Driving the 944

Feb 28, 2014

The first time I drove a Porsche was the day I bought this car, so I don’t have much to compare it to, but here are my thoughts about it.

Grass The 944 on my favorite mountain road in the winter.

The seating position is very low. It feels you’re almost seating on the floor. The unbranded Recaro seat are very comfortable and hold the body really well. Every command is nicely positioned. Visibility is very good for a low sports car, but not ideal for parallel parking in tight spots in the city.

The first impression while driving it is how firm the commands are. It has hydraulic power steering, but it’s heavy nonetheless. The brakes are assisted, but you need to press the brake pedal really hard to stop. Even the clutch and gas pedal are firm. You get a bit of a workout driving the car and some time to get used to if you drive a recent car every day, but I loved it from the get go.

The 944 has the reputation for being one the best handling cars Porsche every made, mainly because of the almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution 1. Even with 26 years old, it handles beautifully, even compared to newer cars.

Suspension is not as firm as I would expect on a sporty Porsche, it has considerable travel, but you feel the road very well nonetheless. Porsche found a nice balance between comfort and sportiness, it is very comfortable at low speeds and surprisingly effective while driving a bit faster.

Grass The 944 instrument cluster. I love old VDO clocks.

The 2.5-litre with 190 hp engine has more than enough power and torque at low rpm, but being a 16 ventiler engine, it really comes alive at about 4000 rpm.

The thing I think this car should have but doesn’t, is a limited slip differential. Every now and then one of the rear wheels spins, while the other is waiting patiently. It’s possible to add one though, but a bit too expensive for my taste…

  1. The engine at the front and transaxle at the rear plays a big part at achieving the ideal weight distribution: 50% at the front and 50% at the rear. [return]