The big daddy RS
The Porsche 911 is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. I figured this is as good a time as any to pay a little homage to my favourite Porsche of all time. It is, I think, the most important car on my bucket list. It rolled out in 1973 from Stuttgart and was named the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, the first car to ever carry the RS badge.
Around the early 1970's, Porsche was looking for a new car to replace their 917 race cars. Getting money from the management for racing programmes was as difficult then as it is now, so designing a new race car from scratch was out of the question. So Porsche did the next best thing. They took one of their best road cars and made it faster, meaner, better.
The base for the 2.7 RS was the previous-gen 911S. At that time, the 911S sported a 2.4 litre flat six motor. The engineers at Porsche decided to bore out the same engine block to 90mm to make the displacement jump to 2681cc. Just like the 917 cars, the 2.7 RS too sported Nikasil-coated bores. Since the use of Nikasil allowed Porsche to avoid using cast iron sleeves, the heat conductivity of the cylinders was much higher. This meant that Porsche could make air cooled engines that had ridiculously high output figures without having to worry about complicated liquid cooling systems. The 2.7 RS produced 210PS and 255Nm of maximum torque. This might not seem like much, but don't worry, that wasn't the only thing that made this car the legend that it is today.
Having a car that made a lot of power wasn't enough, so Porsche began to concentrate on the next step in making a car go faster - weight loss. They started off with using lighter steel for the roof, wings and bonnet. Then there was the lighter glass for the windshield and quarter glasses and fibreglass front bumper and bootlid. There were two variants - the Sport and the Touring. The sport of course had the more basic spec. Inside, there was no fancy leather or high-end stereo. There were simple rubber mats, manual windows and reduced soundproofing. They gave it sports seats and got rid of all the unnecessary bits like the rear seats and even the passenger sun visor. This meant the RS 2.7 Sport weighed a mere 975kg. The Touring variant had a bit more of the creature comforts from the 911S and didn't feature the fibreglass bits. This increased weight to around 1075kg. Both of them however got the trademark "ducktail" spoiler on the bootlid as an optional extra (which other than looking friggin' awesome, also added some much needed downforce to the rear). Oh, and not to mention the now famous "Carrera" script on the side.
Making a car go fast wasn't enough for the guys from Stuttgart. They wanted to make sure it would be able to handle the twisties as well. So in went stiffer dampers and improved anti-roll bars and mountings. They even gave it 7-inch wide wheels so that they could fit fatter rubber. This fatter rubber is why the RS 2.7 has the flared wheel arches that make it look so, so good.
The 911 RS 2.7 was not a car that you took lightly. They say that if you didn't know what you were doing, the car would tear you apart. It was a car that demanded respect. Lift off the gas mid-corner and it would snap back at you with the ferocity of a pit viper that you just stepped on. But for those who did know how to pilot it, the RS' reward was pin point accurate steering with the feedback that comes only from an unassisted steering system.
Porsche's initial plan was to sell only 500 examples of this wonderful machine to comply with racing homologation rules. By the time the car hit the 1972 Paris motor show, all 500 had been sold out. Eventually, they went on to sell over 1500 cars, but only around 200 of these were the 911 RS 2.7 Sport variant. So while the Touring variant itself is among some of the hardest cars to come by, it is close to impossible to find someone who is willing to sell a RS 2.7 Sport. And you can forget about asking him to let you have a go at it. If you do find one magnanimous soul willing to let you sit in it - send a prayer up high, strap yourself in and enjoy those few minutes of heaven that you're about to experience. Oh, and call me after so I can beg, bribe or cry my way into the driver's seat of my ultimate Porsche.
Starts Rs 1.38 Crore