Porsche

7 Reasons Why the Air-Cooled Porsche Engine Never Lost Its Appeal

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Air-cooled engines are considered by purists to be the classic, original choice that worked well for 40 years for no-compromise engineering, the iconic representation of the brand they love. The spring of 1998 brought a monumental change in engine design with the introduction of a water-cooled engine in the 996 model. But some purists weren’t happy about the change at all. Let’s examine the differences between air-cooled and water-cooled Porsche engines.

Air-cooled engines release heat directly into the air and are cooled by a combination of fresh, circulating air and oil. Stacks of fins increase surface area and dissipate heat during the combustion process. However, in water-cooled engines, liquid flowing through closed circuits in the engine block and cylinder heads cools by absorbing heat. The heat is then released by way of the radiator.  

Because Porsche wanted to keep up with the competition, meet tougher emission standards, and yield better performance and engineering feats, all engines in Porsche models switched to a water-cooled design. But if water-cooled engines yield more horsepower, are more dependable, and experience more overall success, then why would anyone want an air-cooled engine?

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1963 Porsche 356 Super 90

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1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

 

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1968 Porsche 912 Targa

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1989 Porsche 911 Turbo

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1991 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

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1992 Porsche 911 Carrera 4

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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Row

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1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Row

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How Do I Love Thee, Air-Cooled Porsche Engine? Let Me Count The Ways.

Even though water-cooled engines offer advantages to sports car enthusiasts, purists love the air-cooled engine for several reasons:

  1. Air-cooled engines make for a more lightweight car.
  2. A lightweight car is a more nimble car and can scream around curves.
  3. Speaking of screaming around curves, there is nothing like the sound of an air-cooled engine releasing its guttural note with every rev.
  4. It feels more like a true sports car with most of the engine weight over the driving wheels while retaining the rear-wheel drive.
  5. There’s beauty in the simplicity of the design in an air-cooled engine.
  6. An air-cooled engine is less costly to maintain.
  7. There is no dedicated cooling system to worry about.

Porsche Models to Note with Air-Cooled Engines

The fourth-generation 993 series is considered by some enthusiasts to be the best combination of air-cooled nostalgia and modern levels of performance. Other notable choices are 911 models produced between 1969 and 1973, offering plenty of driving pleasure and throttle.

Auto Gallery Porsche of Woodland Hills offers great deals on Porsches with air-cooled engines if you are in the market for a purist’s dream. The 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera SC Targa comes with a manual transmission and air-cooled engine, as does the 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera SC Targa for sale.

If you have a classic car, consider trading it in for another vintage or new car with our car consignment program. We make it easy for car enthusiasts by handling all the negotiations, financing, and more. Contact us online to see a selection of Porsches with air-cooled engines.

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