Porsche 924
The Porsche 924 is an automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 produced by Porsche
Porsche Automobil Holding SE, usually shortened to Porsche SE a Societas Europaea or European Public Company, is a German based holding company with investments in the automotive industry....

Aktiengesellschaft is a German term that refers to a corporation that is limited by shares, i.e. owned by shareholders, and may be traded on a stock market. The term is used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland...

 of Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 from 1976 to 1988. A two-door, 2+2 coupé
A coupé or coupe is a closed car body style , the precise definition of which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and over time...

, the 924 replaced the 914
Porsche 914
The Porsche 914 or VW-Porsche 914 is a mid-engined, targa-topped two-seat roadster designed, manufactured and marketed collaboratively by Volkswagen and Porsche from 1969 to 1976.- Development :...

 as the company's entry-level model, and was the model that finally retired the 912
Porsche 912
The Porsche 912 is a sports car that was manufactured by Porsche of Germany between 1965 and 1969 as their entry-level model. The 912 is a nimble-handling compact performance four-seat vehicle, delivering 90 SAE horsepower at 5800 rpm. It is capable of up to fuel economy. This combination is...

. In production terms, the 924 was the first Porsche model powered by a water-cooled, front-mounted engine
Internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine is an engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high -pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine...

 although the similarly configured 928
Porsche 928
The Porsche 928 was a sports-GT car sold by Porsche AG of Germany from 1978 to 1995. Originally intended to replace the company's iconic 911, the 928 attempted to combine the power, poise, and handling of a sports car with the refinement, comfort, and equipment of a luxury sedan to create what some...

 was designed first. The front-engine, rear wheel drive arrangement was normal for most other manufacturers, but it was unusual for Porsche having previously only used mid- or rear-mounted engines of a boxer configuration, all of which had been air-cooled. It was the first Porsche to be offered with a fully automatic transmission
Automatic transmission
An automatic transmission is one type of motor vehicle transmission that can automatically change gear ratios as the vehicle moves, freeing the driver from having to shift gears manually...


The first official appearance of the 924 took place in November 1975 (as a press launch rather than a motorshow appearance) at the harbour at La Grande Motte, Camargue
The Camargue is the region located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the Rhône River delta. The eastern arm is called the Grand Rhône; the western one is the Petit Rhône....

 in the south of France. The model was a success and not only helped to take Porsche out of financial ruin, but created the revenue stream needed to continue building and developing the 911
Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

. The 924 was replaced by the 944
Porsche 944
The Porsche 944 is a sports car built by Porsche from 1982 to 1991. It was built on the same platform as the 924, although 924 production continued through 1988. The 944 was intended to last into the 1990s, but major revisions planned for a 944 S3 model were eventually rolled into the 968 instead,...

 in 1983 in the U.S. market, but continued to be produced until 1985 for other markets.

For the 1986 to 1988 model years the car acquired the powerplant from the 944 model and became the Porsche 924S.


The 924 was originally intended to be Volkswagen
Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturer and is the original and biggest-selling marque of the Volkswagen Group, which now also owns the Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, SEAT, and Škoda marques and the truck manufacturer Scania.Volkswagen means "people's car" in German, where it is...

's flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

 coupé sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

 and was dubbed "Project 425" during its development. At the time, Volkswagen lacked an internal research and design division, and Porsche was doing the bulk of the company's development work, per a deal that went back to the 1950s; in keeping with this history, Porsche was contracted to develop a new sporting vehicle with the caveat that this vehicle must work with an existing VW/Audi I4
The inline-four engine or straight-four engine is an internal combustion engine with all four cylinders mounted in a straight line, or plane along the crankcase. The single bank of cylinders may be oriented in either a vertical or an inclined plane with all the pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 engine. Porsche chose to stick a rear wheel drive layout and a rear-mounted transaxle
In the automotive field, a transaxle is a major mechanical component that combines the functionality of the transmission, the differential, and associated components of the driven axle into one integrated assembly....

 for the design to help provide 48/52 front/rear weight distribution; this slight rear weight bias aided both traction and brake balance.
The 1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

, a series of automobile-related regulatory changes enacted during the 1970s and a change of directors at Volkswagen made the case for a Volkswagen sports car less striking and the 425 project was put on hold. After serious deliberation at VW, the project was scrapped entirely after a decision was made to move forward with the cheaper, more practical, Golf
Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf is a small family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada , and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico .The...

-based Scirocco
Volkswagen Scirocco
The Scirocco is a 3-door Coupe manufactured by German automaker Volkswagen, undergoing two generations of development between 1974 and 1992 and reintroduced in a third generation in August 2008.-Etymology:...

 model instead. Porsche, which needed a model to replace the 914, made a deal with Volkswagen leadership to buy the design back.

The deal specified that the car would be built at the ex-NSU
NSU Motorenwerke AG
NSU Motorenwerke AG, normally just NSU, was a German manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles and pedal cycles, founded in 1873. It was acquired by Volkswagen Group in 1969...

 factory in Neckarsulm located north of the Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart, the Volkswagen employees would do the actual production line work and that Porsche would own the design. It became one of Porsche's best-selling models, and the relative cheapness of building the car made it both profitable and fairly easy for Porsche to finance.

The original design used an Audi-sourced four-speed manual transmission
Manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...

 for the 924 mated to VW's EA831 2.0 L I4 engine, subsequently used in the Audi 100
Audi 100
The restyled C2 Audi 100 was launched in 1976, with an in-line five-cylinder engine...

 and the Volkswagen LT
Volkswagen LT
The Volkswagen LT was the largest light commercial vehicle panel van produced by Volkswagen from 1975 to 2006...

 van (common belief is that the engine originated in the LT van, but it first appeared in the Audi car), as well as in the AMC Gremlin
AMC Gremlin
The AMC Gremlin is a two-door subcompact car produced in the United States and Canada by the American Motors Corporation between 1970 and 1978. AMC reduced its development and manufacturing costs by adapting a shortened Hornet platform with a Kammback-type tail...

, Concord
AMC Concord
The AMC Concord is a compact car produced by the American Motors Corporation for the 1978 through 1983 model years. The Concord replaced the AMC Hornet and to some extent the mid-size AMC Matador, discontinued after 1978 in a market moving to downsized automobiles...

, and Spirit
AMC Spirit
The AMC Spirit was a subcompact marketed by American Motors Corporation from 1979 to 1983 as a restyled replacement for the Gremlin. The Spirit shared the Gremlin's platform and was offered in two hatchback variations, each with two doors — marketed as sedan and liftback...

. The engine used Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, producing 95 hp in North American trim. This was brought up to 110 hp in mid-1977 with the introduction of a catalytic converter, which reduced the need for power-robbing smog equipment. The four-speed manual was the only transmission available for the initial 1976 model. An Audi three-speed automatic was offered starting with the 1977.5 model.

European models, which did not require any emissions equipment, made 125 hp. They also differed visually from the US spec model by not having the US cars' low-speed impact bumpers and the round reflectors and side-marker lamps on each end of the body.

A five-speed transmission, available in normally aspirated cars (type 016) starting in 1979 and standard on all turbos (type g31), was a dog-leg shift pattern
Dog leg gearbox
A dog leg gearbox is a manual transmission layout with an up-over-up shift between first and second gear. The layout derives its name from a dog's hind leg, with its sharp angles.-Automobiles:...

 Porsche unit, with first gear below reverse on the left side. This was robust, but expensive due to some 915 internal parts, and was replaced for 1980 with a normal H-pattern Audi five-speed on all non-turbo cars. The brake
A brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Its opposite component is a clutch. The rest of this article is dedicated to various types of vehicular brakes....

s were solid discs
Disc brake
The disc brake or disk brake is a device for slowing or stopping the rotation of a wheel while it is in motion.A brake disc is usually made of cast iron, but may in some cases be made of composites such as reinforced carbon–carbon or ceramic matrix composites. This is connected to the wheel and/or...

 at the front and drums
Drum brake
A drum brake is a brake in which the friction is caused by a set of shoes or pads that press against a rotating drum-shaped part called a brake drum....

 at the rear. The car was criticized in Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Car and Driver is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.31 million. It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011...

magazine for this braking arrangement, which was viewed as a step backward from the 914's standard four-wheel disc brakes. However, four-wheel disc brakes, five stud hubs and alloys from the 924 Turbo were available on the base 924 as an "S" package starting with the 1980 model year. Also, standard brakes could be optioned on the turbo as a cost saving measure.

The overall styling was created by Dutchman
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 Harm Lagaay
Harm Lagaay
Harm Lagaay is a Dutch automobile designer. Educated in the Netherlands he completed the studies at the IVA and went to work for a Dutch company Olyslager in Soest....

, a member of the Porsche styling team, with the hidden headlights, sloping bonnet line and grille-less nose giving the car its popular wedge shape. The car went on sale in the USA in July 1976 as a 1977 model with a base price of $9,395. Porsche made small improvements to the 924 each model year between 1977 and 1985, but nothing major was changed on non-turbo cars. Turbo charged variants received many different, non-VW sourced parts, throughout the drive train, and when optioned with the m471 disc brake package and forged 16" wheels, the car was twice as expensive as a standard model.

J. Pasha, writing in Excellence
Excellence (magazine)
Excellence: The Magazine About Porsche is a magazine published by Ross Periodicals for owners and fans of Porsche cars....

magazine, at the time, described the 924 as "the best handling Porsche in stock form".

While the car was praised for its styling, handling, fuel economy, and reliability, it was harshly written up in the automotive press for its very poor performance, especially in its US spec cars. With only 95-110 hp, rapid acceleration was simply not an option, but the Porsche name carried with it higher expectations. When the 924 turbo models came out, Car and Driver magazine proclaimed the car "Fast...at Last!" The later 924S had performance on par with the turbo, but at much improved reliability, and less cost. The 81 and 82 Turbos and the associated special variants are garnering interest in collector circles; and while many still exist, excellent examples of the cars are quite scarce as of 2009.


Model Year Production Rest of World USA Japan
1976 5145 5144 1120  
1977 25596 * 17675 7496 425
1978 21562 9474 11638 450
1979 20619 10475 9636 508
1980 12794 † 9094 3700  
1981 11824 ‡ 9669 2155  
1982 10091 7814 2277  
1983 5785 5785    
1984 4659 4659    
1985 3214 3214    
Total 121289 83004 36902 1383

* includes 3000 special edition "Martini" cars

† includes 1030 special edition "Le Mans" cars

‡ includes 1015 special edition "50 Jahre Porsche/Weissach" cars.

924 Turbo (931 LHD, 932 RHD)

Model Year Production Rest of World US Japan
1979 2932 1982 950  
1980 5243 1803 3440  
1981 3312 1783 1529 * 1529 *
1982 1819   876 943
1983 310 310 †    
Total 13616 5568 6795 943

* sum total of cars brought into US and Japan

† cars brought only into Italy

924 Carrera GT (937/938)

Model Year Production Germany UK Rest of World Notes
1980 406 200 75 131 includes prototypes


Model Year Production Rest of World US Notes
1986 3536 3536    
1987 8940 1993 6947  
1988 4193 2003 2190 production
ended September 1988
Total 16669 7532 9137  

There was also a sport package for the 924S, available for the ROW and U.S. market for which production data is stated below.

924 Special Production

Model Year Type Production Notes
1978 924 Rallye Turbo 4 One of these models the first 924 to be bought into Australia and is located in Queensland under private ownership. It was first seen at Motor shows then converted and driven in the 1979 Repco Reliability Trials
1979 924 Rallye Turbo 1  
1979 924 SCCA 16 for US market
1979 924 Group 4 1 built up from street car
1980 924 Le Mans GTP 4  
1981 924 Carrera GTS 59 15 were Club
Sport with cage, etc.
1981 924 Carrera GTR 17  
Total   101  

924 Turbo

Porsche executives soon recognised the need for a higher-performance version of the 924 that could bridge the gap between the basic 924 and the 911s. Having already found the benefits of turbochargers on several race cars and the 1975 911 Turbo, Porsche chose to use this technology for the 924, eventually introducing the 924 Turbo as a 1978 model.

Porsche started with the same Audi-sourced 2.0 L I4, designed an all new cylinder head (which was hand assembled at Stuttgart), dropped the compression to 7.5:1 and engineered a KKK K-26 turbocharger
A turbocharger, or turbo , from the Greek "τύρβη" is a centrifugal compressor powered by a turbine that is driven by an engine's exhaust gases. Its benefit lies with the compressor increasing the mass of air entering the engine , thereby resulting in greater performance...

 for it. With 10 psi (68.9 kPa) boost, output increased to 170 hp.
The 924 Turbo engine assembly weighed about 65 lb (29 kg) more, so front spring rates and anti-roll bars were revised. Weight distribution was now 49/51 compared to the original 924 figure of 48/52 front to rear.

In order to help make the car more functional, as well as to distinguish it from the naturally aspirated version, Porsche added a NACA duct
NACA duct
A NACA duct also sometimes called a NACA scoop or NACA Inlet, is a common form of low-drag air inlet design, originally developed by the U.S. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics , the precursor to NASA, in 1945....

 in the hood and air intakes in the badge panel in the nose, 15-inch spoke-style alloy wheel
Alloy wheel
Alloy wheels are automobile wheels which are made from an alloy of aluminium or magnesium. They are typically lighter for the same strength...

s, four-wheel disc brakes with 5 stud hubs and a five-speed transmission. Forged 16" flat wheels of the style used on the 928 were optional, but fitment specification was that of the 911 which the 924 shared wheel offsets with.
Internally, Porsche called it 931 (left hand drive) and 932 (right hand drive), much like the 911 Carrera Turbo, which had been "Type 930". These designations are commonly used by 924 aficionados.

The turbocharged engine allowed the 924's performance to come surprisingly close to that of the 911
Porsche 911
The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

 SC (180 bhp), thanks in part to a lighter curb weight
Curb weight
Curb weight or kerb weight is the total weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, all necessary operating consumables , a full tank of fuel, while not loaded with either passengers or cargo.This definition may differ from definitions used by governmental regulatory agencies or other...

, but it also brought reliability problems. This was in part due to the fact that the general public did not know how to operate, or care for, what is by today's standards a primitive turbo setup.

A turbocharger cooled only by engine oil lead to short component life and turbo-related seal and seat problems. To fix the problems, Porsche released a revised 924 Turbo series 2 (although badging still read 924 Turbo) in 1979. By using a smaller turbocharger running at increased boost, slightly higher compression of 8:1 and an improved fuel injection
Fuel injection
Fuel injection is a system for admitting fuel into an internal combustion engine. It has become the primary fuel delivery system used in automotive petrol engines, having almost completely replaced carburetors in the late 1980s....

 system with DITC ignition triggered by the flywheel, reliability improved and power rose to 177 hp.

After a successful sales run of both naturally aspirated and turbo models, in 1980 Porsche surprised everyone and release the 924 Carrera GT, making clear their intention to enter the 924 in competition.

By adding an intercooler
An intercooler , or charge air cooler, is an air-to-air or air-to-liquid heat exchange device used on turbocharged and supercharged internal combustion engines to improve their volumetric efficiency by increasing intake air charge density through nearly isobaric cooling, which removes...

, increasing compression to 8.5:1 as well as various other little changes, Porsche was able to develop the 924 Turbo into the race car they had wanted, dubbing it the 924 Carrera GT.
Visually it differed to the 931 in that it had polyurethane plastic front and rear flared guards, a polyurethane plastic front spoiler, a top mounted air scoop for the intercooler, a much larger rubber rear spoiler and a flush mounted front windscreen. It lost the 931's NACA duct in the hood but retained the air intakes in the badge panel. This more aggressive styling was later used for as motivation for the 944.

In order to comply with the homologation regulations, the 924 Carrera GT and later 924 Carrera GTS were offered as road cars as well, producing 210 and 245 hp (157 and 183 kW) respectively. Clubsport versions of the GTS were also available with 280 hp, a factory included Matter rollcage and race seats. 924 Carrera GT variations were known by model numbers 937 (left hand drive) and 938 (right hand drive).

The ultimate development of the 924 in its race trim was the 924 Carrera GTR race car, which produced 375 hp from a highly modified version of the 2.0 L I4 used in all 924s. In 1980 Porsche entered three 924 GTRs at the 24hrs of Le Mans, which went on to finish 6th, 12th and 13th overall. In 1981 Porsche entered a 924 Carrera GTP which used a highly modified 2.5 liter I4, the same capacity as the forthcoming 944. This engine sported 4 valves per cylinder and a single turbocharger to produce 420 hp. This last variant managed a 7th place overall finish and spent the least time out of any other car in the pits.

Production of the 924 Turbo ceased in 1982 except for the Italian market which lasted until 1984. This is due to the restrictions on engines larger than 2 liters, putting the 2.5 liter 944 into a much higher tax category.


In 1984 VW decided to stop manufacturing the engine blocks used in the 2.0 924, leaving Porsche with a predicament. The 924 was considerably cheaper than its 944 stablemate, and dropping the model left Porsche without an affordable entry-level option. The decision was made to equip the narrower bodied 924 with a slightly detuned version of the 944's 163 bhp 2.5 litre straight four, upgrading the suspension but retaining the 924's early interior. The result was 1986's 150 bhp 924S. Porsche also decided to re-introduce the 924 to the American market with an initial price tag of under $20,000.

1987 saw Porsche release the limited edition 924S Le Mans. Available only in Alpine White or Black, it had upgraded suspension and cosmetically upgraded interior and exterior. In Le Mans spec, the S' 2.5 litre engine produced an additional 10 bhp, taking the total to 160. The Le Mans also came with an electric sunroof as standard (normally an option). A total of 980 924S Le Mans were manufactured during the 1987 model year; 813 cars in black (the only colour available for the US market) and 167 white cars.

In 1988, the 924S' final year of production, power increased to 160 bhp matching that of the previous year's Le Mans spec cars and the base model 944 (itself detuned by 3 bhp for 1988). This was achieved using different pistons which raised the S' compression ratio from 9.7:1 to 10.2:1, the knock-on effect being an increase in the octane rating, up from 91 RON to 95. This made the 924S slightly faster than the base 944 due to its lighter weight and more aerodynamic body.

In 1988 The Porsche 924s-SE was introduced, only 500 cars were produced and sent to the United States.

With unfavourable exchange rates in the late 1980s, Porsche decided to focus its efforts on its more upmarket models, dropping the 924S for 1989 and the base 944 later that same year.

924S Special models

88 924S SE and LeMans, aka Club Sport editions.

Only 980 Club Sport option cars were built in total.

500 units for USA. Option code was M756. LSD, Sunroof rear rock guard were optional, 15x6 phone dials, manual windows and locks, standard M030 suspension. Came with a SE medallion.

250 GER 200 black and 50 white cars

230 ROW 113 black and 117 white

ROW Paint finishes and interiors were only offered in two colour choices - Alpine White with Ochre/Grey detailing or Black with Turquoise detailing.

US was black only with optional SE Edition decal.

ROW The exterior side stripes were broken by scripted ‘LE Mans’ logos on the lower part of the door, while the rims of the holes in each wheel were in the appropriate Ochre or Turquoise. Inside, the cars featured sports seats.

ROW Upholstery was grey/ochre striped flannel cloth with ochre piping for Alpine White cars, or grey/turquoise with turquoise piping for Black cars.

US Interior was gray with maroon pinstriping, and maroon carpeting (upholstery is weak fabric and does not hold up to sun).

All the cars had the 360 mm (14 in) steering wheel, with, as a final flourish, the cloth door panels colour-coded to match the detail colours. All cars came with a 160 BHP engine plus an electric tilt/removable sunroof fitted as standard. It was also lowered 10 mm (0.39 in) at the front and 15 mm (0.59 in) at the rear, and fitted with stiffer springs and gas-filled shock absorbers all round. It was further given sport anti-roll bars with diameters of 21.5 mm (0.85 in) at the front but 20 mm (0.79 in), rather than 14 mm (0.55 in), at the rear. Wheels were ‘telephone dial’ cast alloy 6J x 15 at the front and 7J x 15 (at the rear).

The Porsche 924 and motorsport

The 924 has its own racing series in the UK run by the BRSCC and Porsche Racing Drivers Association. The Porsche 924 Championship was started in 1992 by Jeff May who was championship coordinator until his death on 10 November 2003. May was also one of the founding members of Porsche Club Great Britain.
In the United States, the 924S is also eligible to race in the 944-Spec racing class.

Collector Significance

The number of cars built in the 924 family, over 152,000, means availability for the automobile collector community. The special variant cars (924 Turbo, 924 Carrera GT, and 924S) have higher survival rates. The early year cars are not held in high regard due to their low power, primitive engineering/construction, and propensity to corrosion. Problems include poor accident repair and leaky batteries. There are a number of enthusiast clubs.

External links

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