993 RS v 997 GT3 RS: the Rennsport showdown
For Porsche, the letters ‘RS’ conjure up a rich image of sporting achievement and excellence, twinned with impressive road-going performance earned the hard way through countless racing victories. To its credit, the Stuttgart manufacturer has ensured that since 1973, each successive major evolution of the 911 has featured the RS badge in its line-up, and each has in turn taken the sub-model to new levels of motoring greatness.
At the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1993, Porsche unveiled its all-new 3.6-litre Type 993 model, the first 911 to be completely redesigned from the ground up. It was, however, only in 1995 that the Carrera RS was introduced, featuring a larger 3,746cc engine with Porsche’s innovative VarioRam induction system. Weighing 100kg (220lbs) less than the standard Carrera, the higher performing, air-cooled RS ran on three-piece, 18-inch ‘Cup’ wheels as standard equipment.
Fast forward little over a decade later to the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and the motoring world was introduced to the Type 997 GT3 RS, the embodiment of the Stuttgart manufacturer’s latest technology, now boasting a 450bhp, 3.8-litre water-cooled engine. To some it’s a ‘street-legal race car’ while others say it’s a ‘Porsche for purists’.
The motivation for producing both the 993 RS and 997 GT3 RS was homologation for motorsport, and ultimately to demonstrate how motorsport influences and inspires the design and manufacture of road cars at Porsche. In particular, the later car was virtually identical to the GT3 Cup race car of the same period, which in turn provided the foundation for the success of the 997 GT3 RSR in international GT racing.
To read the full feature of our Rennsport showdown, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 106 from the Imagine Shop or download in digital form via GreatDigitalMags.com.