Porsche’s First Lightweight Turbo Production Car
Commemorative Model of the 1992 IMSA Supercar Champion
Hand-Built by Porsche Motorsport and Exclusive Departments
One of Only 67 Left-Hand-Drive Examples; Definitive Speed Yellow Livery
Exceptional Two-Owner Car with 2,250 Km (1,400 Miles) from New
The First Leichtbau Ever Offered for Public Sale in North America
3,299 CC Type M30/69 SL SOHC Flat 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch K-Jetronic Fuel Injection
Single K27 Turbocharger
381 BHP at 6,000 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Cross-Drilled Disc Brakes
Independent Front Suspension with MacPherson Struts
Independent Rear Suspension with Coil Springs
Salmon Family, Weissenthurm, Germany (acquired new via Porsche Zentrum Leipzig in 1992)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Andreas Gabriel, Porsche 911 Turbo – Air Cooled Years, model discussed on pp. 130-133
In January 1992, Rolf Sprenger, head of Porsche’s Exclusive Department, issued a memo to the Board of Directors regarding a bold new project – a lightweight 911 Turbo. Never before had Porsche offered a lightweight turbo model, yet Sprenger believed that a market existed for a 911 that combined the straight-line performance of the Turbo with the raw, uncompromising nature of the Carrera RS.
That March, at the Geneva Auto Show, Porsche presented its latest creation. The 964 Turbo S Leichtbau, as it came to be known, was based on the Brumos Racing Turbo S2 with which Hurley Haywood won IMSA Supercar Championships in 1991 and 1992.
The influence of Porsche’s Motorsport department was evident in the Leichtbau, which employed weight-saving measures used in the Carrera RS, itself derived from the Cup and RSR models. In the process of creating a lightweight Turbo, Porsche avoided excessive sound deadening and undercoating, and eliminated conveniences such as power windows, power steering, air-conditioning, and rear seats. Fiberglass-reinforced carbon-composite materials were used for the doors, front lid, and rear spoiler, while thin glass, bucket seats, and RS door panels rounded out the package. The Leichtbau weighed just 2,844 lbs., almost 430 lbs. less than a standard Turbo.
Beyond these changes, the Turbo S was lowered 40 mm, the suspension was tuned to Carrera RS settings, and an aluminum front brace was installed to provide stable handling. The new Porsche also benefited from a reinforced body shell, upgraded brakes, and 18″ modular wheels.
At the rear of the Turbo S was the Type M30/69 SL engine, designed to provide even more power than the optional X33 engine. Aggressive camshafts, new injection valves, and greater boost pressure increased power, while unnecessary ancillary components were removed for efficiency. The Turbo S produced 381 bhp at 6,000 rpm – a gain of 61 hp over the already potent Turbo – and to distinguish the new model, Porsche painted the engine’s air filter and intercooler housings Guards Red.
Visually, the Leichtbau stood apart from standard Turbos, with its 959-style fender vents, unique rear spoiler, and front bumper intakes, which directed air to the oil cooler and front brakes. A full range of colors and equipment was available through the Exclusive Department, and customers could personalize their Turbo S with myriad options, creating bespoke 911-based supercars.
The Turbo S caused a sensation when it was released and even the most experienced drivers were astounded by its performance. Paul Frere was among the first to test the Leichtbau and, in the December 1992 issue of Road & Track, he recorded some sensational figures: “A Porsche Turbo is a fast car by any standards, but this car is just incredible – 0 to 60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds…the 180-mph maximum speed is 12 mph faster than the standard Turbo model’s.”
In total, Porsche built 86 examples of the Turbo S, all completed between July and November 1992. Of these, just 67 were specified in left-hand drive, with German customers placing the majority of orders. Like the Carrera RS, the Leichtbau was not offered for sale in the US.
The Turbo S Leichtbau maintains an important place in the company’s history, as the first model built entirely under the auspices of Porsche’s Motorsport and Exclusive Departments. A testament to its enduring influence, a Leichtbau was among a limited number of cars selected to take part in the Porsche Museum’s exhibit commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Exclusive Department.
The Turbo S Leichtbau presented here, chassis 479036, is surely among the finest examples of this rare breed.
Completed on September 8, 1992, this Turbo S was originally finished in Speed Yellow, a livery that many enthusiasts associate specifically with the Turbo S, as it is the color of the prototype car that Porsche debuted at Geneva in 1992 and continues to display at the museum collection in Zuffenhausen.
The interior was upholstered in black and gray leather, highlighted by contrasting sections of yellow on the seats, safety belts, shift boot, and steering wheel. True to its lightweight ethos, this Turbo S was ordered without power steering, a radio, or air-conditioning.
On October 29, 1992, the Leichtbau was sold new through Porsche Zentrum Leipzig to its first owner, the Salmon family of Weissenthurm, Germany. According to original registration documents, the Porsche was registered to their company, Weiland Handelsges, MBH, until 1997, when it was transferred into Birgit Salmon’s personal name. Remarkably, the Turbo S saw little road use and remained in the hands of the Salmon family until 2015, when it was sold to the consignor. At the time of his purchase, the odometer displayed just 2,213 km. The consignor imported the Turbo S into the US under the Show or Display exemption in July 2015.
Today, the Leichtbau remains in spectacular condition in all respects, and is essentially as new, showing less than 2,250 km (1,400 miles) at the time of cataloguing. The consignor, who has owned several limited-production 964s, reports that this car is completely original, retaining factory finishes throughout.
The sale of this important Porsche is accompanied by the factory owner’s folio – with all original books and manuals – both sets of keys, tool roll, and factory spare. Additionally, the Turbo S is offered with a Certificate of Authenticity, CARFAX Vehicle History Report, original German registration papers, US importation documents, and recent service records.
With only 67 left-hand-drive examples ever built, Leichtbaus are prized by discerning collectors and the finest examples seldom trade hands. This exceptionally original and beautifully presented Speed Yellow Turbo S represents a rare chance to acquire one of the most exotic Porsches of all time.