Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS: Rennsport for the Road
The history of the iconic Porsche 911 Carrera RS of 1973 is as lengthy as it is fascinating. Introduced to the public at the Paris Motor Show in October 1972, it was a typical example of early 1970s motor trends, ushering in a brave new outlook on life, characterised by loud and colourful products.
The RS was a motoring pioneer from launch, its illustrious reputation carried forward with distinction right to the present day, where it is regarded as one of Porsche’s most iconic 911s.
It is remarkable, then, to think that initially Porsche was worried about selling even the first batch of 500 cars: in their calculation of expected market demand, the rather conservative marketing department estimated that they should make only the required 500 homologation units of the new Carrera RS.
Concerned that they would otherwise sit with large quantities of unsold vehicles, the RS was priced at just DM 34,000 (about £5,230) compared to the DM 31,180 (about £4,800) for the 2.4-litre 911 S.
Although the Carrera RS was aimed at the sporting fraternity, the marketing department hoped that many of them would find homes as road-going cars, thus boosting sales.
When most of the first batch of 500 cars sold out soon after the Paris launch, a second batch of 500 was authorised by Ferry Porsche. When they too cleared the order books, a third batch was commissioned, resulting in 1,590 units being produced in just ten months.
With the benefit of hindsight, we might wonder why Porsche didn’t commit to a much bigger production run but, at the time, this model represented a big step for the company.
The Carrera RS was the first 911 to wear the ‘Carrera’ badge, a name which drew on the brand’s early days competing in the Carrera Panamericana race in the 1950s. This model was also the first road-going car to feature the ‘RS’ moniker (this stood for Rennsport or Racing Sport), a powerful indicator of the car’s sporting potential and ability to go racing.
Although the Carrera 2.7 RS was only around 12mph faster than the 2.4-litre 911S, the bigger-engined car was 42mm wider in an effort to cope with much higher cornering speeds.
To read our full drive of this raced and rallied 2.7 RS, pick up Total 911 issue 147 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device now.