|Porsche||Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Value today|
|Carrera RS 2.7 (1973)||Flat-six, 2,687cc||210bhp @ 6300rpm||188lb ft @ 5100rpm||5.2sec||245kph||1093kg (192.13bhp/ton)||$600K-$900K|
|911 GT3 RS||Flat-six, 3,996cc||493bhp @ 8,250rpm||339lb ft @ 6,250rpm||3.3sec||310kph||1420kg (347bhp/ton)||$167,900|
We cannot display this galleryThe engine note, like the GT3 erupts with a deep, sonorous roar, but unlike the GT3, the note doesn’t dissipate. Instead, it continues its faintly mechanical whir, raising every so often as Assyl uses the hand throttle by my right leg to keep the revs up (“if you stall, I WILL laugh”). And again, unlike the GT3, there’s a more natural six-cylinder ‘chatter’ compared with the more synthesised bark of the GT3 RS.
Good God this engine is sweet. From the off, it feels so magnificently urgent as 210bhp is delivered to the rear axle. There’s a genuine thrill of winding the engine right out to within spitting distance of the 7200rpm redline, impressive enough for a modern sports car, and confirmation that the RS 2.7 has lost none of its punch, despite nosing its 43rd birthday. It’s incredible, the sense of immediacy through the throttle from this ultra-keen engine. Ironically the five-speed manual gearbox needs to be worked a bit harder. The shifts themselves though are pin-sharp, each shift being slotted into place with a hearty ‘kerchunk’. And then, there’s the handling.
“The whole experience is so visceral, so perfectly balanced, so intoxicatingly exciting. My talent window barely creaks open”
It may feel almost unnervingly light when we’re up to speed, but the steering positively inundates my fingers with feedback, there nothing in the way of power assistance to dilute the undercurrent of jinking and jiggling as those 15in Fuchs glide over the rutted road surface. Instant communication ebbs and flows back and forth, the connection between senses and mechanics stronger than perhaps anything I’ve ever driven. Of course that might have something to do with the compact dimensions of the 2.7, which threads the needle where the GT3 RS – by comparison at least – feels positively enormous.
There’s no sense in fighting the wheel as it dances between my hands. The front end is not going to snap into unforgiving understeer. Quite the contrary. Hard turn-in truly brings out the depth of grip in those performance tyres, the RS body settling under load. I’m conscious of the potentially snap-happy back end in this rear-driven classic, a half maniacal laugh escaping my lips when an unwise lift-off mid-corner tweaks the rear axle sideways. Squeeze the power in gently though and the front end begins to squat, yawing slightly before shooting forward away from the apex, the engine note rising in its semi-aggressive nuance once again.
It feels so stable, so agile, so alive, and yet at the same time, not overly mechanical either. The sensations rifling their way through the steering wheel, the manner in which the nose seems to dance over the road rather than flow over it, and the urgency of the acceleration under full chat. There’s a raw connection that reminds me, moment by moment, that I’m in control. I’m keeping this RS on the island. I AM the limit. It’s a sense of engagement that’s almost dizzying.
“There’s no sense in fighting the wheel as it dances between my fingers”
I’ve lost sight of Bassam in the GT3 RS, but that’s okay. I hadn’t in all honesty expected to keep pace with a former Radical Middle East champion in, perhaps, the finest handling road-legal Porsche 911 in the world. Indeed, the latest generation RS is razor-sharp in its precision, utterly merciless in its power delivery, and so spectacularly capable through the turns thanks to perfect weight distribution and levels of grip that genuinely boggle the mind. Both the performance potential and its limit are beyond terrifying to consider.
But, surprise surprise, I care very little as I tuck the 2.7 nose into another sequence of mid-speed corners, the steering wheel jostling between my fingertips though never threatening to snap away. Another hearty gearshift drops that eardrum-pummelling soundtrack into the lower keys for the briefest of moments, before it returns at full falsetto, a bastion of that remarkable, four decade old flat-six. It’s a charisma and almost organic connection to the road sluicing by beneath us that makes the 2.7 RS experience so much more electrifying, so much more engaging than the more stratospheric potential offered by the GT3 RS.
Yes, the GT3 RS is a phenomenon, and a testament to 50 years of Rennsport evolution. Yes, it’s faster, more manoeuvrable, and considerably cheaper than its illustrious genesis. But I don’t care. At $750,000, the Carrera RS 2.7 is worth every penny.
Technical specifications available on page 3
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- MASSIVE thanks to Tomini Classics and Shahid Baloch, Vice President of Porsche Club UAE