Porsche 964 Carrera RS v Porsche 997.2 GT3 RS: blood brothers

On paper, this shouldn’t even be close. They may both be united under Porsche’s fabled Rennsport banner, but the statistics suggest these are two markedly different beasts; 18 years and nearly 200hp separates these virtuosi.

One is air-cooled, a bastion of the Carrera RS legacy; while the other was, until page 18 of this magazine, at the pinnacle of the hardcore GT3 RS genus. Both are gods, but they exist in diametrically opposed worlds.

When we first considered this head-to-head, the prices of these two RS icons were at least roughly comparable. However, even the values of this dynamic duo have diverged in recent months, appearing to leave me with two (admittedly glorious) neunelfers at my disposal, but without a central tenet connecting them.

Porsche 964 Carrera RS

Released in 1991, some 16 years after the last true Rennsport 911, the Porsche 964 Carrera RS had big shoes to fill. Descended from the instantly legendary 2.7 RS and its full-fat brother, the 3.0 RS, the original 964 RS was tasked with continuing an impressive legacy.

On the proverbial paper though, the 964 didn’t look man enough for the job. Compared to a bog-standard Carrera 2, power was officially only hiked by a measly 10bhp and, while the car’s mass was reduced by up to 120 kilograms (depending on trim specifications), the 964 RS wasn’t as visually arresting as its Rennsport brethren.

For one thing, where was the outlandish wing that had become an RS staple?

Porsche 997.2 GT3 RS

By comparison, the 997.2 GT3 RS was instantly admired upon its release just six years ago. Like the 964 RS, the 997.2 GT3 RS was the third iteration of its respective sub-brand but, while the former was the first of its kind for over a decade, the 997 was simply a follow-on to two superb water-cooled RSs: the 996 GT3 RS and the 997.1 GT3 RS.

Complete with lairy decals, centre-lock wheels and a massive, motorsport-inspired rear wing, its success was guaranteed from the moment it rolled off the production line in Stuttgart. Its air-cooled cousin certainly seems to have its work cut out today if it wants to impress.

Want to read our full 964 RS vs 997.2 GT3 RS head-to-head? Pick up Total 911 issue 128 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.

964 RS versus 997 GT3 RS

Comments (2)

  • Chris

    Who in their right mind would want to pay the monopoly money that is being asked for a 964 RS, which is not a particular good car. It was slated by the press when first released and is only really fit for smooth race track. It hasn’t suddenly become a better car, it’s been hyped up. By any current standard it doesn’t have very good performance and my Cayman R would leave it standing in every respect. More HP, quicker, better equiped and made with better handling.

    My Cayman R for around £ 40k, some dealers are asking £ 250k for a 964 RS. But that’s the problem in the current market hype, some people seem prepared to pay mega bucks for very average cars with very average performance. Some people are going to lose a lot money.

  • Nikolay Marev

    Enjoy your Cayman R! Why bother? Others will lose money, not you 😉