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Old 01-01-04, 12:26 AM   #1
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FC na VS. 944 Turbo: Driver Comparo

I had the chance to take a couple hours and drive a Porsche 944 Turbo today, and I would like to share my experience with everyone, and also compare it to my experience driving my FC. I know that an N/A RX7 is not quite comparable to a Turbo 944, but! I still have a comparison to make.

I forget what year the Porsche is, but it's a turbo 944 5-speed, and that's what's important, right?

So here we go.

Porsche 944 Turbo
The first thing you will notice as you approach the 944 is that the 944 and the FC share a basic shape, and the lines down the side are shared, along with the hatch shape. As soon as you open the door and slide into the deep leather bucket, that's the first thing you notice, the depth of the bucket, and the supple feeling of the leather. The steering wheel is a MOMO, and is also leather wrapped. So luxurious is this Porsche, with power windows, power sunroof, and leather all over the place. Also, you will notice that the handbrake is on the left, nearly beneath the seat. Anyway, on to driving the car. Once you fire it up, you can feel how stiff the clutch is, along with the brakes. Straight line acceleration is absolutely insane. Bottom end isn't anything to shout about, but once the turbo spools (2.0 BAR, at least that's what the boost guage says), you are practically pulled, kicking and screaming, into the backs of the seats. But once you try to turn, the steering feels gooey and unsure, even though the rubber is giant at all four corners. I really couldn't get over how poorly the Porsche seemed to handle. The brakes are amazing, though. Overall I have only one way to describe the Porsche: Bad as hell.

Mazda RX-7 N/A
When I first drove this car, I was in love. The car accelerates smooth, sounds good, and doesn't jerk around. The brakes are sufficient, the transmission is smooth (once you get good bushings!), and the clutch is nice. The car handles amazingly, surpassed only by cars designed to handle well. I have not, however, driven a turbo 7, so I can't exactly compare the two properly. The seats are flat in comparison to the deep Porsche buckets, the wheel is dull in comparison to the soft yet grippy MOMO, but I do love the RX shifter (OEM) much more than the Porsche shifter (OEM.. leather). Overall: RX-7 is a great daily, but with proper mods could be a beautiful weekend/sunny day car. One phrase for the RX: Perfectly balanced.

You can choose whatever you want between the two, but as a daily driver I still prefer my RX7 over the 944. However, for some good old high speed, high powered fun, the 944 is the way to go.

In closing, I have this to say.
I have fallen in love, and her name is BOOST .
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Old 01-01-04, 01:15 AM   #2
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What year 944 DOES matter, a hell of a lot. They varied in HP levels by around 65 throughout production.
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Old 01-01-04, 01:24 AM   #3
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Never had the chance to drive a 944 but I did drive an old 914 with NOS back in HS. Plenty of run but no handling. Had a friend with a 924 when I was in college and same thing. Handles like a brick compared to my FC. First time I test drove an FC, it was instant obsession. Have never had as much fun behind the wheel. (less fun under the hood)
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Old 01-01-04, 02:12 AM   #4
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The prev owner of my car used to take it out with the Porsche club in Corpus Christi. The first time out, the owner of a trailored-in, track only 944 (NA, not turbo), started talking down to him because he didnt have a Porsche, yada yada. He took the 7 out with the same setup he normally used, but with hawk pads, and proceeded to out handle, out brake, and out accelerate the guy in the Porsche. Afterwards, the Porsche owner came over to bitch that it wasn't fair because the rx-7 had a turbo, so he popped the hood and told him he just had a T2 hood because it was lighter. This was a daily driver with 190k on the stock motor.
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Old 01-01-04, 04:16 AM   #5
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Re: FC na VS. 944 Turbo: Driver Comparo

Quote:
Originally posted by truespin88
I have fallen in love, and her name is BOOST .
AMEN BROTHER!
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Old 01-01-04, 07:18 AM   #6
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I almost considered the 944 but essentially, Mazda made a "better" version of the 944. Plus its rotary too.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:00 AM   #7
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My old roomate in college had a 87 944 turbo. I had a 86 FC at the time, and his car completely dogged my car in every way. The handling was very similar, but I just felt better cornering hard in the porsche. Speed was no comparison, as his car would easily top 165 on the freeway. That car is only rated at 250hp or something, but Porsche seems to underrate their cars on a consistent basis. Comparing a 924's handling to a 944 is like comparing a FC to a 626. They're just not the same. They have a similar engine in na form, but the suspension is way different in the 944, as it is a much wider car. Anyway...I like them both. Maybe some day my garage will be complete with my list of cars that I want to own...69 porsche 912, 75 911t, 84 porsche 944, 89 porsche 944 turbo,95 rx7, and of course a hummer (not the pos school bus looking H2, but the real deal drive through a river hummer). I think I need a bigger garage.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:01 AM   #8
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and a bigger wallet
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The cubs will win this year. I hate Steve Bartman. He is the Bill Buckner of Chicago Cubs history. I have a 90 vert. It's slow. Hooray. Soon to do a Honda S2000 swap. I'm going to swap my FC for a S2000. In debt for life! YAY!
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Old 01-01-04, 10:31 AM   #9
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^ thats what I want in my garage; a bigger wallet.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:35 AM   #10
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I think the Porsche is an 89, if it helps. It feels soooo much faster than almost any car I've ever driven. I'll see if I can find a picture of a similar car.
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Old 01-01-04, 12:02 PM   #11
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yeah, 89s have 250hp stock. With a few mods they make over 400. Such a sweet car!
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Old 01-01-04, 04:12 PM   #12
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Lightbulb Apples and Oranges

Comparing a turbo to a nonturbo is Apples and oranges...I have driven a few Turbo 944, in fact i have driven a couple of 930 turbo's as well...the 944 is wimpy at best let alone a clutch for a 944 will run about 1600 bucks at the local repair shop . the 930's are a little better. I had one up to 120 on the freeway and the thing started to tuna boat on heavy seas...then i jumped on the brakes because the the freeway was ending (90 freeway in Culver City Ca.) there were hardly any brakes.The pedal was firm but the pads just didn't bite..? I don't know what was scarier the brakes or the porpusing at 120mph..anyways back to the 944...if you think the 944 turbo put you into the seat then try a S5 with just a few mods(a TII with a few mods will will cost 1/2 the price of a 944 turbo) ...I don't think you will be looking at the 944 anymore....I would rather have a 914-6 then a 944

I have a bunch of friends in the POC, can't wait to get my 7 back on the road. It's going to be fun looking at them cry

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Old 01-01-04, 04:39 PM   #13
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I drove my friends 944 turbo (chipped) a while ago, and I agree with the original poster. Great power, but didn't seem to handle as well, just felt more disconnected from the road. Admittedly, at the time the porche was sitting on tired shocks, but it didn't feel as fun. Power wise though, it'll kill an FC, even a T2.
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Old 01-01-04, 09:05 PM   #14
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Thanks for the comparison there. There have been a few times when a 944 would pull up next to me and the driver and I would eye each others cars, always wanted to know how they stacked up next to each other.

From the way it sounds, I'd much rather have the RX7 though. To me, handling is king and luxury can go to hell.
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Old 01-01-04, 09:13 PM   #15
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NOTHING stops fast ast 120+mph. Really.

I've driven a 944S with stock everything and 100,000 miles and it would outhandle any FC I've been in EASILY. You guys are nuts.
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Old 01-01-04, 09:15 PM   #16
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I don't know what it was about the Porsche's handling, it just felt like if I turned it too hard it would push the front tires straight regardless (understeer), especially under power.
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Old 01-01-04, 09:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Terrh
NOTHING stops fast ast 120+mph. Really.

I've driven a 944S with stock everything and 100,000 miles and it would outhandle any FC I've been in EASILY. You guys are nuts.

Finally an unbiased opinion. I think everyone is just so rotor crazy that they won't admit the superiority of the porsche. Don't get me wrong, I love my rex, I've had two now, but the 944 is a much better car. You can tell from the minute you sit in one and shut the door, it just feels right. Stock to stock, a turbo 944 vs. a turbo rx7 the 944 will destroy it in every category, including handling. Bring on the hate mail!
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Old 01-01-04, 09:50 PM   #18
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I'm not saying the Porsche handles poorly, I'm just saying I don't like the way it handles. I prefer the way my brother's Eagle Talon handles to my Rex...
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Old 01-01-04, 09:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by truespin88
I'm not saying the Porsche handles poorly, I'm just saying I don't like the way it handles. I prefer the way my brother's Eagle Talon handles to my Rex...
Ewww... My girlfriend has a 95 TSI AWD Talon..I absolutely hate the way it handles..feels like trying to plow a boat through a turn. Oh well..just different opinions I guess, but I cant see it outhandling my FC without some major weight reduction.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:12 PM   #20
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To clear up some things, yes, the 944 is solid. I never had a chance to drive it at high speed, but it did feel very stable. Its also very obvious it cost nearly twice as much as the rx7 when it was new. The quality of the car is much better.

But I still prefer my rx7, and its not just because I'm rotor crazy. The 944 feels like a much heavier car, where the rx7 feels much more nimble. To me, that means the rx7 is more fun to drive.

Also, if you like to work on cars, stay away from 944s (or all german cars...). I don't know how they got the weight down as much as they did, everything is jammed full in that car. There is no free room in the engine bay, and from what I hear about the transaxle, its a bitch to work on.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:20 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by truespin88
I prefer the way my brother's Eagle Talon handles to my Rex...
Well that just about rules out us actually believing anything that you are saying about handling. If you prefer a wimpy, bumpy, FWD car... over either...

The 951 (944 Turbo) is a night and day better car than the non-turbo FC, in handling, as well as power. The only disadvantage to the 951 was the weight (which even my 'vert seems light when comparied too).

But the 951 new was typically more than double the price of a normally optioned FC Turbo, (which would have been a better comparison).
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Old 01-01-04, 10:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by truespin88
I'm not saying the Porsche handles poorly, I'm just saying I don't like the way it handles. I prefer the way my brother's Eagle Talon handles to my Rex...
Either your FC has worn out shocks and/or springs or your brother upgraded his suspension. FW cars suck at handling. Do you know where all the weight is at? The front. I once drove a friends Talon. My dads Camry handles better.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Icemark
Well that just about rules out us actually believing anything that you are saying about handling. If you prefer a wimpy, bumpy, FWD car... over either...

The 951 (944 Turbo) is a night and day better car than the non-turbo FC, in handling, as well as power. The only disadvantage to the 951 was the weight (which even my 'vert seems light when comparied too).

But the 951 new was typically more than double the price of a normally optioned FC Turbo, (which would have been a better comparison).
That's what Car&Driver did when the '86 came out.
It was an interesting article. The 944NA won by a few points in handling and power. I'm sure most know this article. Then they did an article on a the '87TII , 944Turbo, Corvette, Talon etc. The RX7 did pretty well against cars costing much more.
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Old 01-01-04, 10:54 PM   #24
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Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the Porsche can outhandle both the Rex and the Talon, but I prefer the Talon's stance to the Rex... both cars are stock with stock-size tires, and the Talon just feels much more secure on the road (it's an ESi) than my RX does. It's probably just that my RX has crappy, skinny tires. To me it's just a matter of feeling. My butt doesn't read handling in Gs...
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Old 01-01-04, 11:16 PM   #25
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A 951 will unfourtunatly EAT an N/A FC for breakfast and lunch. But look at price comparisons, power advantage, ect..ect... You'll need to compare a T2 and a 951 to make anything worth while.



Truespin88. spend a couple bucks on a new shock/spring combo, you really wont think the FWD Esi handles better at all.

Even though your car only has a mere "118k on the dial" your shocks are squat by now.

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Old 01-01-04, 11:16 PM
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