Porsche celebrates '50 Years of Turbo' at the Retro Classics

Roundup Friday 24/May/2024 11:12 AM
By: Times News Service
Porsche celebrates '50 Years of Turbo' at the Retro Classics

Porsche celebrates '50 Years of Turbo' at the Retro Classics

Slogan at the fair stand: Beyond Performance – 50 Years of Porsche Turbo

Turbo talk with Monegasque racing driver Stéphane Ortelli followed by an autograph session

25 – 28 April 2024 / Hall 1 Stand A74

A visit to Porsche at the Retro Classics in Stuttgart is always a journey through time. This year, the sports car manufacturer will be celebrating its anniversary 'Beyond Performance – 50 Years of Porsche Turbo' at the trade fair for classic car fans and sports car enthusiasts, presenting impressive exhibits from 25 to 28 April 2024.

Retro Classics brings throngs of classic-car and sports-car enthusiasts from all around the world to Stuttgart. For Porsche, the trade fair is not just a home game, but a fixture in its annual event calendar. From Thursday to Sunday, 25 to 28 April 2024, the sports car manufacturer will showcase an extraordinary selection of exhibits there.

“This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Turbo at the Retro Classics. No other model reflects the company’s innovative drive as strikingly as the Turbo derivatives,” said Achim Stejskal, Director of Porsche Heritage and Museum.

In 1974, the sports car manufacturer presented the first series 911 Turbo at the Paris Motor Show. A technology that migrated from motorsport to series production in characteristic Porsche fashion.

“We are delighted to be able to show visitors vehicles that were always ahead of their time.”

On Saturday, April 27th at 2 pm, Thomas Krickelberg, Project Manager in the 911/718 model line at Porsche and Frank Jung, Head of the Company Archive, will talk to the Monegasque racing driver and Le Mans winner Stéphane Ortelli about the Turbo. Afterwards, Ortelli, who won the 24-hour race for Porsche in the Porsche 911 GT1 in 1998 together with teammates Laurent Aïello and Allan McNish, will be available for autograph requests. In addition to the Turbo Talk, visitors to the fair stand can also take part in guided tours on the topic of 50 years of Turbo.

50 years later: the erstwhile birthday present

At Stand A74 in Hall 1, the company will be showing the first 911 Turbo—the one which saw Porsche usher in a new era. The first of its kind, the model exhibited is also a one-off, namely the Porsche 911 Turbo 'No. 1', which Louise Piëch received for her 70th birthday in the summer of 1974. In contrast to the Turbo models offered by the manufacturer from the spring of 1975 on, Piëch’s gift has the narrow body of the 911 Carrera. The bonnet of the 176 kW (240 PS) sports car bears the “Carrera” logo instead of the 'Turbo' logo. In order to see the picturesque mountain landscapes of Austria in true-to-life colours, the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche refrained from tinting the windscreen. A badge on the glove compartment bears the initials LP and the inscription: Turbo-Porsche No. 1, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, 29 Aug. 1974.

Rare and extremely fast cars

The next gem at the stand is a 911 Turbo 3.0 Coupé from 1975. This Porsche in Silver Green Diamond was one of the first 30 Turbos to be completed within series production. The mirrors matched those of the Carrera and were painted in the exterior colour, while the wider wings were welded to the body by hand.

Another crowd-puller at the over 500-square-metre stand is a 911 GT2 with wing extensions and additional air intakes. In order to provide the Turbo engine with sufficient air, the adjustable rear wing had lateral openings. The equipment in the sports car from 1996 was spartan, ensuring that not a single extraneous gram was on board. The doors and bonnet were made of aluminium, rear and side windows were made of thin glass, and the manufacturer dispensed entirely with insulating material. The biturbo engine had 20 PS more power than the standard version.

Lightweight racers and powerful engines

Also on show at the fair is the 911 GT1 ‘98, a lightweight racer that tips the scales at just 970 kilograms. Unlike its predecessor with a sheet steel front end, the mid-engine sports car featured a carbon-fibre monocoque and a plastic outer shell. The water-cooled 3.2-litre, six-cylinder engine with two turbochargers generated around 404 kW (550 PS). Thanks to groundbreaking engine electronics, fuel consumption was very low, a decisive advantage when racing at Le Mans. This model served as a test vehicle throughout its entire career, and later as a stand-in for photo shoots.

The 911 Turbo S was one of only 435 models built by Porsche Exclusive. With 331 kW (450 PS), the air-cooled biturbo boxer engine was one of the most powerful of the 911 generation 993. The chassis of the sports car was lowered by 15 millimetres, and the body featured an aero package with front and rear spoilers. The four exhaust tailpipes were particularly striking. Visitors to the trade fair who take a look inside will see almost all plastic parts covered with leather.

A duo comprised of a sports car and a plane

There’s a special story behind the latest Turbo model at the stand. The 911 Turbo S 'Duet' from 2020 is the product of a cooperation between Porsche and the aircraft manufacturer Embraer. Those who opted for the Phenom 300E business jet at the time could purchase a customised 911 Turbo S in a silver two-tone finish. In many of its details, the 650 PS sports car is reminiscent of aviation. For example, the side air intakes and trims on the side windows in brilliant chrome evoke the appearance of jet engines. The individual registration of the associated jet can be found on the underside of the rear wing as well as on the vehicle key of the model, which was produced in a limited run of ten units. In a nod to the wording on aircraft wings, the panels of the door sills in the doors bear the words 'No step'.

In addition to exciting vehicles from the Turbo era, Porsche will also be presenting two engine exhibits. While one engine from 1988 represents the second generation of the Turbo, the other comes from the seventh generation. Between the two models of the 911 Turbo - the first was called 930 in-house, the second 991 - was a span of 26 years and 220 PS. In a display case at the stand, Porsche will be showing a number of exhibits from the archive, such as the drawing of the Turbo logo from 1974, advertisements, and the equipment card of the first Turbo. The museum shop, which is integrated into the trade fair stand, offers visitors selected products related to Porsche as well as a collection specially created for the Turbo anniversary.

Crowning glory of a proven concept

For the public, the story of the Porsche 911 Turbo began on 13 September 1973 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. On that fateful Thursday, a silver 911 stood atop a round presentation podium bedecked in red. Upholstered in blue-black artificial leather, the seat centre panel featured the ‘Black Watch’ tartan pattern in blue-green. The 911 RSR Turbo concept car resembled a 911 Carrera RS 3.0, but for the large lettering on the rear wings of the prototype, which added the critical indication that a new model was in the offing. The word ‘Turbo’ heralded the forthcoming top-of-the-line version of the 911.

Almost a whole year would go by before the first 911 Turbo changed hands as a unique gift. It was none other than Ferry Porsche who gave the sports car, on behalf of all Porsche employees, to his sister Louise Piëch on 29 August 1974 to mark her 70th birthday. It was a very special one-off. On the rear it says ‘Carrera’ instead of ‘Turbo’, which distinguishes this special sports car from the following production vehicles – but the sweeping rear wing indicates that this is a very special model indeed. It is powered by a turbocharged test version of a 2.7-litre engine. Silver on the outside, upholstered with brick-red cowhide leather on the inside, the seat centre panel in a red-blue ‘McLaughlin’ tartan pattern. The car was equipped with the same anniversary package that also featured in the special model marking ‘25 years of driving in its most beautiful form’. This narrow-body 911 Turbo 2.7 Coupé without what would become the typical Turbo widening would remain a one-off. It would go down in the history of the brand as the 911 Turbo ‘No. 1’.

Porsche unveiled the series production version with a 3.0-litre engine on 3 October 1974 at the Paris Motor Show. Painted in Viper Green Diamond, inside it featured black leather and tartan seat centre panels. Although the first Turbo prototype had been shown the year before – at the outset of the oil crisis – customers were by no means deterred. In the spring of 1975, the Turbo was launched globally as the flagship of the 911 series – and it sold better than expected.

One of the fastest of its time

In the advertisement for the market launch in 1974, Porsche described the 911 Turbo as the “crowning glory of a proven concept”. Fast-forward half a century and the words still ring true. Just like the subtitle: “This car combines performance with luxury in perfect harmony. Its superior technology and practical comfort leave nothing to be desired.” The 911 Turbo went down in history as the world’s first series-production sports car with an exhaust-gas-controlled turbocharger. And one of the fastest cars of its time. What set it apart from its competitors was its unrestricted day-to-day usability in combination with its luxurious interior equipment. In the press release from September 1974, Porsche also emphasised the “refined power” and “exclusive sportiness” of the 191 kW (260 PS) sports car.

Initially only planned for a small production run, the model that was internally named 930 would become a Porsche stalwart over the coming five decades. To date, there have been eight generations of the 911 Turbo. Porsche has crowned the company’s model range with the name ‘Turbo’ since 1974. And the ‘Turbo’ recipe for success has not changed in all that time: the constant technical evolution of a timeless classic.

The Turbo feeling

The Turbo principle has marked the frontier of what is feasible at Porsche for half a century. Turbo is far more than just a model designation. A Turbo from Zuffenhausen combines experience and success, sportiness and day-to-day usability. Every Turbo carries within it all the victories that Porsche has celebrated on the race tracks of the world.

A Turbo from Zuffenhausen. The mere thought of it is enthralling for many. A captivating vision of the ultimate connection between the driver and the road. The very embodiment of a sports car. Turbo stands for an intense driving experience, for sportiness paired with day-to-day usability, for experience and success. A Turbo always represents the limit of what is feasible. As the Turbo dynamically connects one with the road, the driver feels connected with it in turn. Turbo means a history that goes back 50 years to its roots – with origins in motorsports more than 50 years. Turbo as a technology platform. A Turbo is a sports car with uncompromising capability.

Even without mentioning Porsche, the word ‘turbo’ is inextricably associated with the sports car manufacturer for many automotive enthusiasts. It symbolises many things, not just the crowning glory of the eight 911 generations. Turbo is an integral part of the name of all models: 924 Turbo, 944 Turbo, Cayenne Turbo, Panamera Turbo and Macan Turbo. ‘Turbo’ embodies the name of a technology, ‘Turbo-look’ styling, turbocharging as a means of forced induction and, in the case of the Taycan Turbo, even a standalone brand name. In fact, the use of the ‘Turbo’ moniker in the all-electric Taycan shows that these five letters are no longer tied to the use of a physical exhaust turbocharger. On the contrary: almost all Porsche models today have exhaust turbochargers. But only the pioneering technological models are allowed to adorn themselves with the name ‘Turbo’.

It is a tradition at Porsche to crown an existing model range with a Turbo variant. And it’s a tradition at Porsche to be visionary. In the midst of the energy crisis in the early 1970s, Porsche was planning for the future – and was well ahead of its time in terms of technological progress. To this day, the sports car manufacturer has retained the idea of first testing new technology, such as the use of an exhaust turbocharger, on the race tracks of the world before they enter series production. Motorsport has always been firmly anchored in the brand’s DNA. Porsche tests its mettle against the competition on the track, where lap times are measured and where the driver and the machine face the challenges of a race head-on. Porsche then compresses the knowledge from motorsport to its essence and incorporates it into its next sports car.

The difference between a Turbo and a non-Turbo is not just something you can see – more than anything, it’s something you feel. At its market launch, the 911 Turbo was one of the fastest production vehicles of its time and the world’s first with an exhaust-gas-controlled turbocharger. In contrast to its competitors, it was fully suitable for everyday use and offered plenty of comfort. It combined performance and luxury. The Turbo always fulfilled Ferry Porsche’s desire for high engine performance coupled with efficient use of power. Constant technical evolution has always been the most important secret of success for any Turbo model from Zuffenhausen. The one that brings it closer to the ideal of a sports car than any before it.

With the title ‘Beyond performance – 50 years of Porsche Turbo’, Porsche unlocks a cosmos full of inspiring stories of triumph and perseverance in the face of challenge. It’s never just about the pure power of a Turbo, but much more about the ‘feel of Turbo’. The feeling of being able to exceed expectations at any time, but not having to prove yourself to anyone. To the feeling of always going beyond the ordinary. The feeling of ‘more’.

The name Turbo in the Porsche family

Half a century ago, Porsche introduced the Turbo model designation for the flagship 911 series. Since then, the ‘Turbo’ designation has become synonymous with the range-topping Porsche models, and is no longer solely linked to the 911. Since the 1990s, motorsport-inspired series production cars have been even more track-focused, while the Turbo continues to combine uncompromising sportiness and everyday usability. A Turbo unites driving dynamics with efficiency and tradition with innovation, and represents the technological pinnacle in all Porsche model lines.

Mix of experience and success: from the Turbo look to turbocharging

In addition to being the crowning glory of eight 911 generations and the embodiment of a technology, the term ‘Turbo’ also denotes the particular ‘Turbo look’ and turbocharging in general. Even before the 911 Carrera was offered with a ‘Turbo look’ in autumn 1983, Porsche engineers built a 911 Carrera Cabriolet ‘Turbo look’ in Silver Rose Metallic as a pre-production car for then-CEO Peter W. Schutz. The vehicle’s specification included not only the wide body and spoiler of the 911 Turbo, but also its suspension and the four-piston fixed-calliper brakes. Between 1983 and 1993, Porsche created wide-body ‘Turbo-look’ versions of the G-Series and 964 generations. The following models were available in ‘Turbo-look’ versions: 911 Carrera 3.2 Coupé (1983 to 1989), 911 Carrera 3.2 Targa and Cabriolet (1984 to 1989), 911 Carrera Speedster (1988 to 1989), 911 Carrera 2 Cabriolet (1992 to 1993), 911 Carrera 2 Speedster (1993) and the anniversary edition 911 Carrera 4 Coupé ‘30 years of the 911’ (1993).

In 1995, Porsche launched the first 911 GT2. This track-focused GT car was based on the 911 Turbo of the 993 generation and featured an air-cooled 3.6-litre twin-turbo flat-six. In the years that followed, Porsche would also use turbocharging in the 911 GT2 of the 997 generations. As part of the new generation of engines, twin turbocharging was introduced in the broader 911 Carrera range from 2015. From 2016, Porsche also used turbocharging in the four-cylinder boxer engines of the 718 model series. The result: greater power and torque combined with lower fuel consumption.

Turbo as a synonym for pioneering achievements in all model lines

‘Turbo’ has also long been an integral part of the name in other Porsche model lines. It first adorned the Porsche 924 Turbo in 1979, the Porsche 944 Turbo in 1985 and the first 944 Turbo S three years later. The Cayenne Turbo was launched in 2002, and the even more powerful Turbo S in 2005. Porsche launched the Panamera range in 2009, and the first Turbo appeared the same year. Four years later came the top Turbo S variant. Finally, Porsche released the Macan Turbo in 2014.

Five years ago, the ‘Turbo’ moniker appeared for the first time on the Taycan Turbo. The first models in the new series, the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo, were the spearhead of Porsche E-Performance. The all-electric sports car was thus poised to continue the story of the Turbo model name – albeit this time without an actual exhaust turbocharger – with the most powerful series production models that the sports car manufacturer had in its product portfolio at the time.

Typical Turbo

What do Porsche enthusiasts think of when they hear the word ‘Turbo’? Extravagant rear wings and wheelarches, lightweight construction, air vents between doors and rear wheels, and particularly sporty equipment. They think of special editions, dynamic performance, dramatic power delivery and speed. In addition, a Turbo always combines a wealth of innovations: In the second generation of the 911Turbo, Porsche positioned a charge-air cooler below the rear spoiler. This was a world first in a production car, and again an innovation derived from motor racing. Porsche presented the 996-generation 911 Turbo with PCCB ceramic composite disc brakes. The 911 Turbo (997) was the first series-produced petrol engine to employ turbochargers with Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG). Another characteristic feature of the Turbo is that the sports car manufacturer puts together a new Sport Chrono package for each model. With each new Turbo, Porsche ventures ever closer to the limits of what is possible. Comfortable and suitable for everyday use – that’s typical Turbo as well.

Turbo – up close and personal

Winning streaks, record laps, moments of alarm, and three whiskys – everyone who has experienced Porsche turbo technology has their own very personal story. Here, renowned racing drivers and engineers tell us what ‘Turbo’ means to them.

Walter Röhrl

The two-time World Rally champion, development driver and brand ambassador on his own personal turbo journey.


I first drove the 911 Turbo 3.0 in 1978. The handling of the car presented a challenge, but I was impressed by its power – so in 1979, I bought a 911 Turbo 3.3. I associate Porsche turbo technology in motorsport with power, success – and good friendship. The year 1981 was intense. Driving a 935 with irrepressible rear-wheel-drive power in the wet at Silverstone was a real balancing act. At Le Mans, we completed the distance very well in a 944 prototype. Friends of mine at Porsche built me a 924 Carrera GTS for the German Rally Championship, in which we celebrated four overall victories. Four years later, we carried on in the 911 Turbo S Le Mans GT. 500 PS in a car weighing 1,000 kilograms and without any downforce to speak of – that was quite the adventure.

Today, the 992-generation 911 Turbo is the best car in the world for me. The Turbo is effortless; incredibly powerful and quiet over long distances. I often get fuel consumption of nine litres per 100 km with this Porsche. High performance and incredible comfort: the original idea for the Turbo is alive and well. More so than ever before if you ask me.

Peter Falk

Head of the testing department during the era of the first 911 Turbo, and later head of motorsport behind the success of the Group C 956/962, the TAG-Turbo ‘made by Porsche’, and the 959 Paris-Dakar.

Those ‘Wow!’ moments

The 911 Turbo was developed in an era that actually ought to have heralded the end of the 911. I think it helped that our incoming Chairman of the Executive Board, Dr Ernst Fuhrmann, had witnessed the success of the newly turbocharged 917 Spyder in America. Making the 911 Turbo drivable for skilled everyday drivers was an enjoyable challenge, although there were initially a few hairy moments for us, as the chassis was somewhat overwhelmed by the power and weight of the car. Our test cars were capable of almost 300 km/h.

The decision-making processes at that time would be inconceivable today. For example, in spring 1977 I was able to convince Dr Fuhrmann to use the brake system derived from the 917 racing car in the roadgoing 911 Turbo 3.3. Fuhrmann was initially not a fan of this idea, saying: “Why brake at all? We want people to drive.” After three whiskys we finally got his approval. Our conversation took place at the launch of the 928, at a bar in the south of France.

Valentin Schäffer

Head of racing engines from 1964 to 1991, he was instrumental in developing the turbo engines for motorsport and is known to this day as the‘Turbo Wizard’. Here Schäffer recalls the winning engine from the Group C 956/962.

From America to Le Mans

The decision to enter Le Mans in 1981 came very late. As a result, we needed an engine that was capable of winning – and fast. I proposed the 2.65-litre flat-six to our Executive Board member for development, Helmuth Bott – the engine I had made for a now-cancelled US project. For Le Mans I had to remodel the engine from a single turbo to a twin-turbo configuration, and from running on methanol to running on petrol. Bott was sceptical: “Will you manage this in time?” I replied: “I have to.” We won Le Mans.

The rules for 1982 cut permitted fuel consumption levels drastically. We reduced the boost pressure from 1.2 to 1.0 bar, leaving ourselves with around 580 PS. It was still enough to take the first three positions in the race. In 1983, to further reduce the fuel consumption we replaced the mechanical Kugelfischer injection with the Bosch Motronic 1.2 and achieved a very drivable 640 PS. In practice for Le Mans 1985, we used the entirely water-cooled 3.0-litre twin-turbo for the first time, which delivered 650 PS in racing trim. With this later descendent of the original US engine, we won in both 1986 and 1987. I was retired by the time the engine took one more victory in 1994.

Timo Bernhard

Porsche works driver from 2002 to 2019, winner of many championships, two-time winner at Le Mans, and World Endurance Champion.

Beginning, highlights and history

I started as a works driver in 2002 and had my first Turbo experience in 2003. I entered the 24-hour race on the Nordschleife in a 996-generation 911 Turbo run by Manthey Racing. The engine had well over 600 PS and driving this car was really wild. We came third, and I’ll never forget what it was like driving this 911 on the Nordschleife. The 919 Hybrid – and its high-tech combination of an electric motor plus a V4 turbo petrol engine – was our winning car at Le Mans in 2017, and we won two World Endurance Championships with it. In 2018, I drove the most extreme lap of my life on the Nordschleife with the Evo version of the 919 Hybrid, which delivered more than 1,000 PS. My time was 5:19.55 minutes, with an average speed of 233.8 km/h, and a top speed 369 km/h. These days, I sometimes take racing cars from the Porsche Museum out for a drive to experience at first hand how the turbo engine developed. In the brutal 917/30 Spyder or the 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’, the turbo feels like a power switch. The Group C 962, meanwhile, is incredibly powerful, but more drivable. The beginning, my highlights, and delving into history – all this is what ‘turbo’ means to me.

Alwin Springer

As a partner in Californian company Andial and a motorsport specialist, one of the main protagonists in many of the Porsche racing successes in America. President of Porsche Motorsport North America from 1990 to the end of 2003.

Thank you, 911 Turbo!

In January 1990, I became head of Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA). They were interesting times. The economy had stalled and, after legendary success, our 962 was retired from racing. There was no sign of a new Porsche racing prototype that could win, with Weissach focusing on the Indy and a Formula One engine. Bob Carlson, the Porsche press representative in America, and I came up with an idea: 1991 was going to be the year of the IMSA Supercar Championship for near-series sports cars, with a lot of interest from manufacturers. Our 964-generation 911 Turbo could have been tailor-made for this series, and this particular Turbo was not selling well at the time. So we entered the Supercar series. Weissach was on board, sending two 911 cars for PMNA to fine-tune for racing. We won the championship in 1991 with our very popular drivers Hans-Joachim ‘Strietzel’ Stuck and Hurley Haywood. Sales of the 911 Turbo picked up again and PMNA was back on the podium. Customer sport began to thrive and we started on a new, successful course: Gran Turismo Sport. Thank you, 911 Turbo!

Roland Kussmaul

For 40 years until his retirement in 2009, Roland Kussmaul was one of the leading engineers in the development of racing cars and roadgoing sports cars, which he also tested to the limit as a driver.

Practically unbeatable

Down through the years, ‘turbo’ was a hot topic. During a comparative test, I was in the 1,000 PS 917/10 Spyder from 1972 and Jürgen Barth was driving a 936 Spyder from 1976 with just 540 PS, with the two cars weighing about the same. On command, we each floored the accelerator in third gear. The 936 was already 100 metres ahead when the power in my car suddenly made the rear wheels spin. In the early 1980s, the development of the Group C 962 suggested to me that state-of-the-art electronics were vastly improving the power delivery. Soon afterwards came our TAG-Turbo for Formula One. With a steady 720 PS from 1.5 litres of displacement, I found the responsiveness to be almost on a par with that of a naturally aspirated engine. However, the sequential turbocharger of the 959 for the 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally was the crowning glory. A small turbo was activated at lower engine speeds, with a second turbo added at higher speeds, enabling sensitive application over loose ground. These days, ‘turbo’ is practically unbeatable. Unless, that is, you’re talking about nostalgia, engine sound and silky-smooth drivability for us old track warriors.

Hans-Joachim Stuck

Ex-Formula One driver, two-time Le Mans winner and World Endurance Champion with Porsche and turbo power.

The Turbo shaped my life

I was in my mid-20s, a Formula One driver dreaming of a Porsche 911 Turbo. I got really lucky, bought a fantastic black car on the cheap, and every drive thereafter was an experience. There had never been anything like it on the road. But back then, in the mid-1970s, the 911 Turbo was a wild beast without any electronic modifications as yet. In particular when it was raining you had to watch out – the performance boost from the big single turbocharger is eye-opening even today. At any rate, I drove my Turbo to a number of Formula One races, and there were many covetous looks at my 300 PS beauty from my fellow drivers. I mostly associate the Group C Porsche 962 with turbo in motorsport, as this is the best racing car I ever drove. We had up to 700 PS powering the rear wheels, and in 1985 my team-mate Derek Bell and I won the World Endurance Championship, while Derek, Al Holbert and I won Le Mans in 1986 and 1987 with the Porsche works team. All in all, turbo pretty much shaped my life.

Hurley Haywood

America’s most successful endurance racing driver won the 24 Hours of Daytona five times and Le Mans three times with Porsche.

Like a game of chess

After we won Le Mans in 1977, Dr Porsche put a 911 Turbo at my disposal. During our first drive on a country road, my fellow racing driver Peter Gregg and I were so blown away that we couldn’t stop laughing at the incredible power of this car. From the second half of the 1970s onwards, I drove Porsche racing cars with turbo engines. During this time we had to adapt our driving style to the turbo. Rule number one was to keep the charger in line with the engine speed. So, you would brake hard going into a bend while also accelerating – a crazy driving style, really. We also modified our racing tactics accordingly. It was almost like a game of chess. You looked far ahead and plotted a route for getting through the traffic without losing engine speed and then having to wait a long time for your horsepower to build up again. Some people mastered this, others never got the hang of it. The ‘turbo moment of silence’ is now relegated to history, with Porsche turbo engines delivering power just as spontaneously as only naturally aspirated engines could in the past.

Mark Webber

Ex-Formula One driver, and works Porsche driver from 2014 to 2016. Won the World Endurance Championship in 2015 with the 919 Hybrid. Now a Porsche brand ambassador.

While holding a stopwatch

Timo Bernhard, Brendon Hartley and I won the World Endurance Championship in 2015 with the 919 Hybrid – the combustion engine part of our car was a V4 turbo. So, my memories of the turbo couldn’t be better. Ever since I drove a 911 Turbo on the road I’ve always had one in my garage. The heart of the Porsche sports car is in motorsport. It feels as though the 911 Turbo was also developed while holding a stopwatch. Sheer power, all-wheel drive, variable aerodynamics. The turbo is the point of the spear, and with this car Porsche keeps pushing the supposed limits of what can be done. Since the first 911 Turbo from 1974, Porsche has maintained the tradition of combining the highest levels of performance with excellent comfort in this car.    

Turbo with a twist

Turbo with a twist: for young people, for kids and for connoisseurs

Since Porsche presented the first 911 Turbo in 1974, the word Turbo has developed its own unique appeal. The Turbo logo can now be found emblazoned on the flagship models from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Leipzig and Bratislava, regardless of the powertrain type – all-electric, plug-in hybrid or petrol engine. When it’s connected with Porsche, ‘Turbo’ is an exuberantly positive synonym for the joys of extraordinary performance, for pioneering innovation – and at times even for the sweeter things in life ...

Turbo for Talents: comprehensive education with extra power

‘Turbo’ stands for extra power in youth sports, too. The Porsche youth development programme, Turbo for Talents, is currently working with eight partner clubs: RB Leipzig, Stuttgarter Kickers, RB Fußball Akademie, Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfB Stuttgart, FC Erzgebirge Aue, Bietigheim Steelers and the Ludwigsburg Porsche Basketball Academy (PBA). In addition to the best possible athletic training, up-and-coming football, basketball and ice hockey talents receive full support off the field of play. Cultural and social differences are transcended by sport and the young people involved develop self-confidence and perseverance. The programme teaches values such as team spirit, fairness, respect and passion. Turbo for Talents also pursues the objective of further developing the environmental and social dimension of education. The curriculum therefore encompasses inclusion, sustainable nutrition, health and responsible use of resources. With its Turbo Award, Porsche annually honours the best sporting development and academic performance.

Tina Turbo: the joy of technology and innovation

The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen regularly hosts appealing events for children The very young Porsche fans go on exciting museum tours, in the holiday programmes with the support of the walking acts Tom Targa and Tina Turbo, and learn surprising facts about Porsche. While Tom Targa wants to build a sports car for a big race, development engineer Tina Turbo enlists the kids’ help to pack her creative suitcase. There are search tasks to complete, puzzles to solve, fun experiments to try and plenty of things to learn. On both tours the participating children discover plenty about Porsche motorsport and technical innovations.

Turbee: the power of nature

Since 2017, 50 bee colonies have been working at the natural off-road grounds in Leipzig with turbo-like efficiency. From the pollen of acacia, lime and blackberries, around three million bees produce up to 1.5 tonnes of spring blossom honey, which gourmets can purchase under the name Turbienchen. Since the summer of 2020, Turbienchen honey has also been produced in a factory-owned orchard near Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, and is available in the Porsche Museum shop and other outlets.