Porsche Intelligent Performance is an engineering code that defines Porsche’s commitment to the sports car, innovation, the environment and, as always, the driver. It’s based on the philosophy that a sports car should be: Powerful AND efficient. Agile AND safe. Beautiful AND durable. But most of all, a pure expression of the connection between car, driver and road. -Porsche
As far as I can translate it, NOTHING is more pure to Porsche Intelligent Design theory, than what Motor Werks Racing is doing with each of these 924/944 builds. Breaking it down piece by piece……
POWER – The Motor Werks Racing 1.8T (VW/Audi block) engine can deliver up to 600 reliable horsepower. It’s a totally custom & modern engine, with modern tuning capabilities. This car represents MWR’s Stage 2+ build level, making a snappy 410hp at the wheels. In a sub-2000lb car… that’s potent.
EFFICIENCY – The Borg Warner 6758 is one of the best engineered turbos on the market, chosen here for its built-in bypass valve. Think of boost pressure as ‘energy’. Energy that’s already been paid for, meaning it’s already charged & cooled. When you vent to the atmosphere, you’re wasting it. Sure – venting to atmosphere sounds kick-ass. And on the street, there is an ‘enjoyment of ownership’ that can be factored in – for sure I get it. But on a race car, everything matters, and energy should never be wasted if it can be used. Plus – having a built-in bypass & wastegate equals less plumbing, therefore less room for failure.
Motor Werks Racing uses water/meth injection to makes the engine more efficient in cooling. They store it in freezers on the trailer, and they insulate it once in the car. Water/meth injection allows them to use a smaller diameter inlet/outlet intercooler in order to keep a higher velocity of airflow… reducing boost lag. It allows them to make power sooner & longer.
An electric water pump & rear axle-mounted alternator are used for less resistance on the engine. Look at the front of the engine in the photo, and notice there are no pulleys aside from timing-related components. This also kills the chance that a belt may pitch off at high RPM.
The transmission is a Cayman manual gearbox conversion, with cable shifter & custom aluminum flywheel. The car’s owner likes & appreciates the experience of a manual gearbox. But if desired, MWR can use one of the open pins at the VW/Audi ECU, to control a Cayman twin-clutch paddle shift gearbox.
3 sets of Enkei rs05rr’s (2 dry; 1 wet) ensure that the theme of efficiency runs from the engine, through the drivetrain, all the way to the pavement without interruption.
And at the end of day, you’re only feeding a 1.8, which means it can cover more ground per tank of fuel, than larger displacement engines.
AGILITY – The Porsche 924/944 chassis was an innovative design, with the engine in the front, the transmission in the rear, and a torque tube connecting the two underneath the vehicle. It gave the car a nearly perfect weight distribution, and amazing handling characteristics & predictability. The modern MWR 1.8T conversion is a mind-blowingly short/stubby engine when stripped of all the nonessentials. The 1.8T removes 200+ pounds of weight out of the engine bay compared to the original, obsolete 2.5 4-banger. And it does this WHILE ALSO nestling the engine ideally up against the firewall, nearly 100% behind the front axle. The result is an extremely agile car that’s insanely responsive.
SAFETY – Each one of the MWR 1.8T conversions start their new life as an assembly-line styled stripped, fully-caged, and bracketed shell… blanketed in a motorsports white paint. The owner of this particular car has a longer torso & shorter legs, so geometry was taken into account & spacers were made for the pedals, ensuring that the driver is positioned properly in the confines of the safety cage. They call them the ‘Gene Simmons’ KISS pedals… because they look like platforms. There is also a custom-made spacer for the quick release steering wheel, to serve the same purpose of safety & protection. Note: the car is also equipped with a electric fire suppression system.
BEAUTY – You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d say this Porsche is NOT sexy. The car has a 1-piece composite front end, lightened doors, composite wide body flares, lexan windows, a higher-rise LeMans GTR styled wing (125 hours in wing alone), and GTP rep side mirrors. Every vent, channel, flare, bracket, and rivet satisfies a specific need… and no more. Every detail is thought out to the OCDth degree. And the more you really look into the car & begin to understand the ‘why’… the more beautiful it becomes. It out-SEMA’s SEMA. It out-RWB’s RWB. It’s a raw beauty – without the need for makeup, concealer, or distraction.
DURABILITY – Why have a race car that can’t race? A true sports car needs to be tough, and it also needs to be serviceable. The entire thought-process behind the MWR 1.8T swap is durability, cost-of-maintenance, and lowering the odds of failure. A race car is only as good as its weakest link. PS: Instagram never tells you that… as it stacks turbos on top of V8s on top of dead-weight wheels.
But stop at ‘a high horsepower engine’… and you’re going to find that next weak link real quickly when put to the test. With the 1.8T, the engine is deigned to be easy on the entire chassis, particularly the brakes & tires. That’s where all the stats & horsepower numbers begin to fade… and real performance/wisdom begins to shine through. Can you be fast for a lap, or can you be fast the whole day? Does a mechanical failure send you home? Or is it fixed on the spot?
As mentioned, the hood/fenders/bumper on this car is a 1-piece design, and can be removed in seconds. The entire front clip, including intercooler & radiator can be removed in a few minutes – with 4 bolts, and capped AN lines. This gives you unrestricted access to the engine bay & suspension. Meaning – Motor Werks Racing can usually fix something ‘very wrong’ inside of a lunch break, should it ever become necessary. In fact, MWR can remove an entire engine on their 1.8T conversions inside of an hour.
True to Porsche ideology…
The underlying principle is to always get the most out of everything. From day one, we have strived to translate performance into speed – and success – in the most intelligent way possible. It’s no longer all about horsepower, but more ideas per horsepower. This principle originates on the race track and is embodied in every single one of our cars. We call it “Intelligent Performance”. -Porsche
(…Text by Wooley Photos by Tony Serna)
1986 Porsche 944 chassis
Media stripped & seam welded with 6-point roll cage
924 GTP one-piece nose
Removable GTP composite quarter flares
GTP rear spoiler with extensions
Polycarbonate windshields & windows
Push button quick release latches
Porsche 997 raised cable shifter box w/ custom MWR shift cables
OMP S-PT head containment seat
Momo Mod 7 alcantara race wheel
Motorsport quick disconnect
SPA Fire Sense electric fire system
Audi 1.8T 20V Turbo engine with IE forged connecting rods
ARP main & head studs
AEB big valve head with IE Cams with billet adjustable cam gear, dual valve springs & titanium retainers
4-into-1 long tube venturi collector header
Borg Warner 6758 EFR turbocharger
3” inlet/outlet air-to-air intercooler
480hp & 395tq and 8,500 rev limiter
Porsche 987 gearbox with rear-mounted alternator
Custom Motor Werks Racing axles
ECU controlled water meth injection
Suspension & Brakes
Koni Adjustable coilover shocks
Custom MWR Delrin bushings
Box welded shock towers with billet camber plates
MWR 2-piece adjustable control arms with serviceable bushings & ball joints
18×8.5 255/35 R18 front
18×10.5 295/30 R18 rear
Wilwood 4-piston brake calipers
Non-assist manual brake master