I find myself growing fonder of the 996 platform with every week, and the discovery of this 996 CSR Retro has convinced me that, despite its age, the 996 has all the performance I could ever want—provided it’s freshened up a bit. For a modest price, RPM Technik will put a bit of life in a tired 996 and make it something more akin to a GT3 of the era, but it is still compliant enough for a pockmarked backroad. Snarling, energetic, and responsive, this tuned Porsche emphasizes the 996’s already-impressive handling and refines some of the areas which might leave a hot-blooded enthusiast wanting more. Plus—it features some classic styling queues that soften the divisive factory appearance of the car.
The footwork is the main concern with this 911
The list of upgrades includes:
- a Wavetrac limited-slip differential;
- Eibach hollow anti-roll bars;
- a choice of either KW, Ohlins, or Bilstein suspension;
- a modified exhaust;
- and a few weight saving pieces like the eye-catching ducktail.
In fact, the list of possible additions is ten pages long, and that can make for a widely appealing machine, regardless of generational biases. With options such as polyurethane bushings and fixed Recaro buckets, it can be made into a circuit scalpel.
Though agile and obviously willing to rotate dramatically at speed, the car remains supple and doesn’t crash over potholes or undulations in the asphalt quite like a GT3. It still will tramline and follow cambers, but that’s part of the car’s appeal and only enriches the detailed experience. Instead of a GT3, think of the CSR Retro as more of a 996 GTS with the option of funky Fuchs and a psychedelic, Pascha checkerboard interior.
For half the price of a GT3, the CSR Retro melds the beauty, lightweight, and simplicity of old-world 911s with modern body control and enviable response. Plus, the package injects a little more life and humor into the 996 platform; making it a sexy, quirky, and unique creation that will turn heads everywhere it goes.