Porsche B32, the Volkswagen T3 or Vanagon with a Porsche Carrera drivetrain
Porsches are famous throughout the World for their performance, style, and reliability. Many people know all of the models the legendary manufacturer built over the years. There is the 356, 550, 901, 911, 914, 944, 928, 959, 968 and so forth. But have you heard of the Porsche B32?
There is another one that is just as fascinating and exhilarating that can be added to the list. The Porsche B32 is very rare of which only 11 were produced. For those who are not in the know, one would immediately assume that the B32 would be a sports car but nothing could be further from the truth.
In the mid to late 1980s, Volkswagen produced to the T3. In the United States, it was badged as the Vanagon in the United States. It was produced between 1979 and 1990 in just about every variation imaginable including a camper, multivan (passenger), pickup, and even an all-wheel-drive version called the Syncro.
The Volkswagen T3 or Vanagon was known for its space and less than stellar performance. The most powerful engine option was a 112 horsepower flat 4 engine. For a vehicle having a 2-ton curb weight, that meant that the T3 more closely resembled a donkey cart in terms of performance rather than a rocket ship.
The Porsche B32
At the time that the T3/Vanagon was being produced, one could go to Porsche and buy the B32. For all intensive purposes, the B32 was based on the Volkswagen T3 and came complete with Porsche badging.
The vehicle was created to support hot weather testing activities in Algeria. Support vehicles had trouble keeping up with prototypes and created the B32 as a way to keep up with testing taking place under the hot Algerian sun.
A Volkswagen T3 with a Porsche drivetrain
Modifications started with the engine. Porsche pulled out the Flat-4 and put in its place a 3.2 liter Flat-6 engine from a 911 Carrera. Power more than doubled from 112 horsepower to 230 horsepower and increased the top speed to 130 miles per hour.
To accommodate the bump in power, the transmission was swapped and replaced with a 915 gearbox from a 911SC. Brakes were also improved in the form of a set borrowed from the Porsche 944 S.
Production version Porsche B32
Porsche made a total of 9 production versions of the B32 that was primarily intended as an engineering exercise. Pricing for the B32 was rumored to be more than that of a Porsche 911. As a result, they were only allocated to a very select group of dealers in Europe.
Had Porsche not abandoned the Porsche B32 when they did, it is possible that we may have had a version of the Cayenne much sooner.