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One-track mind: it’s Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS
Now for even more good news. This is not merely a GT3 with a bigger wing. This is really something special: bespoke new 4.0-litre flat six engine, magnesium roof, carbon fibre bonnet and boot lid, body based on the 911 Turbo, wider tracks, more aero, lighter weight, staggering Nurburgring lap time. And, contrary to rumours, it’s very much not turbocharged.
That’s speculation that makes project boss - and therefore minor hero - Andreas Preuninger chuckle when TG.com asks him about it. “I was laughing so hard when there were spy shots of cars and they were ‘oh it’s a turbo, it’s not very well camouflaged’. No one had the idea that we used this for new ducts for engine intake air.
“I love turbocharged engines but for linearity, response, the emotional side, and for myself as a human being, I prefer a naturally aspirated engine, always. And I think most customers are like that too.
“And we’re lucky that the board are total car nuts. They understand the importance and the value of this car so if all of our competition goes turbocharged, that leaves us with a unique selling point.”
This is Porsche showing that while it might be able to do tech with the 918 Spyder, it can also do pure motorsport cars. So let’s ignore the fact the GT3 RS does 22.2mpg on the combined cycle and instead focus on some exciting numbers.
493bhp is a good place to start, as is 354lb ft. Now on paper these are not significant rises over the standard 911 GT3 (469bhp and 325lb ft), but the increase in displacement of this direct injection motor from 3.8 litres shows Porsche’s commitment to engineering, its desire to endow the RS with more torque and - we’d guess - better driveability at low engine speeds. Also, it’s now the same displacement as the old 997-gen GT3 RS 4.0. Cool.
Yes, it drives through a PDK gearbox. No manual. No massive surprise if we’re honest. And besides if you want a manual you now have the Cayman GT4 to keep you happy.
Over to Preuninger: “My aim is that we have to give the customer the opportunity to choose. I have such a ball driving the Cayman GT4 - guess why, because it’s a manual - but it’s not as fast. We have to offer different models for different purposes. The ultimate track car will always have a PDK in it because it is simply faster. The GT3 has tough competition, and we like to be the fastest. Motorsport is our heritage, and that is our belief.”
A couple of new functions have been included in the double-clutch gearbox’s software - pull both paddles and you get neutral, and there’s a pit lane speed limiter, too. More importantly, it helps endow the GT3 RS with a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds, with 0-124mph taking just 10.9 seconds.
Total weight saving over the standard 991-gen GT3 is only 10kg, but Porsche is at pains to point out that it’s the reduction in the centre of gravity that’s most important, hence the focus on reducing weight higher up on the car with the adoption of a magnesium roof and carbon panels for the nose and engine cover.
The indentation in the bonnet is a nod to historic 911s, while the slats over the front arches are claimed to increase front axle downforce, balancing out the additional aero created at the back by that outrageous new wing.
“We can produce serious downforce at the front end which allows us to have a rear wing much higher than it has been before”, Preuninger tells us.
“Anyone can put a big spoiler on a car, but normally you’d then get an imbalanced car. We find as much as possible at the front to be able to balance it out. Overall, downforce is more than double here over the previous generation GT3 RS 4.0. That’s 350kg at 186mph compared to 170kg.”
The suspension has been retuned, and the wider 911 Turbo body means fatter track widths front and rear, which, teamed with wider tyres, helps increase grip and roll stability. The four-wheel steer system has also been honed to deal with more power and traction.
Throw this all together and the end result is that the new 911 GT3 RS has the ability to get itself around the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in 7 minutes 20 seconds. Yep, that’s 9 seconds faster than the mighty Carrera GT managed, 12 seconds faster than the standard GT3.
Preuninger reckons it’s the first 911 that can be compared to true supercars, though given how much we like GT3 RSs of old, we’re inclined to challenge him on that. But what does he now consider competition?
“The Corvette Z06 is a great car and package. I’m a muscle car fan, always was. But I think a real competitor is the Ferrari Speciale. I don’t consider the Nissan GT-R too much any more, it has a lot of weight! The Mercedes AMG GT is a great car but it won’t get close to the GT3 RS on track. But they are working on a Black Series I’m sure. Be my guest, I say. I’m curious…”
The GT3 RS costs £131,296, but good luck trying to get one. TG.com spoke to one sports car collector currently in a lottery with 20 others at his local dealer for the two RSs it will receive.
That price - around £31,000 up on a standard GT3 - includes carbon fibre sports seats based on those in the 918 Spyder and the Club Sport pack with bolted-in roll cage and six-point harness.
Also standard are bi-xenon headlights, 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, PASM, PTV, PSM and, we’re sure, other initials. Sport Chrono is optional, but probably worth having as it includes a GPS lap timer and the ability to link to your smartphone. You know, so’s you can compare data with your GT3 RS driving mates. Nothing competitive in that…
But really, just how much do you want a GT3 RS? More than a Carrera GT? More than a 918 Spyder? More than, well, anything?