Porsche 964 Carrera RS v 993 Carrera RS: Luftgekühlt Legends
Roland Kussmaul, you’ve got a lot to answer for! The undeniable talent of one of Porsche’s most esteemed motorsport engineers hasn’t made my job easy today. The sun is fast approaching the horizon and I need to choose which Porsche 911 I’m grabbing the keys to for the drive home.
Do I want the 964 Carrera RS or the 993 variant? I know, right. This is the enviable dilemma facing me atop Ditchling Beacon, one of many stunning vantage points in the South Downs, an area of the UK renowned for its natural beauty.
However, the vista – bathed in a warm dusk glow – can’t take my mind off the task at hand. This has to be the toughest decision I’ve had to make at Total 911. I mean, how are you really meant to choose between the two?
Leviathans of the air-cooled era, the 964 and 993 Carrera RS represent a golden age for the Rennsport philosophy. After a hiatus during the 1980s – the SC RS of 1984 wasn’t really intended as a production road car – Porsche revived the lightweight legacy in 1991 with the launch of the 964 Carrera RS.
After the 911’s future had been secured at Zuffenhausen a decade earlier, the motorsport department was tasked with taking the Neunelfer back into international competition.
The first step was to put the 911 at the centre of Porsche’s one-make race series, the Porsche Turbo Cup, held in Germany and France since 1986 and 1987 respectively.
In order to do this though, a car was needed for the FIA’s homologation process. The result, readied in time for the start of the 1990 season by Kussmaul’s team in Weissach, was the new Porsche 964 Carrera Cup.
A stripped out version of the Carrera 2, the Carrera Cup racer featured a seam-welded bodyshell with every luxury removed in the name of weight saving. And 18 months later, ahead of the 1992 model year, the first road going production versions of the Cup car rolled out of the factory, complete with an iconic designation on the decklid. The Porsche 964 Carrera RS was born.
The car marked the return of the Carrera RS for the first time in 17 years but, rather than universal rejoicing from Zuffenhausen’s faithful, the 964 was met with an unusual level of indifference. Even the press weren’t convinced.
To read our Porsche 964 v 993 Carrera RS head-to-head in full, pick up Total 911 issue 140 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.