PH BLOG: PORSCHE 964 RS
Fear and self-loathing in equal measure as the editor nearly cocks up a dream 911 RS drive
And in thanking 964 RS owner Julian Perry for his kind contributions to the Carpool story we ran on his car I played just that joker. To which he, rashly, answered 'well, you should have a go with mine then.' An offer he may have regretted after seeing his beloved Porsche pirouetting past the paddock at Bedford Autodrome in a cloud of spray and expletives from yours truly.
I know, declaring 911 fanboy allegiances isn't exactly hold-the-front page stuff. But all the stuff I love about them can be found in the RS.
In 2012, 260hp (officially) is hot-hatch stuff, but if ever a car summed up the 'it's about more than just the numbers', the RS is it. I love the unadorned looks, the fact that it's just another old 911 to the uninitiated . Much as I love my modern GT3s, RSes and 4.0s, they all look a bit chintzy compared with this. And by heck does it go.
I always take a while to dial into 911s, perversely another reason I like them so much. You can never just jump in and give them full beans, even the new ones. There's always something to make you think, be it the pedal spacing, the gearbox, the throttle response or whatever. The RS had all of them and, after sitting beside Julian for a couple of sessions and enjoying the fruits of his 15-year familiarisation process with his RS, I was more than a bit intimidated. It's always nice to see an owner pushing their car hard but, by gum, even on fat 888s the RS is a lively beast and Julian was pretty busy at the wheel.
No pressure then.
With that much rubber on the ground - 888s at that - I didn't expect the RS to have such a lively rear axle, but even with the relatively modest power I was heartened to find how easy and predictable it was under power. Turn-in was wickedly strong too, the RS really chomping hard into Bedford's surface.
But that's what I loved about it. I was having to really, really concentrate. And those few times a sequence of corners, shifts and mini-drifts all came together will stay with me a long time.
And then it rained, I had my moment on the worn 888s and Julian really started having fun. A video below to that effect that, sadly, doesn't show much of the track due to the camera angle but demonstrates quite how lively the RS is and how good it sounds.
I couldn't afford one when they were at their cheapest and I definitely can't afford one now. But, reality be damned, it's still top billing on my 911 wishlist.