Porsche 911 Turbo SE


The Porsche 935 racecars of the late 1970s onwards, were quite obviously based on the 911 but instead of the 911’s distinctive raised front wings, these cars had wings that swept down in line with the bonnet, to aid aerodynamics.

Some buyers of 911s asked for this race-derived look and so in 1981 Porsche began making small numbers of ‘Slant-Nose’ 911 Turbos as one-offs for wealthy customers. Eventually, in 1986 it became an ‘official’ model; or, to be precise, an option (coded M506). The Slant-Nose was called 911 Turbo SE (Special Equipment) in the UK, and 930S in the USA.

From the front the 911 Turbo SE was instantly recognised with its distinctive planed-off wings, which incorporated concealed pop-up headlamps with massive air vents behind, through which cooling air for the brakes escaped.

Below the front bumper was a deeper and squarer front spoiler that incorporated driving lights and an additional, centre-mounted oil-cooler.

Extended sills ran down the sides of the car and met with rear wings that featured massive air intakes with distinctive horizontal strakes. Claimed to vent air to the rear brakes, these were more cosmetic than anything, but did serve to give the SE an extremely aggressive appearance.

And the 911 Turbo SE had the power to go with the looks. In fact, it boasted a maximum output of 330bhp – 30bhp up on the standard 911 Turbo, although torque remained unchanged. This increase was achieved by means of a larger KKK turbocharger, higher-lift camshafts, higher boost pressure, larger intercooler and a sports exhaust system with four mean-looking outlets. The power could be fed through a limited-slip differential, which was a no-cost option.

The 911 Turbo SE is something that divides enthusiasts. Some love it, others think it an abomination of the 911’s pure lines. Whatever, it’s a rare piece of Porsche history and that 30bhp is not to be sniffed at.

Capacity: 3299cc
Compression ratio: 7.0:1
Maximum power: 330bhp at 5500rpm
Maximum torque: 432Nm at 4000rpm
Brakes: Front: 304mm discs; rear: 309mm discs
Suspension: Front: MacPherson struts with telescopic dampers and torsion bar springs; rear: trailing wishbones with telescopic dampers and transverse torsion bar. Front and rear antiroll bars
Wheels & tyres: Front: 16x7J with 205/55VR tyres. Rear: 16x9J with 245/45VR tyres
Length: 4491mm
Width 1775mm
Weight: 1335kg

From 1987 the 911 Turbo SE could be specified in Cabriolet form. Only a relatively small number of such cars were built.