Just about a month ago, Porsche unveiled the all-new 911 GT3 RS with an aggressive body kit and a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter boxer engine. Long before the hardcore performance car made its debut, the Stuttgart-based company had Germany’s fastest production sports car on sale. That car was the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 and it now celebrates its 50th birthday. 

Porsche has decided to mark the anniversary with a new special video, in which two legendary pilots discuss the vehicle and the impact it had on the automotive industry. Sitting inside the legendary RS model are Walter Rohrl, two-time world rally champion, and Timo Bernhard, a Le Mans winner.

Gallery: Fifty years of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

When the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 made its debut in October 1972 at the Paris Motor Show, it was launched as the range-topping version of the first-gen 911. It was one of the first expressions of Porsche’s idea that performance cars could be used for daily transportation and that even race car-derived machines can be good daily rides.

Based on the 911S 2.4, the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 had a larger and more powerful engine and modifications to the construction for a lower weight. All that was combined with better aerodynamics, making the model one of the greatest sports cars of its era.

Powering the vehicle was a 2.7-liter boxer engine with 210 horsepower (154 kilowatts) and 188 pound-feet (255 Newton-meters) of torque mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Thanks to its low weight of just about 2,149 pounds (975 kilograms), the car was capable of reaching 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) from a standstill in just about 5.6 seconds. The top speed was around 150 mph (241 kph) – figures that still sound impressive even by today’s standards.

An interesting part of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7’s life is that it wasn’t available in North America, at least initially. It wasn’t equipped with proper emissions equipment which basically made it illegal in the United States. When the EPA eventually relaxed the emissions standards, examples of the sports car were legally imported into the country.

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