The 911 964 Carrera RS was based on the cars built by Porsche for the Carrera Cup race series. Just like the old 2.7 RS of the early ’70’s it was stripped of any luxuries to reduce weight. The motor was ‘blueprinted’ and gave a claimed 260hp against the standard cars output of 250hp.
The picture above of a black 964 RS is of a one owner totally original 30,000km car. Note the different rear pu to the standard 964.
The 964 RS was designed to enable owners to use their car on the road, track, hillclimb or sprint.
The body shell was stronger and lighter too, with aluminium front lid, seam welding, lighter doors and 3mm versus 4.7mm side windows, lightweight rear bumper, underbody sealant deleted, an in built battery cut off switch, special ultra light Magnesium 17″ Cup wheels, 40mm lower suspension and much uprated dampers and springs. Turbo front brakes brakes with re-tuned ABS.
Inside you got lovely lightweight carbon fibre ‘Recaro’ race seats, 4 point safety harness, no air con, no heated window, no electric windows or central locking and special thin side glass..
Trim was sparse, very basic door cards, a little strap rather than a handle to pull the door shut, little soundproofing, the rear seats were removed -even the interior light was deleted in effort to save weight.
You could order your car with or without a roll cage, but only some small luxuries were available on the basic version, including optional leather covering for the seats.
The 964RS ‘Touring’ version was very rare and included more of the comfort features of the regular Carrera 2.
The picture below on the left is a standard 964 ‘RS’ with tri-colour leather seats, wind up windows and on the right a race 964 RS with roll cage installed.
These 911 were stiff. Superbly communicative, a real drivers car, great on the track, or fast smooth roads. Bumpy roads can get a bit tedious.
The RS weighed only 1230 kg compared to the standard spec Carrera 4 that weighed 1450 kg. A total of 2,282 were built, of which about 76 were delivered with the touring option. Number Made = 2,282 , of which 76 are Touring, 290 competition cars, 72rhd basic and 11rhd touring).
The option codes can help identify the RS models; M001 for the racing series, M002 the touring, M003 the competition model.
Colours included some ‘cheerful’ offerings, along with the traditional, black, guards red, grand prix white, midnight blue and silver, customers could order (and often did) RS blue, speed yellow and rubystone.
Pictured above is a standard original RS in rubystone with just 700km travelled over the last 10 years – in effect new.
Porsche 911 964 RS America.
The ‘European’ RS was not going to be legal in America. Partly because of the lightweight features, the thinner glass and lack of side impact protection. Therefore in 1992 a special ‘RS America’ was developed for the US and Canadian markets.
The RS America was never intended as a racing version. In fact the key to understanding the nature of this car is that it was a stripped out ‘cheaper’ Carrera 2 as opposed to the homologation special nature of the 964RS.
It lost the Carrera 2’s power steering, rear seats, some soundproofing, air conditioning and sunroof. It used the sports M030 suspension (available for the Carrera2) along with the regular 250hp motor and gearbox, the aluminium Cup wheels and a fixed rear spoiler, altogether saving around 70 kg’s (about the same as a lightweight passenger). 240 RS America were sold to the end of 1992.
964 RS road test report
Driving a Porsche 964 RS.
These are an absolutely great piece of kit. I really enjoy driving an RS…………but only for a while.
Focused entirely on getting around a track quickly, Porsche stripped the RS to the bare minimum, thin glass, alloy panels, magnesium wheels – and they didn’t stop there.
Does an interior light make it quicker? – no – so out it goes. In the bin goes the interior door panels, rear seats, heated screen and a load of other things that most of us are rather used to having in a decent car.
So why is it good? Its the way it feels…….. it so alive, so immediate and communicative. You know everything that’s going on, you feel everything and its great for the twisties.
Ultimately the noise from the motor may get to you, the comfort (what comfort?) may get to you (or your beloved – best not let her in it). Give it an open twisty road and its a delight.
No power steering, you feel everything through the wheel, initially the car might seem twitchy or unstable but given some miles it will come alive. Your confidence grows and the harder you push the better it is. After a while you can start to really make it dance in a way that would be foolish in a ‘normal’ 911′.
So its a pure adrenalin rush, it needs a firm and expert hand, an open road (track) where it will behave itself all day long. Yes you could use it every day, but in the same way you could row the Atlantic in a small boat.
The motor is flexible, well mannered but has so little ‘flywheel’ that driving in town is a chore. If you want a toy, want a track day car take a look at one of these.
Buy with caution. With this type of 911 many will have had hard use, visits to Armco, gravel traps and off road are commonplace.
Decide first what standard you want (hardly any point having a museum car if your tracking it) and make sure you know what you are buying.
The picture right shows the luxury appointments of a 964 RS (the wheel is non standard). Picture below the detail under the hood – note the tiny windshield washer bottle and lack of trim to save weight.
Make sure the good bits have not been ‘lost’. Magnesium wheels are swapped with alloy, alloy panels swapped with steel e.t.c. So get a 964 RS expert to take a look if you have any doubts.
Values: These are rare cars and prices have shot up. The rise in value mean that few of these are getting used int he way Porsche intended. Its cheaper to buy a 996 GT3, or build a good 964C2 and use that for your track days. Truly original examples are few, all examples rare and prices look likely to stay high. These are a very good investment. Look how much a ’73 RS fetches.