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Vous êtes ici : PassionPorsche > Sur route > Modèles de série > 911 [depuis 1964] > 911 911 [1964 - 1989] > 911 Programme H [1987] > 911 Clubsport 3.2 - 231 ch [1987]

911 Clubsport 3.2 – 231 ch [1987]

3.2 Carrera Clubsport: the lightweight special

The proliferation of GT models over the last few years means we’ve arguably become a little spoilt when it comes to the concept of more focused, pared-back 911s. It was a rather more novel approach back in 1973 when the legendary 2.7 RS burst onto the scene, a model Porsche followed a year later with the much rarer 3.0 variant.

The SC RS continued Porsche’s burgeoning Rennsport tradition at the start of the 1980s, but the reality is it cannot be considered in the same vein as its predecessors. Just 21 were made, but it was also a pure competition car, unlike the homologated RS 911s of the 1970s. 

It would actually take until 1991 for the Rennsport badge to make a comeback on the decklid of a road-going Porsche 911 as we know it, this time attached to the 964.

That meant nearly a 20-year gap between these air-cooled homologation specials so coveted by enthusiasts today. There was, however, an attempt by Porsche between 1987 and 1989 to plug that gap with a lightweight special: the Clubsport

There was certainly space in the Carrera range of the time for something a little more focused, and with the 964 waiting in the wings it could be considered a fitting last hurrah before increasing modernity swept away many elements of 911 tradition. Even if it isn’t quite the real RS deal, this is a model that had more than a dusting of Rennsport magic, and today it’s a Total 911 favourite. 

Work on a prototype designated by Porsche as ‘911 F22 prototype sports package 2’ had begun in 1984, and it appeared on the road the following year featuring glass-fibre bumpers and the older 915 transmission, neither of which made it to the production version that would make its debut at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show two years later.

Initially aimed at those with an urge to participate in club-level racing and other track events, it would go on to make for a magical road car, albeit a rare one. Of the 340 made, just 53 would come to the UK, with a further 28 examples heading Stateside – yes, this is a lightweight special that was permitted for the American market. The majority of Carrera Clubsports – 169 – were produced in 1988.

Numbers like those should have ensured instant desirability, but rather to Porsche’s surprise the reality proved slightly different. Despite actually being cheaper than the 3.2 Carrera upon which it was based – not a strategy you could see Weissach embracing today, where less very much costs more – early sales were something of a struggle.

The reasons for this have never been fully explained, although it’s conceivable that the somewhat austere specification didn’t really chime with the period of 1980s excess, a time when the well-heeled wanted to flaunt their financial status with luxury cars. So what did ticking the option box marked ‘M637’ actually get a buyer for their £34,389?

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Is the 911 Carrera Club Sport The Best Driving Air-Cooled 911?

The 911 Carrera Club Sport is an exercise in minimalism not equaled by any other impact-bumper 911. With the broad torque curve of a 3.2 and the elemental simplicity of a 2.7RS, this is a very special car. In typical Porsche fashion this car wasn’t constructed with a Chapman-era-Lotus-like approach to weightloss, however. Chapman was happy to shave grams off every component and only add some back when the part broke. Porsche took a much more pragmatic approach, and left the driver with only the bare essentials.

While many hardcore 911s have come without air conditioning, the CS is on another level. To my knowledge no other roadgoing 911 took the sun visor from the passenger in the name of weight savings. They’re not driving, so their idle hands can block the sun if necessary. Hopefully the passenger also completed their ablutions before climbing aboard- carrying extra weight is really not in the spirit of things.

The car also used lightweight manually-adjusted cloth seats rather than leather, had carpet where the rear seat should be, ditched the model’s distinctive foglights, and added some of the absolutely-necessary door graphics. The engine wasn’t exactly unique, though it was blueprinted for max effect. As a result it was known to make slightly more power than Porsche admitted to officially. The redline was also 500 revs higher than the standard car.

This litany of minor changes resulted in a car that may have carried fewer components, but was a startling amount more than the sum of its parts from behind the wheel. Is the Carrera Club Sport the best driving classic 911? Maybe. Even if it isn’t, it is deservedly in the company of the all-time greats, from the 2.7RS to the 993 Carrera RS. Though it never officially crossed the Atlantic, the Carrera Club Sport is certainly on our air-cooled Porsche shortlist.

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Lightweight superstars: a history of Porsche 911 weight-saving

Perhaps more than any other car manufacturer, Porsche has evangelical ethos of seeking to improve performance by creating lighter editions of its sports cars in the quest for purity in performance.

Particularly evident throughout the 911’s entire lineage, the Porsche achievement of enhanced performance and durability with reduced weight stands alone.

The 2.7 RS, introduced after ten years of 911 production and well documented in recent editions of this magazine, achieved motorsport fame before becoming the holy grail of car investment legend.

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Later, its Rennsport successors did the same, with the water-cooled GT3 RS creating a resurgence in Porsche Cup popularity and some giant-killing performances in GT racing.

But there are other variants away from that RS moniker that can still claim ‘lightweight’ 911 status. One of these is the 3.2 Carrera Clubsport, introduced in 1987.

At the time, the Clubsport seemed to slip by with little to celebrate in competition – and visually too, you have to say it’s not exactly awe-inspiring at first glance.

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The changes are individually very small, including deletion of electric seats, an alloy spare wheel instead of a steel item, and no sunroof, radio for air conditioning.

At face value it reads like weight saving of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder style, but add this all up and you’ll realise that Stuttgart managed to shave 50 kilograms off the base 3.2 Carrera.

To read more of our Lightweight Superstars feature, including our time behind the wheel of both the 3.2 Carrera Clubsport and the 996 GT3 RS, grab the latest issue of Total 911 in store or online now. Alternatively, download it straight to your digital device for an immediate 911 fix.

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Porsche Carrera 3.2 Teardown

Porsche Carrera

I’ll be honest, there’s really not much to say about this other than it’s cool as hell watching this old Porsche Carrera 3.2-liter mill being torn down.

Seriously, Porsche-O-files will go nuts for this!

Source: RalfBecker.com

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