Friday, July 5, 2013

To Power Or Not To Power

Ok, so you have to think of that in German, and I think it loses something in translation.  But it doesn’t matter, because with the 944, the Porsche guys got smart, sort of.  After what must have been a long research into the mysterious use of water to cool an engine, they built a really nifty all-aluminum V8 that displaced five litres and put out over 300 horsepower.

And was this the engine they put in their equally nifty, lightweight, perfectly balanced 944?  No.

These “geniuses” thought it would be nifty to cut the V8 in half, right down the middle, and drop it into the engine compartment of the 944.  So what you had, and get ready for some more ahead-of-the-curve features here, was a 2.5 litre inline four cylinder, aluminum block, aluminum head, overhead cam, and electronic fuel injection with tuned-length intake runners.

As great as all of that sounds, and for a car in the early-eighties this was awesome, it put out all of 150 hp.  If that sounds like a lot, consider that your Mom’s Honda Civic puts out about that much power with a smaller engine.

So what you had was a great-looking car that could out-handle anything on the road.  And although it liked to get up and run, like any Porsche does, it just didn’t have enough oomph to, you know, dust off that punk in the Mazda RX-7 that was just so annoying to look at.

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