The recipe for its development was familiar: more power, less weight, and a more focused chassis. The engine was expanded from 2.3 liters (which Porsche optimistically badged as 2.4 liters) to a genuine 2.7 liters (2,687cc), coupled with Nikasil coated cylinder linings to enhance durability and Porsche’s familiar MFI Bosch mechanical fuel injection and 915 5-speed gearbox. Independent front suspension with MacPherson struts, torsion bars, and anti-roll bars, were coupled with independent rear suspension and transverse torsion bars, tubular shock absorbers, and an anti-roll bar. Wider wheels necessitated flared rear wheel arches to accommodate the wider track. The four-wheel disc brakes provided stopping power to counter the powerful acceleration the RS could achieve. Weight was reduced through a reduction in sound proofing, thinner body panels, some fiberglass body panels, and thinner glass. Indeed, weighing in at a mere 2,370 pounds in the more luxurious “Touring” form, the Carrera RS was capable of 150 mph top speeds and a jaw dropping 0- 60 time of just 5.5 seconds.
Cosmetically, the car was reworked to create its now iconic look: a fiberglass duck tail and new front bumper reduced weight and drag while simultaneously increasing downforce, while bold contrasting Carrera scripts were added to the sides of the car to decisively declare the return of the Carrera, a moniker which had laid dormant on Porsche street cars since the demise of the legendary four-cam 356 Carrera in 1965. The RS was offered in two main forms, the Touring and the Lightweight (option codes M472 and M471 respectively). While the Touring had nearly all of the equipment of the 911S, including steel rear bumper and overriders, full deco strips, full door panels and seats, and even available sunroof, the Lightweight had fiberglass bumpers, lightweight seats and door panels and numerous other deletions.
Although the car is now an icon, Porsche was so uncertain about whether they’d be able to sell the 500 examples they needed to produce in order to homologate the car to race that they priced it barely more than the 911S and made its executives promise to buy examples of the car to absorb the volume. What ended up happening, however, was that the car was so popular that the 500 unit production had to be expanded twice, with an ultimate total of 1,580 examples being built. Of those, just 200 were lightweight models, which were thoroughly elemental and quite a bit swifter thanks to their low 975 kg weight, more than 200 pounds less than the Touring.
This particular car is not only a genuine lightweight, it is from the first 500 units of production, making it one of the cars that actually contributed to the homologation of the Carrera RS for racing. These early cars differed in detail compared to later cars. For example, there is no pebbled finish on the underside of the front deck lid or on the structural elements in the engine compartment, both of which are correctly finished on this superbly restored example. Also of note is that this car is one of only a handful of Lightweights fitted with a sunroof from the factory. This information is confirmed by the entry in the seminal Konradsheim book. Also of note is that this car was supplied to the current owner by Dr. Georg Konradsheim, and he produced a fantastic book about this car specifically. It details the history and obsessive restoration of this car and comes in a slip cover to match the well-known RS book which he published, a must-own for any RS enthusiast. The book which was made to document this car includes images of many early documents, including some production documents, old ownership documents, and certificate confirming the car’s original colors (Gulf orange on black), numbers, and options. Naturally, the originals of these documents are included with the car as is the book, tools, and owner’s manual pack, as well as the original butterfly horn pad. The car is in excellent shape, having been used carefully since the restoration and showing only minor wear and aging since. Total number of owners is unknown.