freudenberg units proved unreliable.
In 1992 Porsche changed to LUK-manufactured units, which have stood
the test of time. In late 1993, Porsche added a vent kit for the
distributor, to help prevent the dual distributor rubber belt from
breaking due to ozone concentrations. There is a $10 kit to add this to
earlier 964's. 1989-1991 964's need different spacers on the steering rack
if you want to fit 17" wheels. In order to store the top on the
Cabriolet model, the rear suspension geometry was changed for all models
in 1991, which is important to know if you make any rear suspension
upgrades. As a Digital Motor Electronics (DME)-based Porsche platform,
964-owners should consider carrying a spare DME relay (part no.
993.615.227.00, around $22) in your glove-box.
people don't care for the 964 C4 all wheel drive system (as compared to
the different and improved system of the 993, for example), so be sure
you're OK with it before buying one. C4's have a high pressure (up to 180
bar or 2,600 psi) hydraulic-based brake system, as opposed to the more
conventional vacuum-based system. This is important if you bleed your own
brakes, as it's difficult, if not impossible, to properly bleed the 964 C4
brakes without a Bosch 9288 system tester, aka "the
hammer". This tool runs around $3,000, needs a Porsche-specific
software module, and Bosch no longer supports them.
C2's and RS America's use a vacuum-based brake system and can be
bled at home (2 bar or 30 psi on your pressure bleeder).
Of course, have a pre-purchase inspection done, so you know what
you're getting and that you negotiate the best price for it's condition.
what's it like to drive a stock 964? It's more quiet and isolated from the
road and environment than earlier 911's.
The 3.6L engine, with it's additional horsepower,
is a joy. It's heavy
at around 3030 (C2) to 3250 (C4) lbs, the suspension is what you'd expect,
with a tip towards the cushy side, and it pushes, or understeers in stock
configuration, significantly at lower speeds. The heating and a/c system
really does work better than earlier 911's.
The Porsche 964 was the last of the "true 911" body styles, representing the culmination of the most widely recognized shapes on earth.
|return to top|