Presented by RM Sotheby’s.
In January of 1992, Porsche Exclusive (formerly the Sonderwünsche, or Special Wishes Department) manager Rolf Sprenger composed a three-page internal memo to the board of directors suggesting a small run of 964-chassis 3.3-liter 911 Turbo coupes that would be much lighter than the production version, and thus capable of even more impressive performance. They would essentially be a road-legal version of the 964 Turbo that had captured the 1992 IMSA Supercar Championship.
On 22 May 1992, management authorized the project, with examples completed between July and November to be designated 1993 models. The Turbo S Lightweight, or Leichtbau, would be the first model built and developed entirely by Porsche’s customizing department, with each example assigned a discrete VIN.
Porsche built 86 examples, including the car offered here. Visually similar to the 964 Carrera RS 3.8, the Turbo S Lightweight in fully stripped trim weighed a svelte 2,850 pounds, more than 400 pounds less than a standard Turbo S, thanks to the deletion of such comfort and convenience items as air conditioning, power steering, rear seats, radio, insulation, and sound-deadening materials. Some customers opted to retain various comfort and convenience features, which while putting a few more pounds back into the equation, allowed a more refined driving experience.
The Turbo’s production door cards were replaced with those from the Carrera RS. The doors, the front trunk lid, and the tail spoiler were in glass-fiber-reinforced carbon composite, while thinner glass was installed in the rear and side windows. The tub was seam-welded and reinforced, a new alloy strut brace stiffened the front suspension, and the chassis sat 40 millimeters lower over the polished 18-inch Speedline three-piece alloy wheels shrouding “Big Red” Turbo brakes.
The uprated Type M30/69 SL engine received more aggressive cams, larger fuel injectors, and a more efficient KKK turbocharger, which boosted output to 381 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, a 61-horsepower improvement over the standard 3.3-liter Turbo. To make sure everyone knew that this was a special engine, the intercooler housing and air-filter unit were painted red. Rear-quarter vents derived from the 959, new front air-intake ducting, and a different deck spoiler set the Turbo S Lightweight apart from its brethren.
Offered here is a fine example of a 964-chassis Turbo S Lightweight that was delivered new to Porsche’s Japanese distributor, MIZWA Limited in Tokyo, and thence to its first owner. As such, this car wears various Japanese-mandated safety and emissions labeling. The car was imported to the United States by a prominent American collector in early 2015 under a US Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Transportation “Show and Display” license granted the same year. The car retains its factory air-conditioning system along with electric windows, which were standard 964 fare. Reverting to manual window winders would have forced Porsche to re-certify the model. Delivered from the factory in Speed Yellow (12G), this Lightweight features a black and gray interior with a black headliner and a full Matter integrated roll cage.
Leather Recaro Sport seats wear red four-point Sabelt competition harnesses, while the RS-type door cards feature yellow fabric release straps. The black and gray leather-wrapped steering wheel likewise features a yellow center pad embossed with the Turbo S script. Other features include black carpeting, deletion of the model script on the trunk lid, non-assisted steering for better feedback, a fully carpeted front trunk with yellow Turbo S embroidery, and a carpeted storage box in place of the rear seats. The car rides on 18-inch polished, three-piece Speedline wheels wearing Dunlop performance tires.
The suspension was upgraded with the M030 European Sport Suspension package, which lowered the chassis ride height by almost one inch and added slightly stiffer springs, struts, and shocks with larger anti-roll bars at both ends. An additional oil radiator hides behind the slotted front valance and air inlets integrated in the front light units.
As reference to Porsche’s success in the 1991 Bridgestone Potenza North American Supercar series with a special race-prepped 964 Turbo S2, the sculpted rocker panels were decorated with a commemorative stripe reading “Supercar Champion IMSA.”
This car is supplied with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, a tool roll with spare fan belt, collapsible spare tire and electric compressor, tire pressure gauge, work gloves, and a safety triangle. In April 2022, Pfaff Tuning of Woodbridge, Ontario serviced the car, changing the oil change, engine air filter, and spark plugs.
Rare, quick, and show-stopping, this Turbo S Lightweight with numbers-matching engine will surely impress at any club event or Porsche gathering, whether on display or storming around the circuit.
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.