This manufacturing, road authorized 911, has extra energy than the dominating, Le Mans successful Group C racing prototype, the 956. And it’s rear-wheel drive. The quickest, definitely, however does all that energy make this 911 GT2 RS the very best 911 ever constructed, or one step too far? We try to seek out out from behind the wheel.
The final automobile I crashed was a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, about seven years in the past. I’ve no excuses however you’re going to get them anyway. It was the earlier automobile with its perky 611bhp engine and on some military base in Germany a photographer was asking me to float it via a nook. Once more and many times. Due to the automobile’s nature and its considerably spiky energy supply it’s truthful to say I used to be happy to listen to him say, ‘this would be the final one.’ However I do know photographers and I understand how simply one turns into ten, so I made a decision to ship a drift of such drama he couldn’t presumably ask for an additional. You may guess the remainder. The automobile wasn’t badly broken, certainly it resumed its duties later that day, however because the on-board footage attests I used to be lower than happy with the automobile and much more so with myself.
So, what would one with practically 700hp be like? And when all was stated and carried out, would this 911 GT2 RS really provide a greater driving expertise than a GT3 RS? If it did, it could be the primary 911 GT2 RS of any type to take action.
This can be a automobile of so many superlatives, it’s onerous to see previous them at first. It’s fascinating to assume too that the output of this absolutely homologated road authorized automobile now exceeds that of the Group C 956 with which Porsche began its period of unparalleled sports activities automobile dominance by successful Le Mans in 1982. It’ll hit 62mph from relaxation in 2.8secs, which is fairly absurd for any manufacturing automobile, however one with simply two pushed wheels? I anticipate it’s unprecedented. The previous 911 GT2 RS wanted 3.5secs to do the identical. It’ll additionally do 211mph.
However the determine which makes you wish to go and lie down in a darkish room, particularly in the event you’re about to drive one as quick as you possibly can, is round that fearsome previous Nürburgring race monitor it’s 31 seconds per lap faster than the automobile it replaces. Half a minute in approximate different phrases. It feels like witchcraft.
In truth, it’s simply one other usually complete Porsche tuning job. The three.8-litre flat six engine is identical as that discovered within the Turbo S however turned as much as 11. Or 12. With larger turbos, a weight saving titanium exhaust, remapping and, crucially, a water-cooled intercooler, energy now tops out at 691bhp, which means a barely plausible 182bhp per litre of capability. It’s a lot Porsche actually did think about retaining four-wheel drive earlier than the extra deranged members of the motorsport division held sway. So, like each different GT2, the facility goes rearward alone. On its means, it passes via a seven pace PDK gearbox; Porsche has made loads of noise about RS equalling PDK which is why there is no such thing as a handbook choice, however it’s additionally true that the 911 GT2 RS has over half as a lot torque once more because the handbook GT3 and I’d be stunned if Porsche had a model of its three pedal transmission that would deal with the job.
Large boy type
Just like the Turbo S, the 911 GT2 RS carries the widest of the three 911 physique shapes and has its personal distinctive suspension tune that includes stiffer springs, softer anti-roll bars and bespoke settings for the traction and stability programs as nicely it would with all that additional urge to include.
Visually it’s a continuation of the GT3 RS theme, however different largely to supply extra air to areas that want much more cooling due to the automobile’s additional energy after which to reject that air as soon as it has develop into scorching and ineffective. Even bigger entrance inlets mix with Naca ducts on the bonnet to feed air into the radiators and oil coolers whereas the carbon vents on the rear of the entrance arches are much more pronounced. Likewise, the intakes within the rear arches are modified to account for the truth that, in contrast to the GT3 RS, they’ve intercoolers to feed whereas the aero pack is topped off by one other huge rear wing, balanced up entrance by an much more pronounced splitter.
An identical stage of element has been levelled at conserving the GT2 RS as gentle as attainable. It carries over the carbon fibre bonnet and bootlid discovered within the GT3 RS in addition to its magnesium roof, however these wanting the lightest attainable automobile can go for a Weissach pack which affords magnesium wheels so gentle they could float away on a passing breeze, a carbon roof, carbon anti-roll bars (sure, actually), and even a carbon steering wheel cowl and gearshift paddles. Collectively they save a big 40kg and drop the load of the automobile to simply 1440kg, making it solely a fraction heavier than the GT3 RS, not unhealthy when you think about there’s one other 200bhp below your proper foot. Oh, and don’t overlook, it has a titanium roll cage too.
Even in order you stroll as much as it, open a door and descend into its depths, the expertise is similar to that provided by a GT3 RS, red-rimmed suede steering wheel apart. At the least, that’s, till you flip the important thing.
It sounds indignant. Positively furious in reality, presumably since you’ve had the temerity to lift it from its slumbers. What’s extra it was a noise I’d heard earlier than, once I was a child watching the 935s destroying the sphere on the Silverstone Six Hours in 1978. The noise scared me then, and it nonetheless does.
However I’ve a couple of hours wherein to ease myself into the expertise earlier than I get my very own probability round Silverstone. And the primary impressions are none of these you may anticipate. As an alternative they concern how straightforward, tractable and comfy this automobile is to drive, even on crumbling British again roads. These huge entrance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 entrance tyres hunt a couple of bit over a few of our extra pronounced cambers, however not dramatically so. And the trip high quality is sensational given what sort of automobile we’re speaking about right here. Even with the non-compulsory Weissach pack with its carbon bars, it feels agency however compliant, onerous however not harsh. Actually, and also you’ll simply should take my phrase for it, you might use this as an on a regular basis automobile, and it’s my expensive hope that at the least somebody does.
And for all its grumblings, the engine appears tractable sufficient, unreasonably so given simply how a lot energy is being wrung from its depths. It could be fascinating to strive it with a handbook transmission, as a result of I anticipate the PDK works onerous to assist guarantee clean progress at low revs, however with simply two pedals it’ll chunter about at wise speeds for so long as you want.
And wise is a crucial phrase with regards to driving this automobile in public. When the site visitors clears and the street opens up, you may assume an orgy of thundering exhausts, blurred arms and mashed pedals may ensue; however you’d be fully improper. The automobile is simply too quick for that. Driving a GT2 RS on the street, virtually any street I’d hazard, is in reality an train in saintly restraint. Straights successfully stop to exist, your progress from one finish to the opposite seemingly achieved by the somewhat cool trick of leaving out the bit within the center. However even that is little greater than a mild jog for the GT2 RS. Anybody who genuinely tries to dash it on something lower than a race monitor deserves all they’ve coming to them.
Highway person pleasant…
That doesn’t imply the automobile can’t be loved in public. You may savour the tack-sharp steering, the way in which the damping permits virtually zero vertical physique motion and, in fact, extra grip than you’d conceivably want whereas sharing the street with different customers.
However anybody who’s solely pushed the GT2 RS on the street can not presumably present a full account of the automobile’s capabilities. To find the remainder of the story, we’ve Silverstone and the glory of the complete Grand Prix structure on which to seek out extra. And for as soon as, I’ve time to ease myself into the expertise.
So, at first we simply go at medium tempo, which suggests accelerating fairly onerous however altering up early, sparing the brakes and being conservative with apex speeds. As we speak is a standard monitor day and as is regular on this very costly circuit, it’s stuffed with extraordinarily fast machines. All of which get in the way in which. The circuit turns into an impediment course as you choose your means round Caterhams, Ferraris and different lengthy slung slices of automotive exotica. And that is with out attempting.
It solely takes a few laps for Michelin’s most uncompromising street tyre to get absolutely as much as temperature and I’m not but feeling as apprehensive about what’s to return. The automobile feels fairly manageable in a means the previous one was not. Is it simply biding its time, ready for its second to throw me into the surroundings as had its predecessor all these years in the past? There was just one solution to discover out.
Totally lit, this automobile is a brand new stage for Porsche. It’s not simply the speed of acceleration that makes you involuntarily clench your buttocks, however its relentlessness. Anybody may get this a lot energy from this engine by concentrating all of it right into a tiny energy band, however the GT2 RS is absolutely on tune at 2500rpm and it gained’t pause for breath for an additional 5000rpm after that. If you already know Silverstone, be suggested it’ll blast previous 170mph on the Hangar Straight with contemptuous ease and have you ever closing on 160mph earlier than braking for Copse.
However that’s not essentially the most outstanding factor this automobile can do. What takes your mind, places it in a bag and boils it, is the automobile’s means to deal with the forces positioned upon it by the engine. Even by 911 requirements, each one in every of which has all the time been blessed with the present of traction, its means to get out of a nook defies perception for a snug street automobile on road authorized tyres. No, you possibly can’t simply flatten the throttle on the apex of a gradual nook and anticipate the automobile to tolerate such cack-handed abuse, however in the event you strategy the topic with a level of understanding and a modicum of ability the quantity of torque it’ll take is solely staggering. And it’ll not snap or chew, at the least within the dry.
It’s hardly any much less spectacular on the way in which into the nook and in fast curves you possibly can benefit from the genuinely uncommon expertise of feeling correct downforce in a street automobile because it not solely supplies extra grip, however higher turn-in stability too.
It’s not excellent. It could be onerous to think about a street automobile with higher brakes, however you continue to have mentally to take account of the truth that whilst you strategy any given nook far sooner than in a GT3 RS, your means to gradual for it’s comparable. And I discovered the automobile’s pure gentle understeer may rapidly flip to oversteer in the direction of the tip of the excessive pace Becketts advanced. Had that occurred within the final GT2 RS I’d have wished to go and conceal in a darkish room, on this one I observed it however was so unbothered by it I felt no have to keep away from it subsequent time round.
In some ways, prising virtually 700bhp from a 3.8-litre engine is the least of the GT2 RS’s achievements. It’s the way it’s delivered and what the automobile then does with it that make this one of many world’s biggest supercars from Porsche or anybody else. It’s in fact pulverisingly highly effective, however so can also it’s dealt with with higher ease than I’d have ever believed given my prior expertise of the breed. It’s not a doddle to drive nor even shut, however I can let you know I drove it more durable, additional and sooner than I ever did the earlier GT2 RS and whereas it captivated and enthralled me, it didn’t scare me as soon as.
So now I perceive the place that Nürburgring lap time got here from – it’s not a lot the facility as what it permits you to do with it. And for the sheer pleasure on provide, if given Silverstone, one other ten laps and the GT2 or GT3 RS to decide on between, I’d take the GT2 and for me that’s a primary. It may not sound nearly as good nor rev so excessive however when all is claimed and carried out, that is essentially the most thrilling Porsche I’ve pushed, 918 Spyder included. And from a GT2 RS, you possibly can’t ask for greater than that.
Function taken from Final Supercar journal. Phrases by: Andrew Frankel. Pictures by: Porsche.