We love working on obscure cars here at Suspension Secrets, and towards the end of 2021 we worked on this absolutely stunning 1987 Porsche 930 Turbo Flatnose.
Considered one of the rarest Porsche 911s ever made, the Flatnose or flachbau takes the chassis and mechanicals from the iconic 930 Turbo, and combines them with a front end inspired by Porsche’s 935 Group 5 racing cars of the late 70s and early 80s. The story goes that the co-owner of TAG Heuer commissioned Porsche to create a one-off road going version of their famous 935 racing car.
The wild aerodynamic enhancements got people talking, and other wealthy customers began to approach Porsche to discuss getting something similar for themselves.
In 1986, five years after their first ‘one-off’, Porsche relented and offered its customers the Flatnose version of the 930 Turbo. Porsche offered to convert existing 930 Turbos into Flatnoses.
The Flatnose upgrade option was hugely expensive, and rarely chosen and as such, only 948 units were made during the model’s lifespan. The large cost of entry into Flatnose ownership was due to the extensive body panel modifications which included the new front wings, sideskirts, and redesigned rear wheel arches.
The characteristic upright 911 headlights are replaced by aerodynamically-shaped front wings which feature the now de rigueur wheel arch louvres to reduce the air pressure inside the wheel arches.
The new wings are also home to nostalgia’s favourite party-piece: pop-up headlights. All of these give the Flatnose a very unique aesthetic against the more traditional 911 shape with upright headlights.
Another characteristic that differentiates Flatnoses from standard 930 Turbos are the quad exhaust pipes. The original 930 Turbo has a distinctive twin exhaust tip which exits from underneath the rear bumper at an intriguing sideways angle, which is another iconic design feature of the revered Turbo.
The Flatnose hasn’t only got one set of these angled exhaust tips, but two.
This is due to the Flatnose being more powerful than the standard 930 Turbo, with 330bhp from its 3.3 Litre Turbocharged Flat-6 which is enough to propel it from 0-60mph in 4.7 seconds.
The Porsche 930 Turbo Flatnose is a cool and iconic product in Porsche’s back catalogue – so how can we make it better?
The owner of this Flatnose drives the car frequently, and hard, so they wanted a more sophisticated suspension setup to help get the most out of the car. The decision was made to replace the existing torsion beam front and rear suspension with KW Clubsport 2-Way coilovers.
These high-quality two-way adjustable dampers give comprehensive control over the ride and the handling of the Flatnose, and transform it from a car that must be approached carefully, to one that can really be engaged with and driven hard out on the roads. The process involves stripping the front and rear subframes down to remove the original torsion beam suspension from the car. The torsion beam spring is an effective system that has been employed within Formula 1 due to the very aerodynamic packaging capabilities of the system, and the ability to get a lower COG by mounting the beam low and central within the car. However, it is more difficult for the damper to maintain control of the torsion beams style spring, and it is even harder to start altering and adjusting spring rates as new beams are not easy to come across.
Therefore, we made the decision to slide the torsion beams out, remove the OE dampers and replace the dampers with coilovers. These dampers are also 2 way adjustable providing complete control over the spring to fine tune the handling dynamics of the Porsche chassis to fine tune the settings to the preference of the customer. An added benefit of the KW Clubsport coilovers is that the come with front camber adjustable top mounts allowing us to achieve ideal negative camber settings to make the steering much more direct and confidence inspiring to maximise grip levels at the front axle.
For those wondering if the car’s value will be affected – relax! The coilover upgrade is entirely changeable with the existing torsion beam setup; there isn’t a need for any cutting or modifying of the car’s chassis whatsoever.
With the coilover kit fully installed we set the ride heights and rake angle of the car, corner weighted the chassis to optimise grip at each tyre (a very important aspect when trying to put so many ponies down to the ground) and then gave it a full geometry alignment installing our bespoke camber and toe settings to produce the perfect drive for the customer!
It’s been great to have such an obscure Porsche in our workshop. Get in touch with us if you would like any suspension work carrying out on your pride and joy!
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