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Porsche 911 CS

While no 911 series car could be considered standard, Porsche did make some very special limited-edition models, such as the Carrera Club Sport.

The Club Sport was a true track inspired road car, not merely a marketing inspired one, and as such deserves our attention – but to fully understand it requires a delve into its heritage.

Porsche has a long and well documented history of their venerable 911. Introduced in 1964, it has maintained its rear mount flat six engine, 2+2 seating configuration and general look and image to this day. The 911 has simply evolved, reinventing itself in subtle ways again and again over its 56-year history, and to this day continues to be revered as a high-performance vehicle for the enthusiast driver.

The 911 name has also evolved, and although still used as the marketing ‘front man’, the more astute porscheaphiles will know that the internal Porsche code was ‘911’ from 1963-1975, then changed to ‘930’ for the 1975-1989, then on to the ‘964’, and then ‘993’, ending the air-cooled engine design with that model in 1998.

The next step beyond the 993 was polarising for some and ground-breaking for others. A move to a new body, albeit with significant clues and homage to the lineage, and an all-new water-cooled engine design, signified a deviation from the norm for Porsche.

The Carrera editions of the 911 have always been high performance variants, and highly sort after. The name was reintroduced from the early 356 racing ‘Carrera’ engines of 1954. The Carrera name coming from Porsche’s Class motorsport victories in the Carrera Panamericana races in Mexico in the 1950s. The first 911 Carrera edition appeared in 1973 as the Carrera RS, now one of the most sort after by collectors, and are the most expensive 911s ever.

In 1987, Porsche introduced a new club sport model known as the Carrera Club Sport, or Carrera CS for short. This model was intended as a track inspired road car and followed the Club Sport theme of combining a lightened version with improved performance and aimed squarely at the club day and weekend racer. The Carrera CS first underwent a weight reduction program and were produced without a sunroof, air conditioner, radio, sound insulation, rear wiper, fog lamps, head lamp washers, front hood locking mechanism and even the rear lid ‘Carrera’ metal badge was deleted to save around 70kg all up.

The final tally, with the weight reduction, of the Carrera Club Sport was a lightweight 1180kg. The air-cooled 3.2L flat six engine was blueprinted at the factory and, apart from that process, the only change was to the hollow intake valves used in the head. The Digital Motor Electronics (DME ECU) was reprogrammed raising the rev limit by 500rpm. Although the engine was rated the same 231 hp (172.26kW) and 283 ft/lbs (3843.7Nm) of torque as the standard car, the CS was 0.5 seconds quicker to 60mph (96.56km/h) with horsepower being rumoured to be, in fact, more likely 250 (186.43kW). The quickest acceleration test of the day being 5.1 seconds 0-60mph (0-96.56km/h) with the Porsche rear engine design assisting with traction. Top speed was reportedly 151 mph (243.01km/h).

The suspension was revised only slightly with a change to Bilstein shock absorbers’ rates; and more significantly, wheels were 16 inches in diameter and ran a lower profile than the standard car – no doubt contributing to its sharper feel on the road. The G50 transaxle was fitted with a ZF limited slip differential and was upgraded with a shorter shift and revised ratios in the upper gears. While you might also expect an upgrade to the braking system, this was not required with the brakes’ effectiveness being improved simply by the reduction in weight.

The results of this ‘fine tuning’ were to simply produce a better driving car with improved dynamics and more performance everywhere. Importantly, the price of the Club Sport model was less than the standard car, which, for the time, made sense because it had a greatly reduced equipment list.

The results of this ‘fine tuning’ were to simply produce a better driving car with improved dynamics and more performance everywhere. Importantly, the price of the Club Sport model was less than the standard car, which, for the time, made sense because it had a greatly reduced equipment list.

There were many subtle changes with the design of the Carrera Club Sport and while each on its own doesn’t seem like much, the sum of the parts creates a significant difference to the driving experience. Porsche’s subtle improvements for this model provided an intangible connection between the driver and the car; with the result that it was simply faster and more agile than the standard Carrera in every way.