Taking the 911 to a whole new level
Kyle Fortune tests Porsche’s latest ’Ring-meister: the 211mph #Porsche-911-GT2-RS-991.2
There was a gap in the traffic and suddenly we were travelling at 180mph before a slow-moving truck prevented bigger numbers appearing. The car was a prototype 911 GT2 RS. When he’d pushed the accelerator to the floor, Andreas Preuninger, Porsche’s GT product line director, calmly said there’d be more to come from the production cars. Goodness.
Now, a few months later, I’m sitting in one. It is ‘the alpha 911’, as the GT man said during that prototype ride. You only need to look at it to see that. It’s a vented, ducted, bewinged, carbonfibre lightweight monster, that is in no way shy in exhibiting its intent.
The GT2 RS has always been a little bit unhinged, and this one is no exception. Rare, exclusive, collectable, but a car sought out by those who want not only low-number bragging rights but also the fastest, most outrageous 911 Porsche builds.
The formula remains the same, the GT2 RS taking elements of the GT3 RS and the Turbo S and adding new, exotic technology to the mix. It’s got a 3.8-litre bi-turbo flat-six with water-cooling on the charge air system, bespoke internals and a titanium exhaust. Power is up to 700bhp. Yes, a 700bhp 911. Driving the rear wheels only.
There’s PDK now, a seven-speed auto insetad of its predecessor’s six-speed manual. Being faster, paddleshifts are the RS way. Frankly, with that much horsepower, it’s probably sensible. There’s less weight, as you’d expect with the RS badge, but the GT2 RS’s 1475kg kerb-weight can be reduced by a further 29kg if you lighten your wallet by £21,000 for the Weissach package. You get magnesium wheels, a carbonfibre roof and bonnet with body-coloured stripe, a titanium rollcage and anti-roll bar and coupling rods in carbonfibre. We can’t imagine anyone won’t.
Inside, as standard, there are bright red, body-hugging Alcantara lightweight sports seats and a little less sound deadening. You hear the engine and find it lacks the rich, racer’s intensity of the GT3 RS and GT3 naturally aspirated 4.0-litre flat-sixes, this turbocharged 3.8 having instead a heavier, more bassy blare. Blip the accelerator and there’s less eagerness, as you’d expect, not that you’ll notice that too much on the road.
That it’s fast is no surprise, but it’s not the engine that defines the GT2 RS. Yes, there’s massive, linear shove, and the gearbox is so quick to translate your finger-pulls to swapped ratios that it cracks 62mph in 2.8sec. You can double that in 8.3sec and go on to a top speed of 211mph shortly after. Yet, for all that, it’s the chassis that shines through. In essence it runs on GT3 Cup settings for the Nürburgring. There are upside-down dampers, with every connection, bar a single one on the rear-wheel steering, being ball-jointed, yet that uncompromising set-up does not manifest in a chaotic, harsh ride. Far from it: the way the GT2 RS copes with the vagaries of the UK’s ravaged tarmac is revelatory, as it rides with tautness yet civility too. It’s never the chassis that demands you slow down, rather the engine’s exponentially increasing pace. The steering is rich in sensation, quick in response and near-perfect in its weighting.
This is a GT2 RS that bins the uncouth, difficult manner of its predecessors and responds with pin-sharp agility, mated to its massive power. It’s engaging and interesting at any speed, which begs the question why it needs quite so much of it. Sure, nobody will be disappointed with the GT2 RS; it moves the 911 game on massively. But however incredible it is, the idea of this chassis being mated to the more intoxicating naturally aspirated 4.0-litre of the GT3 is an even more bewitching proposition.
Above Despite some awesome performance figures – 2.8sec to 62mph and just 8.3sec to double that – it is the sublime chassis that defines the new GT2 RS.