By the mid-1980s the 911 had become fat. Not obese, mind you, but compared to its predecessors, the sports car was overwhelmed with opulent indulgences. Plush interiors, electric front seats, power windows, air conditioning, layers of sound proofing, and-gasp-headlamp washers. These copious accessories were comforts devoted to Porsche's latest clientele, young urban professionals, i.e., yuppies.
Whether intentional or not, Porsche was deadening the very essences of what it meant to drive a world-class sports car, a thrill that was not superfluous but mandatory in the 911. The company was leaving its most faithful customers standing on the curb shaking their heads.
The Carrera 3.2 tipped the scales at nearly 2,700 lb. To date, the heaviest normally aspirated 911 to hit the roadway. Power was up, of course, an increase of 27 horses for the U.S. model versus the earlier 911 SC. But there is more to an exhilarating rush behind the wheel of a true GT than simply grunt.
Luckily, Porsche recognized a portion of its fans were becoming disheartened by the Carrera's growing banality. To counter this disappointment, and to show the company was still in the business of making sporty sports cars, the M637 option code was formulated to create the Carrera Club Sport, a light-weight version of the Carrera 3.2.
Only 340 of these bare-bones variants rolled off the assembly line between 1987-89. In 1988, the first year the car was available in the U.S., a mere 22 cars crossed the American shoreline, with only six more arriving in 1989.
Intended for customers with a competitive bent, the M637 code was not only a lengthy deletion list that pared nearly 150 lb from the coupe, it also included modifications to the 3.2-liter motor.
Essentially a stock powerplant, the CS cylinder heads received hollow intake valves. The DME was re-chipped, elevating the redline from 6200 to 6600 rpm. Rumors abound that the engines were built under the watchful eye of the racing department, but although the aluminum case carries a special "SP" stamp, this hearsay has never been confirmed.
Unfortunately, the engine's raw numbers for horsepower (217 bhp at 5900 rpm) and torque (195 lb-ft at 4800 rpm) were no different from that of the standard Carrera. Increased performance, a shade quicker from 0 to 60 mph and a top speed of 151 mph, up from 148 mph, was due to weight savings. The "Rest of the World" versions of both the Club Sport and stock Carrera 3.2, enjoyed 231 bhp and 209 lb-ft of torque.
The CS did receive stiffer engine mounts and a short-throw shifter for its G50 transmission.
On the exterior, the Club Sport was distinguishable by its large rear spoiler without the usual badging on the rear-most surface. The front airdam came without foglight openings. The only insignia heralding this would-be racer was a sensuous "CS Club Sport" decal gracing the left front fender. While factory literature stated the cars were offered in standard and special body colors, the majority was delivered in Grand Prix White.
All the cars were supposed to be coupes, again for weight savings. One particular CS was equipped with a factory-installed sunroof. In Great Britain, where 50-some Grand Prix White Carrera CSs were deposited, there is said to be a special-order Targa in Guards Red.
The car's precise handling was accomplished by the addition of Bilstein sport shock absorbers. Standard wheels and tires were 7x15- and 8x15-in. Fuchs wrapped in 195x65VR15 and 215x60VR15 rubber, front and rear, respectively.
To fulfill its moniker of a racy light-weight, the Club Sports-except for the U.K. cars-forewent the customary PVC undercoating, which annulled the 911's long-term corrosion warranty, cutting it from 10 years to 2. The CS went without air conditioning, a trunk or engine compartment light. Porsche's assembly workers left out most of the sound insulation, the rear window wiper and installed a simplified wiring harness.
Slip into the cockpit of a CS and the deletion code becomes most apparent. The car best fits a bachelor or childless couple as there are no rear seats. Instead, a carpeted shelf with open storage beneath takes their place. This allowed the car to be homologated as a two-seater.
The CS had no radio, although a few cars did receive stereos at their importing dealerships. The power-window lifts were replaced by manual crank mechanisms. Lightweight seats replaced the electric lounges. While various materials were available, most of the seats were covered in either a black pin-striped cloth or a special Porsche cloth that had "Porsche" sewed diagonally across the material.
The central-locking mechanism was scuttled. The automatic heater control was replaced by manual levers, which returned to their classic position next to the handbrake. The door panels were equipped with simplified doorlatch knobs, pull handles and door pockets without lids.