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RPM CSR Evo takes Porsche’s 911 996 Carrera to a track-focused extreme

Porsche specialist RPM Technik has built a faster, leaner, 996 Carrera, the most extreme model yet in its CSR series

Hertfordshire-based Porsche specialists RPM Technik has built 28 of its 996- and 997-based ‘CSR’ conversions over recent years, but this, the 996 CSR Evo, is its most extreme yet.

Based on the second generation 996 Carrera, complete with its larger 3.6-litre engine, the ‘Evo’ takes the themes of reducing weight, increasing power, and a track focus, a step further.

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The M96 engine is treated to the firm’s Preservation Pack, which aims to safeguard the flat six against the stresses of track work; these engines having nothing like the reputation for toughness enjoyed by the Mezger engine in GT3s of similar vintage. To that end there’s a deeper sump, a third radiator and also a modification for the notorious IMS bearing. However, for the first time there’s also a stage 1 power upgrade for the engine, including more aggressive camshafts, gas flowed and ported cylinder heads and an upgraded induction kit.

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Coupled with an entirely new exhaust that exits in the middle of the car, the engine is supposedly good for around 350bhp - similar to a gen1 996 GT3, if not the gen2 car. There is also a lightweight flywheel and clutch assembly, plus for the first time on a CSR model, a mechanical limited slip differential as opposed to the torque-biasing type the firm usually fits. 

The suspension features KW CLub Sport three-way adjustable coilovers, with lighter and adjustable anti-roll bars, poly bushing and adjustable lower suspension arms for more camber. The unique geometry settings were fine-tuned by touring car legend Tim Harvey. Naturally, the braking system has been upgraded as well, with CSR-branded four-pot calipers and ‘floating’ discs, and there are lightweight OZ wheels of 18” diameter shod with Michelin Cup 2 tyres.

There’s a mix of the retro and GT3 to the exterior of the CSR Evo, with gen2 GT3 side skirts, but a modified GT3 front bumper with extra vents and a carbonfibre engine lid with ducktail spoiler (replacing the electrically-powered standard Carrera rear wing). The bonnet is also made from carbon fibre, while inside there’s a pair of recaro bucket seats, a half cage, a non-airbag deep dish steering wheel, and CSR harness bar with harnesses. The lower part of the dashboard has been deleted (like a GT3), while the modified centre console has lost its ashtray and switchgear. 

All in, there’s a 45kg weight saving over a regular Carrera 2 with a manual gearbox, taking the overall weight to something like 1,300kg, meaning the CSR Evo should feel very spritely indeed. There’s also the small matter of £55,000 to find, on top of a donor car, which for a Carrera of this period would be £15,000-£20,000. Now that’s 996 GT3 money, but RPM hope that the bespoke nature of the CSR, its completely renewed chassis (something worth considering against a higher mileage GT3) and its different approach to being entirely at home on a circuit (while still useable on the road) make that a viable comparison. We’ll drive it soon and let you know whether we think it is.

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