I was lucky enough to have a drive in this car last week. It’s a 1977 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 – a rare and often overlooked model.
Introduced in 1976, the range-topping Carrera 3.0 was basically the same as the previous 2.7-litre Carrera but fitted with a new 2994cc engine. This was essentially the same unit as fitted to the new 911 Turbo but, of course, without the turbocharger. Instead, the compression ratio was raised to 8.5:1 by the use of domed pistons. The engine boasted Nikasil-coated cylinder bores, an aluminium crankcase and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. This is the engine that, with minor changes, would power the 911 right up until 1989.
Bizarrely, the larger engine produced 10bhp less power at around 200bhp, but the torque came in lower down the rev range, making the car more driveable. The new unit was more economical, too.
In the USA there was no Carrera 3.0 because the larger engine would not meet emissions standards. Instead, the previous 2.7-litre engine continued in the Carrera so the car had exactly the same 175bhp power as the 911S. Worse still, cars bound for California only produced 160bhp. The Carrera variant was withdrawn from the US market in 1976, leaving just the single 911S.