You need to set aside 30 minutes for this one. Make sure the boss doesn't see.
Few cars are as iconic and instantly recognizable as the Porsche 911 Carrera RS. Porsche is celebrating the RS' 50th birthday this year, and it paid tribute to the legend in the best way possible.
The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on 5 October 1972. It was several things all rolled into one dainty but fierce package. The RS was meant to be the halo 911, a perfect way to say goodbye to the first-generation 911. It was also a homologation special, as Porsche needed to build 500 units to comply with various racing regulations, including the FIA's WRC regulations.
To celebrate, Porsche got legendary drivers Walter Rohrl and Timo Bernhard together with some of the most iconic RS models in history.
Porsche decided not to partake in WRC, but several privately-owned RSes were raced, and the car did reasonably well. Well enough to attract the attention of Walter Rohrl, which isn't an easy thing to do. Rohrl has close ties with Porsche, but he never raced the RS 2.7. He won his two WRC championship titles with Fiat Abarth and Opel, though he scored a class victory at Le Mans in 1981 behind the wheel of a 944 LM. These days Rohrl spends his time being awesome for a living. He's also a Porsche brand ambassador.
Watching him wax lyrical about the 2.7 RS is brilliant; this is the car Rohrl dreamed of owning as a young man, and he mentions it being the first car with a front and rear spoiler. The famous ducktail spoiler made the car more aerodynamically efficient, cooled the engine more efficiently, and increased the top speed by 2.8 mph.
Rohrl correctly states that the RS made other manufacturers sit up and take notice. "All its innovations meant that the 2.7 was considered a pioneer for the entire automotive industry," Rohrl explains to Timo Bernhard, another racing legend and Porsche ambassador.
To this day, Porsche continues to set the standard. Several of the RS's unique features are found in the modern GT3 and GT3 RS. These include a unique suspension setup and an almost insane focus on losing as much weight as possible. The original RS had thinner glass and sheet metal. These days it's easier to drop weight. The new GT3 RS has carbon fiber doors, for example.
The 2.7 also had an impact on other 911 models. It was the first time the word "Carrera" was used on a 911. The name dates back to 1955 and was used to designate the best. Porsche chose to use it on the 2.7 because it was also the best. As you know, the Carrera nomenclature is used today on base 911 models.
The 2.7 is also the first car to have smaller wheels at the front than at the rear. This has been a Porsche trademark ever since, and the automaker is well known for using motorsport as a development platform for its road cars.
In 2026, it will potentially join the pinnacle of motorsport in F1, even though it doesn't currently have a team to partner with, and we can only imagine how F1 development will impact its road cars and its development of synthetic fuels. But enough about the future - turn up the volume and spend 30 mins letting Rohrl tell you all about the 911 RS's history.