Track Star: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S

If you’re going to buy a Porsche 944, it really does behoove you to buy the rarest car in the best condition that you can afford. Obviously, every classifieds section is littered with trashed 944s and 924s as these have historically been the cheapest Porsches you can buy. While the 944 fares slightly better in the desirability category, there’s still lots of room between what constitutes a run-of-the-mill 944 and a sought-after collectible. This example falls into the latter category, as it’s a limited-production model called the 944 Turbo S, and it’s listed here on eBay with bids to $15,000 and no reserve.

Throughout Porsche’s modern history, it has typically offered a trim line of a model that is even more track-ready than the factory setup. Usually, the “S” designation is the dead giveaway, and an example of this is the 993-chassis 911 Turbo S, which offered more horsepower, firmer suspension, and extremely limited production numbers. Given how well that provenance has held up, it’s of little surprise that cars like the 944 Turbo S have earned the respect of collectors who know that Porsche doesn’t just make special edition models for the hell of it.

Like the 911, the 944 Turbo S benefits from more horsepower courtesy of a massaged M44/52 engine; stiffer suspension; a limited-slip differential; sport bucket seats; and forged Clubsport wheels. Back in the day, the rumor among road test editors was that the 944 Turbo S could keep up the 911 of the same era, and even sneak ahead of it in the curvey sections. This has made the turbocharged 944 very popular among high-performance driving groups, leading to many stripped-out carcasses with roll cages and fuel cells sitting for months on various classifieds forums. Thankfully, this rare “S” model has seemingly never been taken apart or otherwise modified.

The bodywork appears to be in good shape with no signs of major damage. The seller has owned the car for two years, and while he seems like a straight-shooter, there’s very little information offered in terms of maintenance upkeep and repairs, along with must-do services like the timing belt and tesioners. The 944 Turbo S is part of an exclusive crowd 0f limited-production Porsches that remains accessible by mere mortals, for the time being, so get your bid paddles waving if this limited-edition 944 Turbo “S” has your name on it.


  1. alphasud Member

    The first time I drove a 944 Turbo in the late 80’s I was taken back by how composed it was. I had never driven a turbo vehicle before and when it was on the torque curve it felt like I was taking off in a jet. I immediately lusted after that car being the fastest car I had driven to date. I eventually did own a 944S which I quickly sold due to the mismatch of the engine and chassis. Car was a pooch unless you were driving it 9/10th.
    Porsche creates a “S” version of the turbo model usually at the end of its product cycle to generate sales and go out with a bang. Even the Cayenne Turbo got the “S” treatment with larger brakes and more power. The 944 turbo S was the pinnacle of performance and the claimed HP I think is conservative as these cars were downright fast. The higher mileage will hopefully keep the sale price in check and represent a good value. High enough miles that you can continue to drive and enjoy as it was intended. Red is never my first choice for a fast car. A car like this is better in a stealth color because to own one you will need all the help to avoid the law.

    Like 13
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Well said alphasud.

      Like 5
  2. Dave

    Never looked so close to notice an”S” on one of these cars back in 88. However I tangled with several turbos back then with a 88 conquestTSi. I always liked the 944

    Like 3
  3. Brian Simmons

    Bought new a 1987 944S. Over the 30+ years of ownership, I spent about twice the original purchase price replacing/repairing things that stopped working or broke. While all my personal rides have been sporty, high-performance, manual transmission vehicles, the 944S was the most expensive per-mile-to-drive vehicle I’ve ever owned. Parked it in 2015 and finally gave it away to an ex-neighbor who spent $14K to get in back on the road. He is no longer a friend.

  4. Claudio

    A few years ago, i owned a boxster and as soon as i tried an S model , i knew the base couldn’t keep me happy anymore …

  5. Gary Edwards

    The Turbo S didn’t say S anywhere on it. You have to know what you’re looking at to recognize one of these – the unique forged alloy wheels and the wider tires are a tip-off. The chassis is different from a 944 turbo in that is has some extra supports in the engine compartment. This was done as a race homologation car and my records indicate that there were 1006 build worldwide and 399 of those were US spec cars. They were faster than the contemporary 930 around a racetrack and were the fastest street Porsche until 1993 or so. Amazing cars; I’ve had one since 1993.

    Like 2

    Sold Porsche in the late ’80s … the Turbo S was a monster … it would get 155mph or 35mpg just not at the same time … this shows leather interior but the cloth was a hideous plaid that kinda grew on you … after 24 hours at 140mph it only lost a ½ quart of oil and the dip stick was loose … this is a killer car that will only cost much more later on …

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $22,385.

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