2.7RS Touring vs Lightweight
For many Porsche enthusiasts, the 1973 2.7 RS is the early 911 at its peak. It was the first road-going Porsche to wear the Rennsport badge, and indeed the first 911 called ‘Carrera’. Its legacy is enviable, its influence incalculable. Andreas Preuninger – godfather of every RS since the 996 GT3 – even had one on his bedroom wall.
The 2.7 RS story begins with the demise of the 917. After an illustrious career, including two Le Mans wins, Porsche’s sports car racer was outlawed in 1972. In search of a sequel and keen to stimulate sales, engineering director Ernst Fuhrmann set his sights on the 911. 500 such examples were required to homologate a race-ready version for FIA Group 4: a legend was born.
Porsche used the 2.4-litre 911S, the quickest 911 at the time, as the basis for the RS. Its air-cooled flat six was bored out to 2,681cc, with low-friction Nikasil cylinder linings helping boost power from 193bhp to 213hp at 6,300rpm. Torque jumped up too, from 211Nm to 255Nm at 5,100rpm.
More significantly, the car was subjected to a crash diet, with thinner body panels, lighter bumpers and a complete absence of creature comforts. This cut weight to just 975kg in original RS Sport spec models (factory code M471) – usually called Lightweight or RSL. Many customers craved a little luxury, though, and after the initial 200 Lightweights were built (plus an additional 17 RSH homologation cars), Porsche acquiesced with a further 1,308 RS Tourings (factory code M472, or RST): better equipped and 100kg heavier. It’s the spec differences between these two versions we’ll focus on here.
Seeing one 2.7 RS quickens the pulse, but the sight of two in convoy, blatting boisterously up a B road, is enough to give any Porsche fan palpitations. ABW 356L is a fully-restored 1973 Lightweight owned by Nick Hart. ABW 131L, separated by just a few chassis numbers and with a near-identical number plate, is a 1973 Touring, kindly supplied by Autofarm.
What makes this classic coming together even more special is that both cars are Light Ivory with blue decals: arguably the most iconic colour combination for Porsche’s most iconic car. Interestingly, the two features that define the ‘RS look’ today – the ducktail spoiler and Carrera side script – were both delete options, although it’s rare to find a 2.7 RS without them.
The two 911s pull over, the clamour of 12 horizontally opposed cylinders suddenly silenced. At first glance they look all but identical. However, an impromptu game of ‘spot the difference’, led by Autofarm director Mikey Wastie, quickly reveals they’re anything but.
To read the full in-depth feature of our 2.7 Carrera RS Touring v Lightweight test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 158 here or download from Newsstand.