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Sunday, 31 May 2015

Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991) - Too Capable?


Of course, there is no manual gearbox. If that comes as a shock, then I'm afraid you were being a bit naïve. Not only is the normal GT3 paddles-only, but this car is as close to a 911 GT3 Cup racing car that a road car can really be, and the racing car has a paddleshift gearbox. Finally, if you're so interested in choosing purity over performance, just buy a Cayman GT4 for half the price (if you can find one for sale). That's what it is for. That is why we must love it.

Meanwhile, the GT3 RS is serious business. Despite the bigger Turbo body it's 10kg lighter than the normal GT3, thanks to added carbon fibre and magnesium (the roof is 1 millimetre thick!) and fewer interior comforts... which you can put back in again for a price. The aero package also includes vents over the front wheels to reduce pressure in the wheel arches and increase front downforce. The Clubsport Package with rollcage and bucket seats are fitted as standard, BECAUSE SORT-OF RACECAR. Despite producing almost identical figures to the ultimate previous-gen GT3 RS, the engine is actually the direct-injection unit from the current GT3, but tweaked, tuned, and enlarged. At 4.0 litres, it's 200cc bigger, enough to give it 500PS (493bhp) and 340lb/ft, up by 28 horses and 15 torques. The only thing that isn't an improvement is the 8800rpm redline, down from 9000, potentially for reliability. It still sounds like a racer, though.

The rear-wheel-steering and active torque-vectoring LSD remain, while chassis mods include wider tracks front and rear, and wider tyres. In fact, the rear tyres are direct carry-overs from the 918 Spyder hyper-hybrid. So the performance ought to be mind-bending, and video reviews seem to show that it is. 0-60mph in 3.3 seconds, 124mph in 10.9 seconds and 192mph aren't all there is to it, either, nor is the 7:20 'Ring time. As it turns out, it's a surprisingly civilised road car as well, with better steering feel, massive grip and plenty of suspension compliance even though it's a hardcore track-slayer.

The thing about it being such a supple and usable road car is that, while it's arguably more worth the £130,000 base price as a result of its depth of talent, and it's awesome that we can now make a car of this type so compliant on the road without compromising its track-slaying ability... does it take away from the point of it? This is almost just "what the GT3 could've been in the first place." Only it's more expensive because it has more magnesium and carbon. Should an RS be bothered with on-road compliance? Is that kind of balance not what the normal GT3 is for? Does it really feel £30k more special when you drive it?

I don't have the answer. Maybe I should just be thankful that you can order it in Dairy Milk purple.


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