Tuning the Porsche 997 Carrera S to sub-GT3 territory
Many praise Porsche’s 996-generation 911 as great “budget” example of the lauded 911 lineage; however, with the Stuttgart brand already past the 991 generation and deep into the 992, the 2004–12 997 evolutions could one day take over the “smart buy” status long held by the first line of water-cooled 911s. And with early Porsche 997s over 15 years old by now, your aftermarket options are nearly endless. That’s where the UK’s RPM Technik comes in with its 997 CSR conversions.
As a Porsche 964–991 specialist, RPM Technik performs a wide range of jobs—from engine and gearbox rebuilds to full restorations and restomod jobs as well as 996, 997 and Cayman CSR conversions. And even if you think that Porsche did rather well with its total of 24 different 997 variants, the CSR packages may just provide that magical 25th version you were missing.
Based on a first-generation 997 Carrera S in this case, RPM Technik’s package includes the factory X51 top-end upgrade and other tweaks for 385 hp, along with a lightweight clutch and flywheel, a mechanical differential and a short-shifter. For the suspension, RPM turned to KW for shocks, with adjustable anti-roll bars and control arms and polyethylene bushings.
The most visible change on the outside is a fixed ducktail that shreds 13 pounds from the rear end, with further weight savings courtesy of forged alloy wheels by HRE. Inside, this customer opted for a Momo steering wheel, bucket seats, and a 917-style wooden shift knob like you get in the Carrera GT.
With all these option boxes ticked and fine-tuned by the team, the 997 CSR’s 3.8-liter flat-six is still not something to compete with the 3.6-liter Mezger engine of the equivalent GT3—at least when it comes to response or top-end power. However, with the extra 30 hp over the Carrera S and the eagerness guaranteed by that lightweight flywheel, this massaged 3.8 offers plenty of mid-range torque right where a fast road car needs it the most. The suspension upgrades lead to a better ride, and with the 997 being that much smaller than a current 911, these tuned versions might just translate to the modern sports cars Porsche can’t make anymore. Here’s what Henry Catchpole thought of this 2018 build: