The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Turns 50 This Year, Remains Insanely Cool

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 23 photos
Photo: Porsche
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Porsche is celebrating the 50th birthday of its 911 Carrera RS 2.7, a homologation special that was the fastest sports car from Germany when it made its debut. Initially, Porsche only wanted to build 500 examples, just enough to homologate the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 for the Group 4 Special GT class.
The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is an iconic model from the lineup, and it was the first of its kind to have a rear spoiler. The latter is now referred to as the "ducktail," and it was meant to help achieve more neutral handling by minimizing front lift and keeping the rear axle pressed on the asphalt.

The development of the ducktail spoiler was done in an aerodynamic tunnel, and this allowed the engineers to make is that the element did not increase drag in any way.

Instead, this rear spoiler also brought more air to the engine for cooling purposes, while also increasing the top speed by 4.5 kph (2.79 mph) due to its height, which was increased in one-millimeter increments, and then tested until it no longer had a benefit.

The first vehicles meant for customers were shown in October 1972, at the Paris Motor Show, and all the units were sold by the end of November 1972. The success of this model was impressive even to the company, which managed to triple the output by July 1973. In total, Porsche built 1,580 examples, and the production of more than 1,000 units made the vehicle eligible for Group 3 racing as well.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2\.7
Photo: Porsche
Out of the entire production run, just 55 examples were made in racing spec from the factory. In other words, not all 911 Carrera RS 2.7 models in motorsport spec were built that way by the factory, as some were later converted by their owners.

More interestingly, 17 units were ordered in their base spec, while 200 were commissioned with the optional M471 pack, which led to the "Sport" versions of the model. As you can imagine, these are especially valuable today.

The rest of the 1,308 units were what Porsche describes as "Touring" versions, which have the M472 code. Getting one of these used to cost 2,500 German marks back in the day, while the Sport package cost less, at just 700 marks, but involved removing parts, as well as replacing some with lighter alternatives.

The Lightweight version of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was one of the company's first models offered in such a configuration. To save weight, the coat hooks, rear seats, rear carpets, and armrests were omitted. The front seats were replaced by lighter ones, while the Porsche crest on the hood was glued on, instead of the usual fitment procedure that uses rivets.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2\.7
Photo: Porsche
The racing cars came without any sound insulation, as well as plastic parts instead of metal ones, wherever possible, along with thinner windows and thinner sheet metal. These changes had to be reflected in the homologation special, as well.

The weight reduction was significant, 115 kilograms (about 253.53 lb.) to be specific, which would be an advantage in any competition, as the resulting car only weighed 960 kilograms. As a reference, the racing versions weighed in at less than 900 kilograms (about 1984.16 lb.) thanks to the additional measures that were described above.

With 210 metric horsepower on tap from its 2.7-liter flat-six fuel-injected motor, customers would get 210 horsepower per ton, which would be good even in today's world for a vehicle with a naturally aspirated motor.

Peak output was reached at 6,300 rpm, while peak torque, of 255 Nm, was attained at 5,100 rpm. Thanks to those results, the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sport could sprint from naught to 62 mph (0-100 kph) in just 5.8 seconds. Yes, that is something to look forward to even in 2022, which means it was amazing five decades ago.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2\.7
Photo: Porsche
In its day, the Porsche 911 RS 2.7 was Germany's fastest sports car, and the car was the first ever to break the six-second mark from 0 to 100 kph (0-62 mph) in the measured acceleration runs made by the Auto, Motor, und Sport magazine.

The top speed was 245 kph (152 mph) for the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Sport, while the Touring model, with a bit more weight, could "only" reach 240 kph (149 mph), with its 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) sprint done in 6.3 seconds. Not too shabby by the standards of the day, is it?

When compared to a regular 911 of the day, this model also came with Fuchs forged wheels in a staggered configuration, with wider wheels and larger tires at the back, as well as a wider body. The total increase is just 42 millimeters (about 1.65 in), and it all happens near the rear wheel arches, just to make the wheels fit.

Another important element was the introduction of a broadened color palette, which included 29 paint tones, out of which just 27 were produced. Even then, Porsche fulfilled individual customer color requests, like matching the wheels to the Carrera lettering, but only on some color combinations.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2\.7
Photo: Porsche
Mind you, this homologation special was also the first Porsche 911 to have the Carrera name written on its side, which translates to "race" in Spanish. The RS on the rear spoiler stands for "rennsport," which means racing in German.

The name was inspired by the famous Carrera Panamericana competition, where Porsche already had won (in its class) with the 550 Spyder, so it was natural to keep the name for special versions of the 911 after it was used on several high-performance versions of other models in the range.

The Porsche Museum will host a special exhibition to celebrate the anniversary of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, and it will be open to the public starting September 20, 2022.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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