How do you enhance on a automobile that’s already punching properly and really above its weight? The 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a machine that, in our testing, completely vanquished two of my favourite track-oriented sportscars, the Mustang GT350R and Dodge Viper ACR. There and elsewhere, the GT3 RS simply stood toe-to-toe with practically any track-focused automobile on the highway, together with these costing many occasions extra.
So the place do you go from there? Properly, in the event you’re Porsche, you begin with the standard: extra energy. That is by no means a foul first step, however a laundry-list of minor tweaks, additions and refinements create a brand new GT3 RS that has all of the reassuring character and terrifying velocity of the earlier era but one way or the other affords much more of each.
The $187,500 GT3 RS is the purest, most track-focused taste of all of the two-dozen variations of the present Porsche 911, and for the 2019 mannequin 12 months, it is even higher than ever.
Greater than a point-release
Should you’re on the lookout for the complete nomenclature, this automobile is the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, constructed on the 991.2 platform. For the bottom Carrera, the transfer from 991 to 991.2 in 2015 noticed the unconventional introduction of turbocharging throughout practically your entire vary.
Nonetheless, the 991.2 taste of the GT3 RS stays stubbornly freed from pressured induction, its four.Zero-liter flat-six now serving up 520 horsepower because it howls its approach as much as a 9,000rpm redline. That is 20 extra indignant ponies than final time, sufficient to get the automobile from Zero to 62 miles per hour in three seconds flat, with a high velocity of 194 mph.
Sure, there are faster vehicles on the market, and quicker ones too, however its 6:56.four lap time across the epic Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany, lengthy the defacto benchmark for such machines, makes the GT3 RS is the third-quickest manufacturing automobile ever examined at that monitor, behind solely its sibling GT2 and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Sure, which means the GT3 RS is faster even Porsche’s $1 million 918 hypercar.
The GT3 RS weighs three,153 kilos, about 22 kilos much less the present 911 GT3, due to some additional light-weighting all through. These keen to shell out one other $18,000 for the Weissach package deal will see larger financial savings, owing to much more intensive use of carbon fiber, changing issues like rollbar endlinks and even the shift paddles with the matte-black stuff.
Refined it ain’t.
For the final word in weight financial savings, although, one other $13,000 nabs you a set of magnesium wheels, which alone shave off practically 25 kilos from the automobile — and look impossibly cool with their deep, darkish, unpainted luster.
However to attain a time like 6:56.four on the Nürburgring, much more was wanted. The automobile sports activities limitless aerodynamic tweaks so refined they’re straightforward to overlook, like extra pronounced gills on the entrance fenders and a scalloped entrance splitter that permits extra air to channel beneath the brand new floor-mounted diffusers.
For quickest identification of 2016 vs. 2019, search for the pair of inset NACA ducts on the hood, which feed cool air on to the entrance brakes’ discs.
And eventually, there are the tires, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s now optionally out there in a super-sticky “R N-spec” that you’re going to positively need on your personal Nürburgring makes an attempt.
All that, plus tons of of different tweaks, mix to make the automobile a lot quicker than earlier than round that the majority epic of race tracks. Nonetheless, making a automobile quicker can typically makes it tougher to drive and, even worse, much less enjoyable. Fortunately, that is not an issue right here.
For optimum grip, try to maintain all 4 tires on the bottom.
On the monitor
Sure, I used to be fortunate to check the GT3 RS across the Nürburgring, however no it wasn’t the complete, public monitor. My time was restricted to the Grand Prix circuit, which is decidedly much less epic than the complete Inexperienced Hell however, frankly a greater and extra managed surroundings for pushing a brand new, unfamiliar automobile to its limits.
And with ‘Ring guru Matthias Hoffsummer displaying me the fast approach round, inside a couple of laps I instantly felt at house within the new RS, my thoughts filling with fond reminiscences of the various, many thrilling laps I would spent in its 2016 predecessor.
Within the tight, downhill hairpin that ends the entrance straight I went in too scorching and pushed the entrance a couple of occasions, understeer that was rectified by merely unwinding the steering for a second. Later, I acquired on the fuel too early approaching to the again straight and the rear tires spun up on the pollen-coated asphalt.
The rear kicked out, however with solely the lightest of countersteers, with out even lifting off the throttle, away we went rocketing down the again straight and flat by the 120-mph kink.
The rear kicked out, however with solely the lightest of countersteers…away we went rocketing down the again straight and flat by the 120-mph kink.
I will spare additional descriptions of my on-track over-exuberances, however I wish to paint the image of a automobile that one way or the other manages to be quick and but enjoyable. The GT3 RS doesn’t require that you simply dance on a razor’s edge. It affords sufficient nuance and really feel to let you realize if you’re over the restrict and sufficient poise to present you time to deliver it again.
It’s fairly merely an epic pleasure to drive on the monitor. However, in fact, it is also road-legal.
Although maybe not essentially the most comfy automobile on the highway, the GT3 RS is completely livable.
Outdoors the ‘Ring
Whereas the Nordschleife will get all the excitement, I will allow you to in on a bit of secret: the slim, twisting roads across the monitor are a number of the finest on this planet, and so they come full with velocity limits simply wanting the quickest you are legally allowed to do on most US highways.
They’re sinuous and difficult and, as I steered the brand new 911 GT3 RS by them, I could not assist however feeling like I used to be astride a cruise missile. The verdant hills, blooming fields and curious cattle flashed by my peripheral imaginative and prescient as if some larger energy had been leaning on the fast-forward button and I used to be merely a passenger.
I used to be, nonetheless, in full management, the RS holding sufficient Gs within the corners to rearrange my face in a wide range of new and sudden methods. I solely dared exceed the out there grip of the tires within the tightest of hairpins, the tail sliding simply sufficient to pivot the automobile across the apex earlier than the rear-end squatted and away we went to the following bend, engine howling all of the whereas.
You’ll need to maintain it howling, too, as a result of whereas the motor is pleased to spin as much as its 9,000 rpm, its temper would not actually begin to enhance till about four,500 rpm. Fortunately, the rifle-quick, seven-speed PDK means the proper cog is rarely greater than a faucet away.
And when it is time to dial it again to cruise by a bit of city or to sit down in site visitors, with the contact of some buttons the exhaust quiets and the suspension relaxes considerably, making a automobile that, whereas not precisely comfy, is eminently livable. A fairly passable Bose sound system is paired to an infotainment package deal that is missing for nothing aside from Android Auto. The entrance trunk will simply swallow a weekend’s price of baggage, and there is much more cargo house behind the seats, making certain this is not only a nice automobile for a weekend on the monitor, it is an awesome automobile for any weekend.
That is, in any case, nonetheless a 911.
Cliche, however that is the angle most different vehicles will see.
If I got here off as a bit enamored at occasions in the course of the writing of this it is as a result of this was merely an epic day of driving. Whereas I have been fortunate to have greater than my fair proportion of these, few days have finished a lot to typify the character of a automobile. The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is among the many most enjoyable monitor toys in the marketplace. That it is in a position to be that and but remains to be such a pleasure in the actual world is greater than an engineering feat, it is magic.
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