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Rule changes at the end of the 1972 season made the famous Porsche 917 obsolete for the World Sportscar Championship. Entering the prototype scene (largely dominated by Formula One giants like Matra and Ferrari) was not an option, so Porsche had to look elsewhere. Fortunately, a new European GT Championship had been created, for which the 911 was eligible. The 1973 season’s main contender looked to be from arch-rival Ferrari, in the form of the 365 GTB/4 Competizione, and, despite it having twice the displacement, Porsche set their sights on it. Work began on a true contender.
The base for this new variant was the 911 S, which had already shown its worth in rallying throughout the ‘60s, but needed to shed pounds and gain more power to be competitive. The flat-six engine was bored out to 2.7 litres, gaining 20 bhp in the process (for a total output of 210 bhp), and strengthened through the use of forged pistons and Nikasil-coated aluminium cylinder liners. Handling was improved with revised and stiffened suspension, wider forged aluminium wheels and larger brakes, and high-speed stability was aided with a now-iconic one-piece fibreglass ducktail rear spoiler - although, at buyer request, a normal engine cover could be specified. Through the extensive use of thin-gauge steel and fibreglass for the body panels, lightweight Recaro seats and interior stripping, and forged aluminium suspension components, the weight dropped by a whopping 100 kg over the base car.
For homologation into the Group 4 GT class, at least 500 examples of the desired model had to be produced. Production of the Carrera RS 2.7 (standing for ‘Renn Sport’) began in 1973, and it was available in three guises: the standard Sport; Rennen (racing); and Touring, having more luxuries and creature comforts, but more weight. That year, around 1580 RSs were produced, which with the additional sales allowed Porsche to enter the car into the Group 3 Grand Touring class. A year later Porsche created the Carrera RS 3.0 which was over double the price of the RS 2.7 but offered a decent amount of racing capability for the money.