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SM PLUS: Rear View Mirror: EMERGENCY CALL.

Byline: Brian Twomey

IT'S the mid-1980's and Don Johnson and whasisname are busting drug dealers in the coolest show on TV.

Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins and T'Pau are belting out of aftermarket Pioneer stereos fitted to any self respecting XR3i and Golf GTi.

It's the era of greed is good, red braces and easy money. It's the era of the 911 Turbo.

Launched in 1974, the 930 Porsche 911 gets a 230bhp 3.0 version of Porsches classic air-cooled flat six.

At 155mph it was Germany's fastest road-going car and embarrassed more then the ccasional Ferrari driver.

Oddly, unlike the standard 911, the turbo retains the four-speed gearbox because the five-speed unit is unable to cope with the added stress from all that extra power.

Regarded as something of a handful, due to its oversteer biased handling, the 911 Turbo came of age in the mid-1980's.

Power climbed, it gained plusher appointments, an extra gear and more speed, making it capable of 165mph in 1985. From 1994, mortals could experience the 911 Turbo magic thanks to 4 wheel drive, developed from the Carrera 4 of 1989.

One of the most extreme incarnations of the 911 Turbo was launched in 1995.

408bhp and four wheel drive gave 60 in 3.7 seconds, 190mph flat-out, and all in a package you can use everyday. Also, like any Porsche, the 911 Turbo is built to last.

Race track glories at Le Mans, mountains of credibility on the road and glowing road-tests mean the 911 Turbo remains the ultimate Porsche to this day.

Top-end Ferraris, a few six-figure supercars and the hairiest high powered motorcycles give comparable performance, but none of these could comfortably seat two, take ample luggage and still spin sweetly after 100,000 miles of hard use later.

It's been 30 years since the 911 Turbos launch, but that's one milestone worth celebrating.

CAPTION(S):

TURBO TERROR: A stunning 1985 Porsche 911 turbo; PORSCHE 911 TURBO
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 5, 2004
Words:325
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