In the early 1990s, Porsche was publicly being touted as a takeover candidate. The recession had had a devastating effect on sports car sales. The Porsche 928 and 968 series had almost entirely ceased to sell, so all eyes once again turned to the Porsche 911 as the great white hope.
At least one positive consequence emerged from the grim scenario, however: Porsche was forced to get creative and to develop some very exciting derivatives of the 964, including the fascinating Clubsport version of the 911 Carrera 2, which never saw series production.
Reasons for a possible Club Sport version of the 911 Carrera 2
In the 1992/1993 financial year, every single sale of the Porsche 911 in the 964 generation was urgently needed because sales of this undisputed classic among sports cars, still the company’s mainstay, had also collapsed.
Buyers had been forced to exercise caution, on the one hand, by the dire economic situation. On the other, the 964 was now significantly more expensive than its predecessor. While the old 911 G model (Carrera 3.2) still featured on the price list in April 1989 at DM 86,000, the 911 Carrera 2 of the new generation 964 bore the hefty price tag of DM 120,000 just three years later.
With a price increase of 40% in this relatively short time, not every customer who had ordered the predecessor model could now keep up. It was in this difficult economic environment that Porsche was having to operate, and it duly tried everything it could to make its product range more attractive to customers once again. Sportiness was once again to be the defining feature.
At the beginning of 1993, a Clubsport version of the successor to the 944 S2, the Porsche 968, came onto the market. The 968 Clubsport came equipped with the well-known bucket seats from the 964 RS, and the rear seat was omitted for weight reasons. By dispensing with the airbags, electric windows and other inessential details, more than 50 kg could be shaved off the weight.
The 968 CS was fitted as standard with the popular Cup wheels and mirrors in Cup design and lowered by 20mm. The rims and the rear spoiler were painted to match the body. Not only did the 968 CS have killer looks, but it was also over DM 15,000 cheaper than the production version of the Porsche 968.
It was no wonder, then, that Porsche should also have been considering releasing a Clubsport version of the 911 Carrera 2. In August 1992, the then project manager Karlheinz Brüstle was commissioned to develop the 964 CS.
Possible pricing of the Porsche 964 Clubsport
It’s tantalising to think about how Porsche would have proceeded with the pricing of the 964 Clubsport. Regarding the Clubsport version of the predecessor model, the Carrera 3.2, in the model years 1988 and 1989, there was no price difference to the production version. The slightly lighter and sportier 911 CS was offered with the same performance for the price of the standard 911 Carrera.
While project manager Brüstle was busy developing the 964 Clubsport in the summer of 1992, the Porsche 968 featured in the price list at DM 94,790, and the 968 Clubsport went on sale at DM 77,500. Could the concept behind the 968 CS, which was over DM 17,000 cheaper, also have been applied to the 964? Would the 911 customers have accepted a slimmed-down 964 without better performance or racing ambitions?
It is, at least, a matter of fact that the prototype of the 964 Clubsport turned out to be a very attractive car.
Interview with Karlheinz Brüstle about the 964 Clubsport
In the new book about the Porsche 964, you can read in an interview with Karlheinz Brüstle why the 964 Clubsport did not go into production and how it differed from the standard 911 Carrera 2.
On November 30, 2021, Berlin Motor Books will publish „PORSCHE 964 THE BOOK 1989–1994" in a limited edition of 1994 copies.
Special features in this book
- Detailed purchasing advice and price trends
- Extensive information about special models and prototypes
- Unpublished documents and photographs from the historic Porsche archives