Porsche recognized the need for a higher-performance version of the 924. Having already found the benefits of turbochargers on several race cars and the 1975 911 Turbo, Porsche chose to use this technology, eventually introducing the 924 Turbo in 1978. Porsche designed an all new cylinder head, dropped the compression to 7.5:1 and engineered a KKK K-26 turbocharger for it. With 10 psi boost, output increased to 170 horsepower. The 924 Turbo's engine assembly weighed about 65 lb more, so front spring rates and anti-roll bars were revised, and weight distribution was now 49/51 front to rear.
In order to help make the car more functional, as well as to distinguish it from the naturally aspirated version, Porsche added an NACA duct in the hood and air intakes in the badge panel in the nose, 15-inch spoke-style alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with five-stud hubs and a five-speed transmission. Porsche released a revised 924 Turbo Series 2, although badging still read 924 turbo, in 1979. By using a smaller turbocharger running at increased boost, slightly higher compression of 8:1 and an improved fuel injection system with DITC ignition triggered by the flywheel, reliability improved and power rose to 177 horsepower.