For decades, Porsche has created some of the most intriguing and desirable road cars on the planet. But even with all that excellence, there are still certain machines that stand out from that very exemplary crowd.
The ingenious and complex 4 cam 356, the original 911, and then the 1973 RS from there were a collection of world-class cars. In 1992 the RS designation appeared again in the form of a European market lightweight rear-wheel drive 964 based on the Carrera Cup race car.
The US did not get the benefit of this one as Porsche North America felt the tuning was a bit too aggressive for the American market. Thanks a-lot!
The USA got its own version of the RS America a less radical version of the Euro-spec ride.
Then came 1995, and a real standout raised its racey head.
The History of the 1995 Porsche RS
The Porsche 993 was a total redesign from the Porsche 964 and it would also be the last of the line of air-cooled Porsches. The air-cooled swan song was going to be a good one because the RS designation returned at full throttle.
Again the 95 RS was based on the Carrera Cup competition car, it was created in numbers (1000 examples) to homologate the 3.8 RSR into BPR GT3 and GT4 racing, again the US was refused this unique gift.
The factory was fanatical about making the latest RS as light as possible. Practically everything that wasn’t necessary was tossed aside. Gone was the central locking system along with the power adjustable seats, electric windows and mirrors, sound insulation, rear defroster, even thinner glass, and an aluminum trunk lid and doors with lightweight door panels with fabric door pulls. This reduced the weight down to a sleek 1,289 kilograms.
Some creature comforts and safety items could be added as options, such as AC, Stereo, electric windows, and airbags.
1995 Porsche RS Performance and Specifications
At the heart of the 95 RS is a naturally aspirated 3.8 liter flat six that boasts multiple improvements over the previous 3.6 motor. This allows the 3.8 (Type M64/20) to produce 300 brake horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 262 foot-pounds of torque at 5,400 rpm, with extra low-end grunt courtesy of the extra displacement.
It is fitted with Porsche’s innovative Variocam variable-length intake system and also features newly designed forged pistons of a reduced height and a relocated wrist-pin, this keeps the piston weight under the standard 3.8-liter engine. The new engine also sports dual oil coolers and lightened rocker arms. All this is kept in check by a Motronic engine management system.
The suspension was tweaked as well. The RS received a front strut brace, ball-joint front damper mounts, and adjustable anti-roll bars with 5 positions for the 24mm front and 3 positions for the 21mm rear. The ride height was also lowered by 30mm in the front and 40mm in the back.
For good measure, a limited slip diff was added along with 322 mm cross drilled and ventilated discs brakes front and rear with four-piston calipers from the 993 Turbo, and last but not least ABS traction control.
The RS also employs a 6-speed G50/31 manual gearbox with a short shifter and modified gear ratios for the first three gears.
All this was attached to a seam-welded body to make up one very solid piece of equipment.
Generation 993 offered up some badass machines. There was the Turbo and the GT2, but it is the normally aspirated RS that really grabs your attention. It’s the Jack Russel terrier of the three. Light, quick, and ready to rip out the throats of its competition. It is the ultimate 993 911.
A Quick Drive
On a cold day in upstate New York in the pits of the Monticello Motor Club, a 1995 Carrera RS in Polar silver ( the color befits the outside temperature) sits on its three piece Speedline wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that are never going to warm up no matter what I do, its paint just glowing in the winter sun.
You can tell this Porsche means serious business with its massive fixed wing in the rear and its elegant front splitter out front and red 4 piston brake calipers making themselves known in the openings of the 18 inch wheels. It is an aggressive, purposeful, sensuous, mean looking sexy beast. All that says to you is, “drive me hard.” No problem. I had just spent time in a 28 year older Porsche and it was nice to climb into a car with the modern convenience of heat. I was warm if nothing else was.
When you take a road car on the track it can quickly magnify its faults or show its strengths, The RS just shines.
Leaving the pit you enter the track at Montreal which is turn 5 and track out to the left and head through turn 6 on your way to 7 which is named Patience aptly named, if you are not patient you can get into trouble. The RS is pushing a bit from cold tires and track so I am being extra cautious. Keeping to the right just kissing the rumble strip, you are sort of throwing away the turn to line the car up for the next turn, Prudence.there you want to stay to the right and flow through the uphill, it’s off camber and the car can feel a bit wonky, but it’s nothing the RS can’t deal with, the power is seamless.
Now you are heading into the Carousel. You put the car 3/4 of the way to the right and go light on the RS’s brakes and bleed some speed and move towards the rumble strip on your left and just kiss the beginning of the apex and let the car drift out to the right, but not to far or you’re in the marbles.
Now you are heading downhill towards Pine Tree a double apex turn. You enter the turn at a bit of an angle, you are braking hard and roll out and get on the gas again to push the back end out, extra easy on a cold track, but the RS keeps its cool.(never mind the pun) you’re on the power again and track out to the left using the rumbles and head for Hangar. You want to take the right at Hangar as fast as possible as it’s the beginning of the long back straight.
You track out to the left and get on it as soon as possible and start running through the gears, 140 mph is upon you in no time as you pass through the kink flat out and the RS has plenty more and is singing a very addictive song, but you have to get yourself set up for the switchback that compromises turns 13 through 15.
You’re flying up hill and you get on the brakes and drive up the rumbles on your right and then quickly back on the power, because of the lack of grip I don’t take on the rumbles at 14 as hard as you normally would and then keep to the left and miss the strips on the right.
You are on your way to turn 16 flat out on the left and then cut in and just kiss the rumbles on the right, this is getting you ready for turn 17, Kryptos. Maybe it should be called Kryptonite as it will try and take away your super powers.
It’s off camber so you want to be all the way to the left, the car wants to go right, but you don’t let it and if you get nervous and let off the gas the back end can snap out on you before you know what the hell is happening and you can come to grief very easily and that’s not what I want to do, so I pass through gently (sort of.)
The RS is carrying a whole bunch of speed here screaming into turn 18 the hairpin. You are braking hard, hard, hard and downshifting to second gear moving out to the left and then turning into the right and using every bit of the track to make your turn onto the North Straight, the steering is so precise you can place the car with laser precision.
Coming into turn 1 it’s almost like another carousel you drift out to the right and clip the second apex and track out to the right where you are going down hill to the left to enter the Esses and turn 2.
Even in the cold the RS tracks smoothly and has you dreaming of warmer days. You don’t want to be too hot into 2 as it will push you to far to the left, it’s not really a throwaway turn but you don’t want to be more than halfway out in the middle of the track this allows you to grab all of the apex and rumbles on the left of turn 3 and you track out to the right down the Club House straight and do it all over again, and again and again. All the time with a large grin on your kisser.
A Memorable Legacy
This is an RS playground. Actually, any road is an RS playground. The good thing about Monticello is you are not going to be staring into a pair of mirrored sunglasses and asking “what’s the problem officer?”
The RS inspires confidence and does everything right. You put it on the track and it doesn’t even break a sweat and then you could drive it home, it wouldn’t be that hard to daily drive it. Some might think it too harsh a ride for that, but they just don’t get it.
In the years since this RS was created there have been faster, more technically advanced models. Where would the GT3RS be without its older brother? But there is something elemental about the RS. It’s analog in a digital world, it’s brash where some have become genteel. It’s fast enough, wild enough, and dangerous enough to make it the absolute perfect Porsche.