Porsche’s road racer

New GT3 RS could also be the last naturally aspirated 911

– SN

IF YOU’RE a fan of hardcore Porsches – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – you must be in seventh heaven right now. In the past 18 months there have been a veritable onslaught of lighter, stiffer, more powerful and focused rear-engined sports cars emerging from Stuttgart, starting with the 911 R and followed in quick succession by a new GT3, GT3 Touring (see p48), Carrera T, GT2 RS and now this – the 991.2 GT3 RS.

On the surface it appears little has changed from the previous GT3 RS, but dig deeper and this model has a number of subtle improvements that will make it faster, sharper and, hopefully, better to drive than ever. First on the list is a new engine: displacement remains 3996cc, but the new unit is based on that in the 911 GT3 Cup car.

Whereas the previous RS 4.0-litre sacrificed some top-end power to improve its torque spread, the new unit boosts low- and mid-range urge while allowing access to the full 9000rpm, power peaking at 383kW, a 15kW increase over the previous model. If Porsche follows tradition, that figure will be highly conservative, but it’s enough to lop 0.1sec from the 0-100km/h claim (now 3.2sec) and lift the top speed by 2km/h to 312km/h, though this figure is lower than the regular GT3 due to the extra downforce of the RS.

Unlike the standard GT3, a seven-speed dual-clutch is the only available transmission.

In standard guise the chassis carries over virtually unchanged, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing in this instance. There’s the wider Turbo bodyshell, required to clear the massive 21 x 12.5-inch wheels wearing 325/30 tyres, which also allows the use of the side intakes to better feed that air-hungry engine. The front axle wears 20 x 9.5-inch rims and 265/35 tyres, which once again are Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s.

Agility-enhancing rear-wheel steering and ball-joint suspension links are again standard and 380mm rotors clamped by six-piston calipers front and four pistons rear take care of the stopping. Even larger carbon-ceramic rotors (410mm front; 390mm rear) are optional. For track junkies, the Clubsport Package, consisting of a roll cage, fire extinguisher and six-point harnesses, can be fitted at no extra cost.

What is extra is the Weissach Package, which shaves off 30kg using ideas developed for the GT2 RS, including magnesium wheels, carbon fibre for the roof, anti-roll bars, steering wheel trim and gearshift paddles and a titanium roll cage. Pricing for the package had not been announced as we went to press, but it adds $69,990 to the cost of a GT2 RS, or $62,990 if you forgo the roll cage – despite the cost, expect most cars to be Weissach-equipped.

If you have $416,500 (plus on-roads and options) burning a hole in your pocket, Porsche Australia is taking orders now with first deliveries expected in Q4 2018. Rest assured we’ll be lobbying hard for it to appear at Performance Car of the Year.

– SN


ACCORDING to MOTOR’s European Editor, Georg Kacher, the 991.2 GT3 RS could very well be the last naturally aspirated 911, with the next 992-generation GT3 to adopt turbocharging for the first time.

According to Kacher, the 992 GT3, due in 2020, will produce around 410kW and use an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Such an output would result in a huge uplift in performance, with the 992’s new modular platform expected to offset the weight of the turbos.

We hope it isn’t so, but the well-connected Kacher has a record of being on the money.