GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our 1992 Porsche Carrera RS Film Shoot
The power of Porsche is rarely measured on a dyno, but you can always tell when it’s taken hold of someone. Eli Kogan is certainly no stranger to the marque from Stuttgart, and today we’re joining him for a spirited run through the gears in the type of empty space in the Arizona desert that almost audibly eggs on right feet. In between heel-and-toes and counter-steering his Maritime Blue 964 RS (it’s not an RS America either, despite the US plates), he explains the reasoning behind his Porsche infatuation—from the first triple-digit speed run in the passenger seat of his dad’s 993, to the race-derived nature of the legendary RS line.
He also mentions the modularity of air-cooled Porsches; in other words, the way in which you can take a chassis and smorgasbord of parts from eras 901 to 993 and come up with a complete car without cutting and welding. Hot-rodders in the Porsche scene have been back- and updating their 911s since the first G-bodies hit the pavement in the ‘70s, but while that’s all well and good—who can bemoan the sacred act of souping up?—their are certain cars that are better left alone. In this case, because it’s already had its performance-enhancing program applied at the factory itself. The RS models have been the holy grail of Porsche street cars since the line began with the 2.7RS, and the 964 version stays faithful to the original idea: remove whatever’s in the way of performance. They still have interiors—these are not purebred racing cars even though they share many of the same ideologies as their circuit-spec sisters—but inside you won’t find many amenities. Rather, you’ll see hand-cranked windows, a noticeable and better for it lack of sound insulation, door pulls instead of handle-and-latch mechanisms, but the really trick stuff on the RS is what you can’t see straight away.
And to cut to the chase, this is a true RS, not an RS America saddled with emissions gear mandated by the good ol’ EPA. Eli’s car is an import that began life in Japan before coming to a collection in Canada wherein a friend imported the car into the United States once it hit that magical age of 25. So what’s going on underneath a bonafide 964 RS? If you need a quick refresher, it basically began as a 964 Cup (in keeping with the nature of the Rennsport badge on the deck lid, these cars were developed from racing variants rather than the other way around), and then the bare minimum of street gear was added.
The chassis is seam-welded to start with (this RS weights just about 350lbs less than the typical American-market 964 C2), an incredibly stiff suspension was then fitted which lowered the car significantly from its standard stance (a little over an inch and a half closer to earth), the Getrag G50 received shorter gear ratios, the power steering was chucked out to save weight and improve feedback, the wheels were constructed from lightweight magnesium, and the interior was subjected to an aggressive diet: power windows were gone, rear seats were deleted, cruise control and air-conditioning weren’t necessarily either, and the sound deadening was also binned in the name of the cutting down the pounds. Radios were optional equipment, and the color-matched Recaro bucket seats were obviously not powered units.
The “light-weighting” continued outside the cabin too, with thinner glass fitted to RSes on the sides and rear, along with the use of aluminum rather than steel on the deck lid. In keeping with the nature of the first RS street car, the 964 version also received a hotter engine underneath the lightened paneling, and the 3.6L flat-six M64 that could be found in the standard C2s became the M64/03 during tuning which resulted in 260hp (up just a little from the 247 standard output).
It would be wrong to call it a factory hot-rod though, if only because the term’s connotations include a bit of roughness around the edges. The RS is certainly no comfortable cruiser, and it’s as raw a driving experience as you’ll find in 1992, but when the factory gets involved there’s always that intangible element of perfection that can’t be replicated in even the top speed shops. It’s still 100% Porsche.