The Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RS is the successor to the legendary Carrera RS 2.7 from 1973 after almost 20 years of waiting. Designed for “private” motorsport, it is the new lethal weapon for club racing: everything that is unnecessary is removed, while the engine and chassis are optimized for a definitive sporty use …
Purists had to wait a good twenty years for Porsche to offer again a radically sporty version of the 911. For that, excluding the Carrera 3.0 RS of 1974, SC/RS of 1984 and 3.2L Clubsport of 1987, we had to wait for the generation type 964 and a renewed interest for the 911, whose future seemed more than uncertain in the mid-80s. The development of the Carrera RS, initially intended for the “Carrera Cup” and for homologation in the N/GT category of European championships, does not seem to have required a colossal investment by the factory. In fact, if you look at the technical data sheet, it is mainly a Carrera 2 with all the comfort equipment scrupulously removed… But, the difference is much more profound since it is rather close to a 964 Cup! The result of this work was presented to the general public in 1991, one year after the Cup, and then officially marketed in Europe for the 1992 vintage. Immediately, the RS will conquer the heart of the 911 purists looking for a Carrera Cup “road”, which they dreamed for 20 years …
Externally, the Porsche 911 type 964 Carrera RS 3.6, or simply RS “92”, plays the card of sobriety, unlike its ancestor, the 911 Carrera RS 2L7 “73”, which was brightly colored with colored bands and a very characteristic spoiler. They both clearly reflect the spirit of their generation. Among the visible changes made to the 911 RS compared to the Carrera 2 that serves as its basis, we first notice the specific wheels, 17″ in diameter, and the tapered mirrors of the 964 “Cup”. Then, the expert eye will stop at the lowered body (-40 mm) and the lightened rear bumper, with its side plate lighting as on the 911 Turbo (965) and the absence of front fog lights, replaced by simple translucent covers. The Cx of the bodywork is 0.32. Finally, the engine hood receives the mythical “Carrera RS” logo that has made generations of Porsche enthusiasts’ dream. This logo could however be removed as an option but almost nobody wanted to do without it! Also very popular, the Carrera RS side stripes were an option offered for France by the importer Sonauto. The RS, available only as a coupe, is available in 3 versions: the “light” (identification M001), the “touring” (M002), and the Clubsport (M003), not officially imported in France. The bodywork could be colored in a choice of 8 colors, some of them specific. They are ruby red, amethyst metallic, black varnished, maritime blue, night blue metallic, Indian red, white grand prix and polar silver metallic. As for the invisible modifications, the windows are thinner than on a C2, except for the windshield, and the front hood is made of aluminum. It no longer has jacks but a stand to keep it open. The underbody protection has been removed. Inside the cabin, it’s a big clean-up!
It really feels like you’re riding in a race car. So, to begin with, the doors are very light. The armrests and the pockets have disappeared to make room for an almost bare panel. The opening handles have been replaced by a fabric strap, the electric windows have been replaced by two good old-fashioned cranks, the same goes for the mirrors, and the concern for lightening even goes as far as removing the plastic cap on the closing indicator! A small departure from safety, the interior door reinforcements have also been removed. To continue with the “Cup” spirit, the front seats are replaced by very light Recaro buckets with composite fiber shells. Each seat weighs only 4.5 kg instead of 25 kg on a Carrera 2. The harnesses are not original on the RS Light and Touring. The steering wheel is smaller with a reminder of the RS logo on the hub cap (without airbag, even as an option). For the rest, we can summarize by saying that all the comfort equipment has disappeared from the cabin (air conditioning, radio, rear defrost, power steering, many carpets, etc. …). Finally, another detail that adds to the charm and exclusivity of the RS: the absence of rear seats, and instead, the logo “Carrera RS” embroidered on the carpet. Finally, our RS 92 has been lightened by 130 kg compared to the 911 Carrera 2 Coupé. In the “Touring” version, the 911 RS is visually identical to the 911 Carrera 2 Coupé, except for the fog lights which are part of the equipment. It retains, however, a trunk with carpet, but the hood, still aluminum, holds as on an RS with a rod. Inside, the equipment is generally similar to that of the Carrera 2. It includes the electric leather seats of the Turbo, “complete” door interiors, lighting with a ceiling light, rear window defrosting, central locking with alarm, audio system, automatic heating control and the possibility of having a sunroof or air conditioning as options. What remains is the non-powered steering and the absence of a rear seat, but without the RS logo. It is therefore easy to understand why Porschists were not mistaken and massively opted for the “real” RS, the Touring having been produced in 76 copies only! (Total number of cars produced: 2,507 (of which 2,282 light and 76 Touring).
The 964 generation introduces a new all-aluminum engine. It is of course always air-cooled. Its displacement of 3,600 cm3 is obtained by a bore of 100 mm and a stroke of 76.4 mm. We know that Porsche prefers short-stroke engines, which are more favorable to high speeds, while the opposite flat cylinders, which retain 2 valves each, are more favorable to torque. Another specificity of this 3L6, we find on each cylinder a system of double ignition by two spark plugs arranged face to face, on both sides of the 2 valves. Identified under the type M64/03, the engine of the Carrera RS 3.6 reaches 325 Nm at 4800 rpm, against 310 Nm for Carrera 2, and its technical sheet states 260 horsepower delivered at 6100 rpm, 10 better than the Carrera 2. However, despite this gain in power that may seem modest, the engine of the Carrera RS is not identical to that of the 964 Carrera 2 and weighs only 226 kg.
The differences include a special injection system (Bosh Motronic) with a cut-off speed above 7,000 rpm. And this engine is particularly pleasant at high rpm. The compression ratio reaches 11.3:1 and the Flat 6 of the RS feeds exclusively on super unleaded 98.
The catalytic converter is standard on all versions. The cylinder heads receive ceramic inserts to reduce exhaust heating and the cylinders are conically machined to compensate for deformation when the engine reaches operating temperature. The engine bearing is made of rubber instead of the hydraulic bearing. Last but not least, the flywheel is 7 kg lighter. This feature provides an incomparable liveliness that allows to immediately recognize an RS by its revs, its hustle in the revs and… its unstable idle. In fact, many RS cars that have been tested have made more than the 260 hp announced. And simply with a “liberated” exhaust and a cotton air filter, you can easily gain a good ten horsepower. As far as the gearbox is concerned, Porsche remains faithful to Getrag, with the famous 5-speed G50, whose 1st and 2nd gears have been lengthened. The G50/10 in the Carrera RS has a harder rubber center bearing in the front cover and steel synchro rings for gears 1-2-3-4 with modified sharpening angle of the control sleeves, to improve synchronization. The shifter and the entire control system are inherited from the cup and differ from the carrera 2: lower lever ratio, 10 mm shorter stroke, 28 mm higher lever, 10 mm more curvature on the left. The guide tube for the clutch bearing is longer. As far as performance is concerned, and we buy it especially for that (!), the RS offers with its reduced weight of 1230 kg, lap times not far from those of a 911 Turbo 3.6! 400 m DA in 13.1″, 1000 m DA in 24.4″ and only 5.3″ to go from 0 to 100 km/h. But even more than the raw numbers, the engine’s ease and snappiness in the revs is exceptional, as is its sound, more fabulous than ever. Some of the weight reduction changes are audible, such as the removal of the soundproofing between the cabin and the engine. This gives us a front row seat to the music of the Flat 6, which is a treat for the ears of enthusiasts.
The Getrag gearbox is coupled to a 20/100% self-locking differential, which is controlled by the drive torque. The suspension has been completely redesigned. The front suspension of the 964 generation has lower wishbones, which greatly improve its precision, and the suspension is coil-sprung at all four wheels. On the Carrera RS, the 24 mm front stabilizer bar suspension can be adjusted using 5 holes. The 18 mm rear stabilizer bar has 3 holes for gradual adjustment of the oversteer or understeer tendency. The ground clearance is lowered to 92 mm (-40 mm) and the front and rear axles are equipped with Bilstein threaded spring-damper combinations with a very firm setting. This is the price for the RS to go flat. The rack-and-pinion steering system is as precise as a scalpel. The RS’s wheels are more than just a specific design. They are made of cast magnesium alloy. The adoption of these 4 rims saves a total of 10.6 kg. They have a specific asymmetrical profile that is not found on the aluminum “Cup” wheels. This is intended to better maintain the tire. The tires, Bridgestone Expedia S01, are for the front and rear in 205/50 and 255/40, in 17″ of internal diameter, Z index. Once on the track, to place the car correctly, you’ll have to use the science of mass transfers and not hesitate to brake late in the turns to place it by unloading the rear. Fortunately, you can always count on a concrete braking system, consisting of large ventilated drilled discs from the Turbo 3.3 (322 and 299 mm in diameter) with 4-piston light alloy calipers. The standard Bosch ABS only intervenes at the limit of grip and never disturbs good driving. This is a rare quality. Finally, once you’ve learned how to use it and have a good idea of how to drive it, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS becomes a devilishly efficient and fast sports car on the track, even more so than a Turbo 3.6 to which it gives back 100 horsepower. When they say that weight is the enemy of goodness… How satisfying it is when you manage to tame this wild horse!
If you are in love with the 911 and you are looking for an efficient sports car on the track? A sporty, authentic, and uncompromising car with which you can learn the art of driving? Look no further! Porsche made it for you in 1991 with the 911 Carrera RS 3.6, a genuine road-going 964 Cup, is the beauty you’ve always dreamed of.