In an era of ballooning waistlines for ordinary cars, Porsche's commitment to lightweight stands out. In 1991, a new Volkswagen Jetta GLI 16v tipped the scales at a bit under 2,500 lbs. Today, a new Jetta GLI weighs about 700 lbs more. By contrast, a 1991 Porsche 964 Carrera 2 with a manual transmission is just over 100 lbs lighter than its modern counterpart. Indeed, a new GT3 and an RS America are separated by under 70 lbs. By modern standards, either is a flyweight. Neither car comes close to cracking the top 5 lightest Porsche models of all time.
To be fair to the 1.5 ton GT3, most of the Porsches in the Top 5 are dedicated racecars. Only the Carrera 2.7RS Sport is a traditional road car, and the 356 Sport Leicht is about as stripped out as early 50s GT racers come. The 2,150 lb (975kg) Carrera 2.7 RS Sport is not only the heaviest of the bunch, it's the heaviest by a substantial margin. Though the Carrera RS is one of the lightest 911s, it weighs as much as the two lightest cars on the list combined.
The list does contain some glaring omissions, and isn't a good reflection of the actual Top 5 lightest Porsche models. Most production 356s weigh in at under 975kg, save for the C convertibles; the heaviest of the lot. The mighty 917K tips the scales at 800kg, easily ousting the Carrera 2.7 RS Sport from the Top 5. Indeed, at 850kg an IMSA GTP spec 962 also undercuts the apparently-porky 2.7 RS.
While the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Sport is a remarkable machine, it's pretty clear that anything over a ton isn't going to cut it in Porsche circles. Though Colin Chapman is credited with coining the phrase "simplify and add lightness," Porsche managed to implement that philosophy, and build durable, reliable cars.
Can you guess the lightest car on the list before watching the video? Let us know your guess in the comments!