Why This Porsche 911 Turbo With Weird Pod Headlamps Was So, So Rare

GIF via Carfection

Only 76 Porsche 911 Turbo Flatnoses were ever made for 1994. It was an option so rare on this 964-generation 911 that Porsche themselves didn’t acknowledge it existed until 2004. I’ll tell you exactly why: not only did it require a $20,000 deposit to reserve one, but it’s downright creepy looking with the headlamps up.

Hot take time: I’ve never been a big fan of the 928's weirdly reptilian pop-up headlamps, yet they do work with the wacky avant-garde styling of the 928. Throw in the trippy, wavy checkerboard Pasha interior and you’re basically driving around in a disco-era acid trip.


That weird lights-up Kermit face of the 928 really only worked on the 928. Later cars, not so much. I covet the 968, for example, for that glorious 3.0-liter evolution of my 944's engine—despite the pop-up pod headlights that look like they’ve been grafted on from a completely different car. That same 968-style headlamp treatment looks just as goofy on the 911.

This Turbo Slantnose looks pretty normal when the headlamps are down, but up? Even Carfection’s presenter gushing about how wonderful an old turbo 964 is admits, “From the driver’s position, they look absolutely ridiculous.”

The flatnose, of course, was an idea born the 935s of Group 5 racing. With the headlamps moved below their stock position, they smoothed out the nose for better aerodynamics. But that was on a race car, with fixed headlamps—and without the added weight of needing motors in the nose to raise up.

The 964 Turbo Flatnose road car was offered on short notice and sold by a sketch, and the end product looked significantly different to the point where only 76 buyers took the car.

It, like all other strange Porsches, is neat because of its rareness. It’s still a 3.6-liter turbocharged 911 with 385 horsepower, all of which wants to bite you like a good old 911 Turbo should. I like the myriad quirky ideas Porsche came up with over the years. But I totally understand why this didn’t sell.



Here’s a take:

The stock wheels on the 964 Turbo are the best factory wheel design of all time.