Units Produced: 74,008
In 1989 Porsche introduced the 911 Carrera 4 (964). it featured significant styling revisions over previous 911 models, most prominently the more integrated bumpers. It was the first car to be offered with Porsche's Tiptronic automatic transmission and all wheel drive as options.
A new naturally aspirated engine called the M64 was used for 964 models, with a flat-6 displacement of 3.6 litres. Porsche substantially revised the suspension, replacing torsion bars with coil springs and shock absorbers. Power steering and ABS brakes were added to the 911 for the first time; both were standard. The exterior bumpers and fog lamps became flush with the car for better aerodynamics. A new electric rear spoiler raised at speeds above 50 mph (80 km/h) and lowered down flush with the rear engine lid at lower speeds. A revised interior featured standard dual airbags beginning in late 1989 for all North American production cars.
The new 911 was a contemporary take on the classic two-door sports car and came at a time when many were predicting the end of the 911 (the company was producing the 944 and working on the upcoming 968). The long run of the previous 911 meant the 964 needed a major update and Porsche delivered on that promise with 85% new components and virtually none of the predecessor’s architecture used.
The interior was an almost entirely reimagined Porsche 911 with more modern design that was intended to blend performance with comfort. The new 911 featured many creature comforts that had been lacking in earlier versions of the car including a Tiptronic automatic transmission, power steering, dual front airbags, dual-mass flywheel, ABS, retractable rear spoiler and twin-spark ignition.
The 964 rode on a completely redesigned chassis with rear suspension switching from torsion bar to trailing arms with Porsche’s “Weissach” rear axle, which added self-steering elements to reduce the chance of oversteer. It featured a naturally aspirated 3.6 liter boxer engine that produced an impressive 250 horsepower.
It was the introduction of an all-wheel drive Carrera 4 model that really captured the attention of the automotive community as a whole. The fully mechanical all-wheel drive system was revolutionary for its time, sensing wheels slippage and automatically transferring power elsewhere, ensuring that the driver could maintain a greater degree of control whenever the driving environment became less manageable.
After the 964 Carrera 4 was introduced, effectively solving many of the oversteer tendencies of the previous generation, a rear-wheel drive Carrera 2 was added 6 months later. The Carrera 2 was actually the rear-wheel drive version of the car which packed almost the same technical specifications as the base model. The engine was the same 3.6 liter unit which produced 250 horsepower and a maximum speed of 260 km/h while the 0 to 100 km/h acceleration was made in 5.7 seconds.
In addition to the base model Carrera Coupe, Cabriolet and Targa versions, the 1990 Porsche 911 offerings also included a Type 964 Turbo option. When first introduced in March, 1990, the 911 Turbo initially featured a turbocharged 3.3 liter boxer engine that was carried over (with updates) from the previous 911 Turbo model, albeit with reduced turbo lag. In 1992, the Porsche 911 Turbo was upgraded to a more powerful 3.6 liter power plant delivering 320 horsepower.