Porsche 911 SC

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Keywords: Porsche 911 SC

Description: The 911 SC came along in 1978, as the 911S and 911 Carrera disappered. The 911 SC was available for all markets. It held a 3.0 liter engine, producing 180 horsepower. It remained pretty much the

The 911 SC came along in 1978, as the 911S and 911 Carrera disappered. The 911 SC was available for all markets. It held a 3.0 liter engine, producing 180 horsepower. It remained pretty much the same over its lifespan, with different options taken and added here and there. In 1980, a special edition 911 Weissach came out to boost sales. However, the 1983 911SC carried the biggest change in the 911's history, it became convertible!

It was called the 911SC Cabriolet, and was the first convertible Porsche since the 356. This became an extremely popular car, and was heralded as the fastest convertable in the world. They were sold out more than a year in advance. The Cabrio led Porsche into 1984, where the 911 Carrera took over.

Thirteen years after the first 911 hit the roads, the 911 was going from strength to strength. The 911 was now a more subtle, refined grand tourer which you could depend completely.

As the 1979s had progressed, Porsche had deliberately sought not just the enthusiast drivers who until then had made up the core of its customers, but the company also went looking for a new type of owner. This new type of owner wanted easier driveability, better reliability and good value for money. The first two factors were achieved, but poor value for money was a recurring comment in contemporary road tests from around the world. The factory argued - and still does - that exclusivity had to be paid for.

To buy a Porsche was to he associated with success, with much kudos being derived from Porsches association with success on the race track. After the impact bumpers of 1974, the 1978 911 SC saw the introduction of a fully galvanised bodyshell, an industry leading development that at last offered longevity over years of exposure to salt covered northern hemiphere winter roads.

Porsche was also out to seek complete reliability. The 2.7 unit had been good, with a broader torque curve than the peaky 2.4, but it had stretched the original design to its limits. Some parts had tended to wear at a higher rate than was expected in a Porsche and the engine ran hot in warmer climates. Although this engine was reliable compared with most others, it did not offer the bulletproof reliability the engineers were seeking. The new Turbo's 3 litre engine, unblown, offered that potential.

The SC was now the only normally aspirated 911 Porsche available, replacing the 911S in the US and Canada and the 2.7 in Rest of the World markets. For Americans the SC offered a useful extra 15bhp over the 911S, but for all other buyers power fell from the Carrera's healthy 200bhp to 180bhp. However, the engineers had worked to achieve a flatter torque curve, thus increasing the appeal of the car to that much sought new type of customer. The new buyer probably would not have noticed new details like the brake servo (fitted for the first time across the range), that greatly improved derivability around town and reduced pedal effort when the brakes were cold.

The SC was Porsche's first attempt at a 'world' car, for an exhaust emission air pump was fitted even to European models. Hardened 911 enthusiasts, who also grumbled about the new 'soft' brakes having lost their feel, soon had these air pumps decorating their garage walls. The SC used the same mechanical components as the Carrera 3.0 and kept the attractive flared rear wheel arches. Outright performance was not much changed by the loss of 20bhp, but the effect of advancing the timing of the same camshafts by just six degrees allowed the SC to pull confidently from surprisingly low revs - a feature of the 911 that has remained ever since. The problem for enthusiasts was that as the 911s appeal was broadened to a wider market, it was losing power (in Europe at least) and putting on weight. The SC's increase in kerb weight to 1160kg (2558lb) ensured that it was not the best performer among 911s. And with the addition of item like electric windows, an electric sunroof and, from 1980 especially, air conditioning in the US, weight continued to rise

The 911 was due for replacement in the early 1980s, but demand continued strongly with the SC outselling its declared successor, the 928, by nearly 50 per cent. Power improvements hurriedly introduced in 1980 (not for the US) and 1981 (this time including the US) were intended to give the car new life in its twilight years by addressing criticisms that it was becoming middle aged and, with all the weight, slower. To be fair, these power rises were accompanied by useful improvements in fuel consumption, even if the 1981 204bhp 'world' model reverted to using premium 97 RON fuel. By 1981, however, the factory had changed its mind over the future of the 911 and with this new direction the SC began to rediscover some of the aggressiveness that had it had lost with the Carrera 3.0.

The 1978 models were known as the K-programme and bodily were largely unchanged from the previous year, except for colour variations. The SC kept the flared rear wheel arches from the Carrera, while the SC Targa lost the opening front quarter lights that had been unique to this model.



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