Porsche wanted to keep the slim-bodied 924 running alongside the more aggressive-looking 944 but could no longer source the Audi engine blocks. The solution, then, was to drop the new 2.5-litre 944 engine into the 924 bodyshell, thus creating the 924S.
To ensure that the lighter car didn’t outperform the 944, Porsche detuned the engine to produce 150bhp by lowering the compression ratio and altering the engine management system. However, this was still 25bhp more than the old 924 and from a much smoother-running unit as well. For 1998, the power was increased to 160bhp.
The engine was linked to the standard 944 five-speed gearbox, while a three-speed automatic was optional. Brakes and suspension was also based on those of the 944.
In other respects, the 924S was similar to the original 924, with a ‘924S’ badge on the rear being the main giveaway. The body and interior remained essentially unchanged, although some new trim materials were offered. From 1986, the 924S didn’t receive the all-new ‘oval’ dash of the 944, but was stuck with the old 924 arrangement.
In 1988 Porsche offered a limited-edition 924S Le Mans to celebrate the company’s win in the 24-hour race. The Le Mans featured uprated and lowered suspension (10mm at the front and 15mm rear) and ‘telephone dial’ wheels. It was available only in Alpine White or Black, with ‘Le Mans’ decals down each side. The interior boasted distinctive striped fabric seats and an electric sunroof as standard.980 examples of the 924S Le Mans were built.
The total production of the 924S was 16,669.
Engine: Front-mounted, water-cooled straight-four
Compression ratio: 9.7:1
Maximum power: 150bhp at 5800rpm (160bhp in 1988)
Maximum torque: 205Nm at 3000rpm
Brakes: Front: 282mm discs; rear: 289mm discs. Servo assisted
Suspension: Front: MacPherson struts with telescopic dampers and coil springs; rear: trailing wishbones with telescopic dampers and transverse torsion bar. Front and rear antiroll bars
Wheels & tyres: Front: 15x6J with 195/65VR15 tyres. Rear: 15x6J with 195/65VR15 tyres es
0-60mph: 8.5 sec
Top speed: 133mph