Porsche 911 GT2 RS Review

By: Michael Browning

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Ever fancied a spin in a twin-turbo Porsche? Here's a fang in Jim Richards' toy, from earlier this year

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Review
Porsche 911 GT2 RS


Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Amazingly, for a stripped-for-action twin-turbo supercar producing a prodigious 456kW and capable of lapping the famed Nurburgring Nordschleife in just 7:18sec, the GT2 RS is not the most sporting 911.

That official Porsche mantle is worn by its $218,900 cheaper and slightly tardier GT3 RS sibling, which despite 125kW less power from a 200cc larger, naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre flat-six, similar two-wheel drivetrain and 1370kg weight, is the more exciting, track-focused drive.

Instead the 911 GT2 RS, to use official Porsche-speak, is "the most powerful street-legal Porsche ever", rather than a race car for the road and here lies the important distinction.

The ultimate GT3, with its lurid graphics and spine-chilling soundtrack, is the homologation Trojan horse for Porsche's Carrera Cup racers.

The GT2 RS, on the other hand, is simply the most focused, two-wheel drive iteration of the awesome second-generation 997 series 911 Turbo.

With power up 66kW and weight down 70kg over the standard 911 GT2 - giving it an 88kW and 200kg advantage over the current all-paw 911 Turbo coupe - the GT2 RS is the ultimate 911 for those who want or need more, like eight-times Targa Tasmania winner Jim Richards.

Richards won Rallye Tasmania in February in his previous 911 GT2, but he expects his new GT2 RS to be 40kW stronger and 40kg lighter in tarmac rally trim and a better bet than his GT3 RS for a ninth Targa trophy.

"The way I drive Targa - on very conservative rally notes - punch between corners is more important than carrying speed through them," Richards said. And that pretty much sums up the GT2 RS's game plan.

Taking the Alcantara-clad sports steering wheel of Richards' new weapon for a first Australian drive is a strangely underwhelming experience.

How Porsche makes each successive sporting 911 faster, yet easier to drive remains one of the world's great secrets, alongside the recipes for Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

For a car with 620hp in the old lingo, the clutch, six-speed manual shift action (there's no PDK double-clutch option), steering and brakes are amazingly light to operate, but all perfectly weighted.

With 700Nm of torque on tap from 2250 to 5500rpm, you can drive the GT2 RS in an amazingly docile and responsible manner, well under its twin-turbo radar, which only starts to make its urgent presence felt northwards of 3000rpm.

With just 3kg for each kilowatt to move, the GT2 RS is a true time machine. I can think of no other vehicle that responds to thought and morphs so instantly from point to point. Yet unlike the GT3 RS, which trumpets its moves so loudly, the GT2 RS simply displaces air with an aggressive whoosh.

Raw performance figures don't really tell the story. A base AWD 911 Turbo can match - and even better, as we have found - the GT2 RS's quoted 0-100km/h time of 3.5sec, but after 9.8 seconds on the loud pedal, the new RS rockets past 200km/h - two seconds quicker than the Turbo - and will reach 300km/h from a standing start in an incredible 28.9 seconds. Porsche claims a top speed of 330km/h, against the Turbo's 312km/h. It's a boast I can believe.

Like the GT3 RS, the GT2 RS gets a more sporting version of PASM active suspension management, monster PCCB composite ceramic brakes as standard, dynamic engine mounts and PSM electronic stability management.

You also get a 'clubsport' lightweight interior, dominated by a full but not overly intrusive roll cage and superb sports seats with full harnesses.

Creature comforts are not totally absent and you still get air-conditioning and a basic sound system, which you can at least hear above the turbo's more muted roar.

Then there's the colours: just silver, white, red or black - all with gorgeous, naked black carbon for the bonnet and spoiler lip - with your choice of gold, silver or black 19-inch centre-lock wheels.

A Targa Tas trophy is optional, however, and you can't buy Jim Richards skill.






ENGINE: 3596cc flat 6, DOHC, 24v, twin-turbochargers

POWER: 456kW @ 6500rpm

TORQUE: 700Nm @ 2250-5000rpm

<p">WEIGHT: 1370kg

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

0-100km/h: 3.5sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED: 330km/h (claimed)

PRICE: $560,000


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