19 August 2009

Wing commander

The new GT3 RS is out, and it’s the most hardcore Porsche 911 ever. But doesn’t it remind you of a certain French hot hatch?

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

See more pictures of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS

This is the most hardcore Porsche 911 ever, the new GT3 RS.

You can tell it's hardcore because it has a massive carbon fibre rear wing with aluminium supports. And Bright Red Wheels. And loads of decals.

And, importantly, even more power than the 911 GT3. 15bhp more, to be precise, from the same 3.8-litre flat-six, which takes the RS's power output to a nice unround 444bhp. That's a specific output of 118bhp per litre from a naturally aspirated engine.

Impressive stuff.

Porsche hasn't yet released performance figures for the GT3 RS, but we'd expect it to nail the 0-62mph sprint in under four seconds. Top speed will actually be slightly lower than the GT3's 194mph because of the RS's shorted-ratio six-speed manual gearbox.

So, apart from more power, what do you get here that you don’t get in your bog-spec GT3?

A wider track, for one – under those fatter arches sit massive semi-slick tyres: 9 inches wide at the front, a foot wide at the back.

It’s lighter, too: though Porsche hasn’t announced a kerbweight, it has revealed that the RS will be available with a lithium-ion battery, reducing weight by 10kg.

One thing that hasn’t been lightened is the price tag: when the GT3 RS goes on the sale in the UK early next year, it’ll cost just over £100,000, a full £18,000 more than the stock GT3. That’s a big wedge of cash, but we can’t imagine there will be a shortage of punters willing to splash out for the most extreme 911 ever.

Then again, if you can’t stretch to the 100 grand asking price, you could always achieve a similar effect with one of these. Been taking styling hints from the French, Porsche?

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