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This 1994 911 Turbo S “Flat-Nose” is one of the rarest and most sought-after Porsches of its time, combining the best of the classic air-cooled, single-turbocharger, rear-wheel-drive Turbo era with distinctive looks and undeniable exclusivity.
In late 1993, a final batch of 76 uncommitted 911 Turbo coupes was sent to Porsche Exclusive for conversion to “S” specification to punctuate the end of production for the 964 generation. Available in four distinct market subvarieties—X83, X84, X85, and “USA Package”—these special 911 Turbo S coupes all were equipped with the “Works Increased Horsepower X88” air-cooled flat six-cylinder engine.
The “X88” engine benefitted from the addition of an uprated, single KKK turbocharger operating with increased boost, a more efficient intercooler, modified cylinder heads with larger ports, increased-capacity fuel injectors, and more radical camshafts with advanced engine timing. A marked improvement over the standard 3.6-liter “M64” 911 Turbo engine, the “X88” engine produced an additional 25 horsepower and had a much wider powerband, with a peak output of 385 horsepower at 5,750 rpm. Torque also increased to 384 pounds-feet and was available much lower in the rev range, which helped resolve the lack of urge at lower boost levels. Power was fed to the rear wheels through a G50 five-speed manual transaxle with a 40-percent locking differential. The standard 3.6 Turbo suspension remained, but Porsche Motorsports race engineer Roland Kussmaul fine-tuned the car’s ride height, lowering it about an inch and a half to enhance handling.
Most, but not all, of the 76 911 Turbo S coupes were given variations of the exotic, hand-fabricated and extremely expensive X85 “Flat-Nose” bodywork. The option incorporated 968-style retractable “flounder” headlamps, asymmetrical 959-style air intakes on both rear quarter-panels, a special front air-splitter, a louvered rear wing enclosing the intercooler, quad exhaust tips, and staggered 18-inch “Speedline for Porsche” modular, light-alloy wheels. Manufacturer suggested retail price guidelines for the US-market X85—of which just 39 were built—began at an eye-watering $162,000 alone, not including any additional optional equipment, “X” options, or custom tailoring these exclusive cars typically received.
THE SPEED YELLOW X85 TURBO S
Singularly finished in attention-grabbing Speed Yellow over black leather upholstery, this US-market X85 “Flat-Nose” was delivered new to Champion Porsche of Pompano Beach, Florida on 28 February 1994. All X85s were heavily optioned, and this one is exquisitely equipped with an electric sunroof, power windows and seats, a limited-slip differential, air conditioning, rear wiper, headlight washers, a stereo entertainment system, and embroidered headrests. Research compiled by Porsche historian Mark Smith notes that this is the only X85 Turbo S finished in Speed Yellow.
It was subsequently purchased by a Chicago-area enthusiast and carefully enjoyed under his ownership until July 2006. Passing to another local Porsche aficionado, this special Turbo S stayed in Illinois for eight more years, during which its maintenance and care remained the exclusive concern of Napleton Porsche of Westmont.
By March 2015, the previous owner, rather unsurprisingly also a collector of high-performance Porsches, acquired the car and reportedly commissioned a top-end engine rebuild, along with the complete refurbishment of the brake and suspension assemblies, and a comprehensive detailing, which included the undercarriage. The consignor acquired this Turbo S in March 2018, greatly enjoying it while pursuing total mechanical and cosmetic perfection with the help of marque specialists. Notable work undertaken by authorized Porsche facilities included installing new front underbody trays, door sill, rocker-panel seals and floormats, as well as a new clutch slave cylinder and associated fluid lines.
Indicating fewer than 29,000 actual miles at time of cataloguing, this car represents a special moment in turbocharged 911 history. The 993-generation Turbos that would follow it gained all-wheel drive and traded the signature, single large turbocharger for two smaller units. While excellent performers, they offer a driving experience very different than that of 964 Turbos such as this. For those seeking the pinnacle of classic Porsche 911 Turbo feel, along with the added rarity of the US-specification X85 package, this exceptional and singular Speed Yellow 1994 911 Turbo S “Flat-Nose” would make for the ultimate prize.
This vehicle will be offered at RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale, kicking off the 2023 collector car auction calendar 26 January. View more and register to bid online at rmsothebys.com today.