We are often asked what is a CSR? To answer that question it is easier to describe the framework in which the CSR was created. RPM Technik has always adopted a collaborative approach to every customer facing scenario, whether it is a car purchase or a £300,000 project build. We always start the conversation with a question “what are you trying to achieve?” and this question is in the broadest sense. All the technical work or ‘engineering’ we undertake is with the explicit aim of adding ‘exhilaration’ to the customer’s ownership experience. To best achieve the right result we have to first ask the right question.
In the context of this framework of Engineering Exhilaration we defined the CSR as driver focused, bespoke engineered Porsche for everyone.
The concept of CSR was tabled during a routine engineering team meeting in 2010. At that point RPM Technik offered a traditional mix of Porsche specialist servicing, engine rebuilds and some bespoke project builds. The business had been established for nine years and seen growth through word-of-mouth recommendations, many of these based on the solid reputation for technical excellence and engineering ingenuity. The knowledge gained from undertaking these bespoke build projects was applied to identifying opportunities for CSR enhancement of factory standard models.
A catalyst in the concept of the CSR was the GT3. The team at RPM Technik was (and still are) massive fans of the GT models. There were, however, a few limitations inherent in this model if you wanted to use one primarily as a road car. The lack of a rear seat option being the most significant. If you wanted rear seats it was a Carrera or a Turbo and neither ticked the boxes that the GT3 could tick in driving dynamics, performance and overall driver enjoyment. The lack of bump and rebound adjustment also limited the road compliance and tailoring opportunities to customers’ own preference. It was clear there was an opportunity to take the ClubSport ethos of old and apply it to regular base model 911s, Boxsters and Caymans to create this. In 2011 Porsche launched the Gen2 GTS models that provided a new car option with a similar ethos, however, even this car still had a limited range of adjustment and had to appeal to a broad audience.
The Boxster CSR was the first car to wear the CSR moniker and it was an exercise to see how much sharper we could make the driving dynamics without chasing power upgrades. The reviews were great and the chassis setup was critically acclaimed. In one feature it was road tested against a 987 Spyder and a 981 Boxster S, and despite being a fraction of the price of its peers had a fantastic comparative review. It’s still out there today running rings around allegedly faster machines, with 175,000 miles on the odometer!
A premises move in 2011 to the current RPM Technik headquarters allowed expansion of the CSR department and the associated Special Projects department and Engine building facility. The period from 2012 to date has been a constant evolution of the CSR models. There is quite a long gestation time from identifying the next CSR model to release to the market as there is an extensive period of testing and evaluation prior to engineering development. Some of the products have required CAD modelling and 3D prototype printing before final testing and valuation can be undertaken. This final stage of CSR development is also a lengthy process as it feeds back into the model development and tweaks/changes made until we are happy with the final model’s performance and reliability. This iterative process has been key to the universal acclaim that all CSR models to date have achieved. The 981 Cayman CSR as an example achieved five out of five stars in a recent EVO magazine review.
In parallel to the Boxster CSR, a more significant concept was being developed in the background and this utilised a Gen1 997 Carrera S as a base car. This car created the template for most of the 911 CSRs that have proceeded it. It was a top to bottom, complete re-work on this factory model. The engine being blueprinted, lightened and balanced with custom exhaust system; the suspension upgraded and setup for an optimal blend of road and track; the drivetrain featuring a re-engineered clutch/flywheel and LSD combo; upgraded brakes and a full cosmetic and aerodynamic makeover. This was the first car to wear the signature CSR carbon fibre ducktail. The motoring press and drivers alike gave this critical acclaim and EVO magazine rated it 4.5 of 5 stars in their Driven section.
The first 996 CSR built. The completion of CSR004 was met with great applause. The performance and handling of the 996 was critically acclaimed and created the template for 996 CSR builds thereafter. The blend of old (analogue) and new (digital) in this 911 model creates the perfect storm for a rip-roaring CSR conversion.
Interesting chassis number, for a very classy build. The first 997 ‘Gen2’- built car. Following completion this CSR, as with many others, went into daily driving duties. Its owner has since covered more than 30,000 miles in it.
For a Retro look, this car was fitted with Gen1 rear lights at the customer’s request.
The first 996 CSR built in ‘Retro’ guise. The completion of CSR010 created a big impact on its release, with the outrageous Retro interior dividing opinion but ensuring no one sat on the fence. It also formed inspiration to many of the Retro editions that have followed it through the CSR production line.
Conceptual design work starts on what is to be the most track-oriented CSR so far. Bespoke technical elements and unique engineering solutions are set to make this 981 Cayman CSR a genuine GT4 alternative.
Tim Harvey undertakes chassis testing of our first ever Cayman CSR at the Millbrook proving ground.
The ‘Evo’ has an emotive name, which we thought long and hard before using. The CSR022 has been built without regard to cost, showcasing the extremes to which a 996 can reach.
A new CSR Showroom is being constructed in 2018 and the model development is continuing at a significant pace. There are a number of models being re-evaluated and facelifted as some of the engineering solutions and upgrades we incorporated five years ago are now being updated. 2019 will see the facelifted 997 Gen1 and Gen2 releases.