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The 3.0-Liter Porsche 911: A New Chapter for the Neunelfer

Redesigned extensively in 1973 for the 1974 model year, the G-model 911 leveled up from the 2.4-liter boxer of the F body to the 2.7-liter engine of the ultra-collectible Carrera RS. The subsequent H series didn’t bring too many changes because Porsche had something in store for the I series.
1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 47 photos
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Produced between August 1975 and July 1976, the 1976 model year 911 came in three flavors. The entry-level Lux featured a rather familiar powerplant, and so did the S, although the said 2.7-liter boxer had been improved with the four-journal cams of the turbocharged 930. The range-topping variant was the Carrera, which switched to a 3.0-liter mill. Due to stringent emission requirements, the Carrera couldn’t be sold in the U.S.

As ever, the Stuttgart-based automaker sold the Neunelfer either as a coupe or with a removable targa roof. In terms of model year improvements, there was little to differentiate the I from the H series. More sound insulation, better anti-corrosion protection, improved designs for the door locks, and different door trim were the highlights. Even the compression ratio of the 2.7-liter engine stayed put at 8.5:1, a ratio shared with the larger engine.

Over in the United States, both the Lux and S cranked out 163 horsepower (165 ps) at 5,800 revolutions per minute and 173 pound-feet (235 Nm) of torque at 4,000 revolutions per minute. The Carrera, meanwhile, had 200 ps (197 horsepower) to offer at 6,000 revolutions per minute. Torque peaked at 4,200 revolutions per minute to the tune of 255 Nm (188 pound-feet).

Essentially the non-turbo version of the 930’s engine, the 2,994-cc lump shared the 70.4-millimeter stroke of the 2.7- and 2.4-liter powerplants before it. The bore went up from 90 to 95 millimeters compared to the 2.7 in the H series. Being a naturally-aspirated engine, Porsche cranked up the compression ratio from 6.5:1 in the 930 to 8.5:1, as mentioned earlier.

1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3\.0
The Carrera 3.0 further sweetens the deal with Nikasil-coated cylinder liners. A trademarked coating introduced by Mahle in 1967, Nikasil was originally developed for Wankel engines. Also worthy of note, Nikasil is named as such after nickel and silicon carbide. Porsche started using this coating in the 917 in 1970. The automaker’s first road-going application was the Carrera RS which introduced the 2.7-liter engine to the Neunelfer.

Codenamed 930/02 when equipped with a manual transmission, the 3.0-liter engine was alternatively known as the 930/12 in conjunction with the Sportomatic. “The what?” A semi-automatic transmission that used to feature four forward ratios in the H series, the Sportomatic employs a microswitch that activates a vacuum system that operates the clutch. A torque converter is also featured. For the I series, the Sportomatic was beefed up for extra torque capacity to the detriment of one forward ratio.

Both the 2.7 and 3.0 powerplants rocked Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, as well as dry-sump lubrication. Porsche also made the switch from magnesium to aluminum lower valve covers. The oil pump was redesigned, too, together with the cooling fan. For the United States market, the 2.7 was equipped with an air pump. Also referred to as a smog pump, this emission control device burns off unused hydrocarbons under acceleration.

California-spec vehicles required thermal reactors as well. Porsche would discontinue thermal reactors with the introduction of the Super Carrera thanks to a two-way catalytic converter. This emission control device makes the American variant 66 pounds (30 kilos) heavier than the European SC.

1976 Porsche 911 Carrera 3\.0
A four-speed manual was standard, with customers offered an optional five-speed unit. The I series came standard with cookie-cutter wheels measuring 15 by 6 inches for the Lux and S, whereas the Carrera featured 7-inch-wide wheels out back. Notable options include a limited-slip differential, Carrera-exclusive front and rear spoilers, Bilstein shock absorbers, a chrome-delete package for the Lux and S, as well as an electric sunroof.

Tipping the scales at 1,120 kilograms (2,469 pounds), the 1976 model totaled a little more than 9,400 examples of the breed. The most popular configurations were the S Coupe (2,209 units) and S Targa (2,179 units). The 1977 model, referred to as the J series, would be produced between August 1976 and July 1977. Replaced by the K-series SC mentioned earlier, the J series came with Dilavar head studs on the exhaust side. The 930 featured Dilavar head studs on both sides. This alloy was used by Porsche in road-going and racing applications because of its thermal expansion rate.

The 1977 model year 911 also boasts an improved fuel-injection system, redesigned door locks, optional pinstripe fabric for the Carrera, a Comfort Pack that included cruise control in the United States, and a matte black-finished roll hoop for the Targa. The S-exclusive Signature special edition is a sought-after variant of the J series, believed to number 200 examples.

Production of the 1977 model came to a screeching halt after 12,810 units were made compared to 9,404 for the 1976 model. As ever, the S Coupe and S Targa proved to be the most popular of the bunch (3,771 and 2,747).

 
 
 
 
 

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