50 years ago, Porsche gave us the "Ducktail rear spoiler, after putting it on one of the greatest Porsche models ever made - the 911 Carrera 2.7 RSby Dim Angelov, on
The Porsche 911 has had plenty of epic iterations over the years, but very few of those can match the 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS. This performance variant of the 911 was not only a homologation special but also the fastest German automobile of its time with a top speed of 152 mph (245 km/h). More importantly, the development of the car, which started back in 1972, gave birth to one of the most iconic design elements of the Porsche 911, known as the “Ducktail” spoiler. In 2022, we celebrate 50 years of the birth of this motorsport-inspired feature.
The 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS was the basis for many successful racing versions of the car, for both track and rallying. The RS took after other successful performance models like the 1967 Porsche 911 R and 1970 Porsche 911 S/T, both of which were track and rally specials and some of the rarest Porsche models ever made.
While the 2.7 RS was a great platform, it was also where the iconic “ducktail” spoiler was first introduced. It’s not every day a purely functional element becomes an iconic trademark for a car, but the distinctive rear spoiler did just that back in 1972, when the 2.7 RS was still in development. The idea was to improve downforce in order to keep the 911’s rear end planted. As a bonus, the “ducktail” also ended up looking good on the back of classic and later special editions of modern-day 911s like the Porsche 997 Sport Classic and, eventually, a 992-based 911 Sport Classic that’s due later in 2022.
According to Peter Volk, then head of Porsche serial car testing, the idea was to produce 500 units for Group 4 homologation. Due to demand, however, 1,580 units were built. Porsche 911s always punched above their weight and this was true for the lightweight 2.7 RS. With a curb weight of 2,370 pounds (1,075 kg), the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS could sprint from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5.8 seconds.
This was, in no small part, thanks to the 2.7-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six that developed 207 horsepower at 6,300 RPM and 188 pound-feet (255 Nm) at 5,100 RPM with a Bosch mechanical fuel injection. The 2.7 RS combines the best traits that categorize the Porsche 911 as one of the best sports cars, and it all happened exactly 50 years ago.