Tested 16.10.91

The 964-generation Porsche 911 Carrera RS proved you can have too much of a good thing: it was too focused to be suitable for road use.

Weight-saving measures included the deletion of sound insulation, underbody protection, window, mirror and seat motors, central locking, aircon, stereo, rear seats and even the interior light. An aluminium bonnet and magnesium alloys saved mass, too. A kerb weight of 1195kg represented a 10% cut.

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Firmer, race-spec suspension lowered the car by 38mm, while an ECU remap mined an extra 10bhp from the twin-spark, single-cam flat six that pulled with phenomenal might at will, aided by sportingly close ratios. The feelsome brakes were equally impressive.

At low speed, engine resonance, diff grumblings and a shuddering ride ruined comfort, though, and cruising-speed tyre noise left your ears ringing. The stingy suspension travel left the RS skittering over back road bumps and meandering over cambers, too.

Show the car a smooth-surfaced track and it offered sensational grip and precision, but the suspension was simply too racy for the road.

For: Responsive engine, powerful brakes, gearchange

Against: Harsh ride, unbearable tyre rumble, price

What happened next?

A Touring version was also offered, retaining many of the Carrera 2’s creature comforts but limiting the weight saving to 4%. The 3.6-litre RS cars were sold until 1993.

The badge was rejuvenated with 1995’s 3746cc, 300bhp version that employed Porsche 911 Turbo bodywork. The stripped-out RS sub-brand has since graced 993, 996, 997 and 991 generations of the 911.


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