The "Fast” idea
Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupé and the Le Mans 24-hour race
The key topics of the “Fast” idea are aerodynamics and the vehicle’s controllability. Engine power alone is useless if it cannot be harnessed. From the very outset, Ferry Porsche therefore sought to make his cars both controllable and aerodynamic – and therefore faster.
Optimised aerodynamics are one of the decisive factors in making a car fast. The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupé from 1973, with its distinctive “duck tail” rear spoiler, was the fastest German-built road car with a top speed of 240 km/h (149.13 mpg imp).
In the motor racing world, the ultimate test of speed is Le Mans. This 24-hour race can only be won by those capable of building a robust car with a high top speed. On the long Hunaudières straight, top speed matters more than in virtually any other race. Thanks to its sheer aerodynamic expertise – exemplified by famous winning cars – Porsche has scooped a vast array of class wins and no fewer than 16 overall victories. It still holds the course record, set by the Porsche 917 KH in 1971, with 5,335 kilometres clocked up at an average speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph). The key technical exhibit illustrating the “Fast” idea is the Porsche 956, which is suspended spectacularly above the visitors’ heads. It demonstrates that a speed of 321.4 km/h (199.71 mph) is in theory sufficient to take off.