The Porsche 924 is a sports car produced by Porsche AG of Germany from 1976 to 1988. A two-door, 2+2 coupé, the 924 was intended to replace the Porsche 914 as the company's entry-level model.Although the water-cooled, front-engined 928 gran turismo was designed first, the 924 was the first road-going Porsche to have a front engine rear wheel drive configuration. It was also the first Porsche to be offered with a fully automatic transmission.
The 924 made its public debut in November 1975. It was criticised by enthusiasts for its mediocre performance, but was a sales success with just over 150,000 produced during a 1977-1988 production run, and an important profits generator for the company. The closely related 944 introduced in the U.S. market in 1983 was meant to replace the 924, but 924 production continued through 1985, followed by a 944-engined 924S through 1988.
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The 924 was originally a joint project of Volkswagen and Porsche created by the Vertriebsgesellschaft (VG), the joint sales and marketing company funded by Porsche and VW to market and sell sports cars (Ludvigsen: Porsche, Excellence was Expected). For Volkswagen, it was intended to be that company's flagship coupé sports car and was dubbed "Project 425" during its development. For Porsche, it was to be its entry-level sports car replacing the 914. At the time, Volkswagen lacked a significant internal research and design division for developing sports cars; further, Porsche had been doing the bulk of the company's development work anyway, per a deal that went back to the 1940s. In keeping with this history, Porsche was contracted to develop a new sporting vehicle with the caveat that this vehicle must work with an existing VW/Audi inline-four engine. Porsche chose a rear-wheel drive layout and a rear-mounted transaxle for the design to help provide 48/52 front/rear weight distribution; this slight rear weight bias aided both traction and brake balance.
The COC Porsche is available for all Porsche 924 built by the European market.
Porsche executives soon recognized the need for a higher-performance version of the 924 that could bridge the gap between the basic 924s and the 911s. Having already found the benefits of turbochargers on several race cars and the 1975 911 Turbo, Porsche chose to use this technology for the 924, eventually introducing the 924 Turbo as a 1978 model.
Porsche started with the same Audi-sourced VW EA831 2.0 L I4, designed an all new cylinder head (which was hand assembled at Stuttgart), dropped the compression to 7.5:1 and engineered a KKK K-26 turbocharger for it. With 10 psi (69 kPa) of boost, output increased to 170 hp (127 kW) at 5,500 rpm and 180 lb⋅ft (244 N⋅m) of torque at 3,500 rpm. The 924 Turbo's engine assembly weighed about 65 lb (29 kg) more, so front spring rates and anti-roll bars were revised. Weight distribution was now 49/51 compared to the original 924 figure of 48/52 front to rear.
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The 1988 924S SE (US) and "Le Mans" (ROW) were Club Sport editions aimed at autocross (US term for autotests to UK readers) and club racers. The final 924S RHD 'run-out' versions in 1988 for the UK (just 37 white and 37 black vehicles) had "Le Mans" logos with stripes on their flanks. Officially known at Porsche as the "Sportliches Sondermodell" (loosely translates as Sporting Special Model) their options package list M-755 was more complete than the Special Edition M-756 for the US.