The Porsche 911 GT2 RS arrives: do 690bhp, rear-wheel drive and a razor-sharp driver focus make the most extreme 991-generation 911 the best in breed?
We can forget about part-electric hypercars for a bit because first the Lamborghini Huracán Performante, and now this Porsche 911 GT2 RS, appear to be quicker. At least they are on that section of one-way public road in Germany, and that is what some people seem to care about. But the Huracán is also the fastest car we’ve put around our own test track, in glamorous Nuneaton, by quite a sizeable margin. This’ll all change, again, of course, one day. But, for the meantime, lose the batteries and motors; internal combustion and light weight is what you need if you just want to go fast. How fast is the new 911 GT2 RS, exactly? Officially, 6min 47.3sec around the Nürburgring, where we are not testing it; and nor are we at Mira, Nuneaton. Unofficially, however, it’s “f***ing ridiculous”, according to racing driver Richard Attwood, who turns up, unrelated to what we’re doing, at Porsche’s Silverstone experience centre, our base for this test. If it wasn’t a chance encounter, you suspect Attwood might have been briefed or ushered aside by a Porsche PR person; he hasn’t tried a GT2 RS, but thinks it’s a pretty stupid idea to send 690bhp through only two driven wheels, through Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber, and put it on the road to be driven by anybody at all. And he knows a thing or two about ridiculous cars, having won Le Mans in 1970 in a Porsche 917, which probably counts as one.The counter-argument, though, is that the GT2 RS is supposed to be a bit ridiculous. There are other cars in the 911 line-up that are not. There’s the Turbo, which puts this kind of power through all four wheels and offers the type of driving experience that AMG goes for – relaxed, shovesome, relatively low-effort. Then there are GT models – the GT3 and upcoming GT3 RS – that are emulated by nobody particularly but are closest in ethos to Ferrari’s Speciale or Scuderia models: razor sharp, unfailingly rewarding, track-focused and all kinds of wonderful.The GT2 RS doesn’t just seem to want elements of both of these; it apparently wants to eclipse both. There is more power and yet more focus. Not so much best of both worlds but destroyer of both worlds. An automotive Death Star.Power first, then. GT2 RS means 690bhp (a round metric 700hp at a round 7000rpm) from a 3.8-litre turbocharged flat-six, and it will drive exclusively through a seven-speed PDK twin-clutch gearbox to only the rear wheels. That’s a fairly whopping 118bhp increase over even the Turbo S, via a pair of new, larger turbochargers, a titanium exhaust and a charge-air water cooler, which has a little refillable tank in the boot (at the front) for its water sprays. Porsche says the PDK gearbox has been customised, too, which presumably has something to do with the arrival of 553lb ft of torque. You’d think 182bhp per litre would be one of the laggiest, boostiest things around, but peak torque is made from 2250rpm and stays to 4000rpm, which doesn’t sound that unsensible. We’ll see.On to the chassis. Blimey. Quite a lot of work has gone on here. There are helper springs on the front (where, as ever, there are MacPherson struts) that allows lighter main springs to be used on the front axle. A similar arrangement was made for the rear on the last GT3 RS – and is again here on the rear, where there is a multi-link set-up.And there’s more: ride height, camber, toe angle and roll bars can all be tweaked a bit for driving on a race track. Every single chassis joint is a rose joint, which is usually superb for precision and feedback but terrible for refinement. Again, we’ll see.Alloys of a rather splendid design occupy every last millimetre of the wheel arches. The wheels are shod with tyres that are also quite large; 265/30 ZR20 would seem like quite reasonable rear wheels for a sports car with lots of performance. Here, those are the fronts; the rears are 325/30 ZR21s. Carbon ceramic brake discs are standard. The body hasn’t been left alone, either. There is a magnesium roof and a carbonfibre bonnet, wings, bits of the rear end, parts inside, and any body addenda. Specify the optional Weissach package – and you will – and another 30kg will be shaved off the kerbweight. The roof becomes carbonfibre, too; as do both front and rear anti-roll bars, as well as coupling rods – apparently saving 5.3kg. There are also magnesium wheels that, between them, save 11.5kg over the regular versions. The Weissach kit costs £21,042 on top of the GT2 RS’s £207,506 list price. But given there’ll only be 500 made, I think you’ll get more than your £21,042 back come resale time if you fit it. …read more