Porsche test driver and 1980s rally legend Walter Röhrl recently took a 904/6 Carrera GTS for a spin, demonstrating his masterful car control in front of Porsche’s cameras.
Featuring a steel ladder-type chassis with a glass-reinforced plastic (fiber glass) body bonded directly to it and Type 356 and 718 hardware scattered throughout, Porsche practically lit a short fuse and shot the 1964 904 Carrera GTS out of a cannon into production in 1963 — sans wind tunnel testing — after a short development period which started in late 1962.
Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche is credited with the simple and flowing lines of the 904, and, despite a lack of wind-tunnel testing during its development, the car achieved a low 0.33 drag coefficient. This combined with a low weight of roughly 1,500 pounds and Porsche’s four-cam flat four, which produced up to 190 hp depending on the year, allowed the homologated street version of the race car to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, as reported by Car and Driver. The same magazine recorded a top speed of 160 mph with its “Le Mans”-geared test car.
The 904 Rohrl is driving, however, has a race version of Porsche’s Type 901 engine, the flat six designed for the 911. Early versions of this engine were rated at 190 horsepower, and the 904/6 was successful as a race car during the 1965 season, the only season in which the factory competed with the coupe in endurance races.
The potent combination allowed Rohrl to indulge in some vast four-wheel drifts and powerslides — viewable in HD glory. Fill the screen and raise the volume for this one.