April 23, 2024

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Report: Porsche may revive the 911 ST name for a new manual-transmission GT3 RS

Back in 1970 Porsche built a special low-production 911 model for racing. The car was available with 2-liter, 2.2-liter, 2.4-liter, and 2.5-liter engines, depending on when they were built and what the rulebook stated was legal at the time. The car was a super lightweight racing special producing as much as 270 horsepower, and saw success at events like the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1000 kilometers of the Nürburgring, and Targa Florio. For the 1970 season the FIA rulebook began to allow wheel arches to be flared by two inches to accommodate a wider track, wider wheels, and more tire grip. Naturally Porsche wasn’t one to be left behind, so it introduced the ST with flared arches. This was something of a stop-gap between the regular 911S and the coming all-dominant 911 RSR. It isn’t known for sure how many were made, but documents suggest somewhere between 27 and 33 were produced in 1970 and 1971. After fifty years, Porsche might be reviving the ST name.

Some advanced sporty Porsche 911 has been spied on the streets testing in a configuration that seems to be GT3 RS but without the wing and with a stick. It’ll likely be an extremely limited production model from the Heritage Design projects group responsible for the Sport Classic and the recently-launched Dakar. In the spy photos you can see the same double-bubble roof panel as fitted to the Sport Classic, but the rest of the car looks just a bit more aggressive than the Sport Classic does. The GT3 RS bodywork, including the cutaway front fenders and deeply channeled door skins are on full display, as are the aggressive front bumper and aero-relief front trunk lid with radiator ducting. The center-lock GT3 RS wheels are a dead giveaway.

You can think of this alleged ST as a more track-focused Sport Classic, but instead of the 911 Turbo-based engine, it’s fitted with the naturally aspirated 518 horsepower flat six from the GT3 RS. Or you can think of it as the GT3 Touring, but cranked up to GT3 RS level. Whatever you think of it as, it’s going to be a fast and involved machine. And you can bet that you’ll need to pay a serious premium for the experience.