Was Will Smith’s Porsche really the fastest car in the first Bad Boys?

In the movie the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 beat a Shelby Cobra 427, in a death-defying airfield drag race

I’m looking forward to seeing the third instalment of the Bad Boys film series once again starring Will Smith as Mike Lowrey and Martin Lawrence as Marcus Burnett – two Miami police detectives.

In the first movie released in 1995, Will Smith’s character Lowrey drove a 1994 Porsche 911 (964) Turbo 3.6. And it’s interesting that after thrashing director Michael Bay’s own Ferrari 550 Maranello in the 2003 sequel, Smith’s character returns to a Porsche for the latest movie – this time a 2020 Porsche 911 (992) Carrera 4S.

It’s not known whether this car, like the Ferrari and even the original Porsche 964, is owned by the director, but it’s highly unlikely as the latest movie is not directed by car-guy Michael Bay. In fact it’s two directors, and they’re from Belgium. And they can’t be car guys, because the Porsche in the new movie is ‘only’ a 4S.

Wait, wait, go with me. Just think about the Lowrey character and how specific he was about his Porsche in the first movie: “It’s $105,000 and this happens to be one of the fastest production cars on the planet. Zero to sixty in four seconds. It’s a limited edition!”

In later years he moved up to a V12 Ferrari. So it seems a little weird to me that the full-on action cop who lives for the high of a gunfight is happy with a Carrera 4S. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be delighted with the 450bhp Carrera 4S, in fact a regular Carrera would do me, but then I’m not Mike Lowrey – or more pertinently Will Smith. You’d expect something like a 911 GT3 RS at least, right?

Or perhaps this is a commentary on the Lowrey character ageing, slowing and settling down of sorts. I’ll have to wait to see the movie to solve that particular car-guy conundrum, but here I wanted to look into Lowrey’s earlier claim that the 1994 911 Turbo was one of the fastest cars on the planet and if it really would have beaten a Shelby Cobra 427 in a straight drag race.

The turbocharged 3.6 M64 engine in the back of the Porsche produced 355bhp and 520Nm (384lb ft) of torque. Only 1500 were made, so he was certainly right about it being a limited edition, and in fact they are now quite highly prized by Porsche fans. Not least because it was indeed capable of a 0-60mph time of 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 174mph.

Here’s a bit of a rub though, the 1990-95 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, although slower to 60mph, had a slightly faster overall top speed of 180mph. And the king of speed in this era was of course the legendary 1992-98 McLaren F1 supercar, capable of 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and recorded at a smidge over 240mph!

So it’s a good thing the baddie didn’t have one of those. What he did have however was a Shelby Cobra 427 of undisclosed vintage and in reality it would’ve been a replica considering the value of genuine Cobras. Perhaps it was meant to be a replica in the movie too.

But let’s say it was the real thing, it would have had a Ford 427 (7.0-litre) V8 engine with a Holley Carburettor  putting out 425bhp and 651Nm (480lb ft) of torque. That had a top speed of 164mph.

964 wins then. Case closed? Yeah but here’s four wrinkles: the Cobra had a significant head start over the 911; it wasn’t Lowrey but Burnett driving and it had been previously established that he was not a skilled driver; the 911 was weighed down by three people; and finally, what if the Cobra had been the more powerful 485bhp S/C model capable of 185mph?

In fact I don’t think the 964 would’ve won even ignoring the last of those four points. Having said that, who cares? The movie was brilliant fun, I love that cars are still a part of it of the series, Will Smith is awesome and I already know I’m going to enjoy watching it.


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