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RS 3.8

30 yearsof 964: C2 v RS and Turbo v Turbo-look

Modernity is what the 964 brought to the 911, it arriving on the cusp of a new decade and would, in the then-CEO Heinz Branitzki’s words, “be the 911 for the next 25 years.” It never was, nor, admittedly, was it intended to be, but in the six years it was produced the increase in technology, as well as the proliferation of models, set the template for how the 911 would evolve into the model line we recognise today.

Its massively revised structure and chassis was able to incorporate necessities like power steering, driver and passenger airbags, an automatic transmission and also four-wheel drive. It was tested more rigorously on automated test beds, was built using more modern, cost-effective production techniques and brought the 911’s look up to date, without taking away from its iconic lines.

Such was Porsche’s focus on four-wheel drive it was launched as a Carrera 4, the Carrera 2 following it into production in 1989. Over the six, short years that followed the 964 would proliferate into a model line-up including Targa, Cabriolet, Turbo and RS in the regular series models, with specials like the Turbo S, RS 3.8, 30 Jahre and Speedster models all adding to the mix. It came at the right time, too, replacing the outdated 3.2 Carrera and boosting sales for Porsche when it needed them, the Carrera 2 and 4 selling 63,570 examples, those specials and the Turbos and RSs adding around 10,000 sales on top of that.

It was a successful, important car for Porsche, but just how does it stack up today, and which one to go for? The 964 is the car that introduced the 911 conundrum, one which, in part at least, we’re going to try and settle here today. We’ve four 964s here: a Carrera 2, an RS, a Carrera 4 widebody with its Turbo-aping hips, and a later 3.6 example of the 964 Turbo. The Carrera 2, naturally, is the most available, with some 19,484 sales globally, the RS selling some 2,405, the widebody being very limited (numbers are hard to come by) and the Turbo 3.6 finding 1,427 buyers for the year it was produced.

For many the Carrera 2 is the obvious choice, but take all the numbers out of the equation and things get a little bit different. To digest it there’s a natural split, the narrow and widebody cars, which is why I’m jumping first into the slim-hipped Carreras, and specifically that big-selling Carrera 2.

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Six Porsche 911s to keep an eye on at RM Sotheby’s London sale

Tomorrow evening, RM Sotheby’s return to Battersea Evolution for the auction house’s annual London sale and, judging by the 12 incredible Porsche 911s they have consigned to the lot list, this year’s sale is set to be the best yet.

Alongside the obligatory Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RSs (both Touring and Sport spec cars will go under the hammer from 5pm tomorrow), there is myriad machinery from Zuffenhausen’s late air-cooled period. In fact, this year, RM’s London sale is perfect for Porsche ‘purists’ as these six Neunelfers attest:

1 – Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

One of the standout Porsche 911 lots at the sale, this Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8 is expected to achieve between £400,000-£500,000. That may sound like a lot but just 55 of these 3.8-litre Rennsports were ever built, making it one of the rarest factory Neunelfers of all time.

It’s not just the larger flat six engine that marks this car out from the hordes of 3.6-litre 964 RSs either. For racing homologation purposes, the 964 RS 3.8 got the Turbo’s wide body as well as an extravagant rear wing and three-piece Speedline alloys.

2 – Porsche 993 GT2

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The ultimate incarnation of the Porsche 993, the original 911 GT2 was another of Weissach’s homologation specials, built to dominant the GT ranks during the class’ revival in the early Nineties.

Identified by its extreme aerodynamics and bolt-on plastic arches, the 993 GT2 sent 433hp exclusively to the rear wheels. This stunning Riviera Blue example has an estimate of £750,000-£850,000. It’s worth it for the GT2’s sheer bravado alone.

3 – Porsche 964 Turbo S Lightweight

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Modern Porsche 911 Turbos and Turbo Ss are among the heaviest Neunelfers around, sitting on widened platforms and laden with plenty of tech and options. That wasn’t the case with the original Porsche 964 Turbo S however.

Built by the Exclusive Department in Zuffenhausen, the 86 examples of the 911 Turbo S Leichtbau were just 60kg heavier than the featherweight 964 RS. £210,000-£250,000 is the expecting sale price of this Speed Yellow example.

4 – Porsche 993 Turbo S

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Not to be outdone by its predecessor, this Porsche 993 Turbo S is expected to fetch similar money to the 964 Turbo S on offer at RM’s London auction. The guide price of £200,000-£240,000 seems slightly conservative, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a high number when the hammer drops.

Finished in Guards Red with black leather, this particular left-hand drive 993 Turbo S is in an incredibly desirable spec, with a number of colour-coded touches (including rare red brake calipers).

5 – Porsche 993 Carrera RS Clubsport

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you prefer your Porsche 993 experience to be a bit more hardcore than the cossetting Turbo S, the RS Clubsport is about as raw as they come, making even the standard 993 Carrera RS look luxurious.

With only a smatter of interior equipment (including a welded Matter roll cage and Nomex clad bucket seats), the 993 Carrera RS Clubsport is pretty much just a road-legal Carrera Cup racer. £220,000-£260,000 may be enough to get you in the driver’s seat.

6 – Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI

Photo by: Cymon Taylor ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Cymon Taylor ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you prefer your air-cooled Porsche 911s to be of a classical persuasion, this 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI is the car for you. Effectively a 2.7 RS Touring with impact bumpers (and, in this case, a de-spoilered decklid), 2.7 Carrera MFIs continue to look like astounding value, with this Light Yellow car no exception.

Listed at £180,000-£200,000, this matching numbers example – originally delivered to Italy in November 1973 – could see the hammer drop for less than half the price of RM’s 2.7 RS Touring at the London sale. Is that extra 50 per cent really worth it for a Rennsport badge?

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8

There’s no such thing as a bad Rennsport 911; we’d happily take the keys to any Porsche 911 RS such is the prowess of these iconic, motorsport-bred Neunelfers. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have our favourites.

The Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8 – the second generation of 997 Rennsport – sits firmly near the top of our RS wish list. For everyday thrills, we’d probably choose it over its illustrious, limited edition 4.0-litre brother.

That 3.8-litre Mezger flat six is one of Porsche’s greatest ever engines and, mated to a sweet six-speed manual (again one of Zuffenhausen’s best), the 997.2 GT3 RS makes for an electrifying experience behind the wheel. And you could get in on the act with this gorgeous example from independent specialist, RPM Technik.

IMG_2960-597x398

Unlike the host of Grey Black and Carrara White cars, RPM’s 997 RS 3.8 is finished in the rich Aqua Blue hue and comes with contrasting pale gold centre-lock alloys and side decals helping it to stand out from the Rennsport crowd for all the right reasons.

Delivered to its new owner from Porsche Centre Swindon in June 2010, the car has been maintained throughout its life by OPCs in Cardiff and Mid Sussex, with RPM responsible for general wear and tear, including tyre changes and geometry setup.

Complete with the Clubsport interior kit, this 997 GT3 RS comes with an enviable list of options, including carbon backed bucket seats, carbon fibre dash trims and Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes.

IMG_2966-597x398

The latter option makes RPM’s 997 RS 3.8 the perfect Porsche 911 track tool, although with an asking price of £174,995 it represents quite a large investment to thrash around a circuit.

Conversely, it would be equally as thrilling to take out for a blast on your favourite roads every weekend. With only 13,000 miles on the clock thought, we just hope the new owner gets out and truly enjoys this Rennsport.

For more information on this Porsche 997 GT3 RS Gen2, head to RPM Technik’s website (where you can also check out the rest of their Porsche 911 stock) now.

IMG_2963-597x398

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Porsche 991 GT3 vs 997.2 GT3 RS: performance peers?

We’ll be honest; it almost feels a tad naughty pitching a Rennsport 911 against a contemporary that’s not endowed with the fabled ‘RS’ lettering affixed to its decklid.

After all, the Rennsport nomenclature is reserved for only the very best, representing the pinnacle of Porsche artisanship. In sheer performance terms, nothing should come close – and in the case of the 997 GT3 RS, very little else from its age group does.

However, the 991-generation is a quantum leap forward in technological terms, spawning a potential challenger to the 3.8-litre RS’s motorsporting credentials – a challenger bereft of that most cherished lettering duo at its rear.

997 GT3 RS v 991 GT3

Right from launch in 2013, the 991 GT3 has taken its place at the top table of elite 911s. A well-documented worldwide recall and subsequent full engine replacement in early 2014, the result of half a dozen examples catching fire, hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for this spectacular flat six-powered weapon.

Market values in its short life have so far reflected this: walk into any Porsche Centre today with the intention of purchasing even a Porsche Approved 991 GT3 and you’ll have to part with substantially more cash than the £100,540 original list price for the privilege.

By comparison, the 997 GT3 RS has enjoyed a quieter yet no less dazzling existence. Originally retailing for £109,123, it is the Rennsport that has enjoyed the shortest time at the top of the RS tree, eclipsed after only one year of production by the 997 RS 4.0.

991 GT3

Such a rapid in-house upstaging of its decorated RS model has only happened once before at Porsche, when the pioneering 2.7 Carrera RS of 1973 was replaced by the 3.0-litre variant in 1974 (though the 2.7’s cache of being the first Rennsport has stood it in good stead in the history books ever since).

That said, the second-generation 997 GT3 RS is by no means an underrated sports car – far from it. Considered a talisman of modern-day road and track exhilaration, it too has seen values rise in the last two years, with examples changing hands from around £150,000.

Their comparative journey to this point may be dissimilar, but there’s a metaphor to be had as these two cars sit side by side before us in the glistening summer sun.

To read Lee’s 991 GT3 v 997.2 GT3 RS head-to-head in full, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 131 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device.

991 GT3 v 997 GT3 RS

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