The Hard­ware

An­other Porsche GT3 RS, and we are smit­ten.

Top Gear (Philippines) - - Contents - WORDS BY An­drew Guer­rero

We love how the 911 has man­aged to sur­vive to this day with its orig­i­nal shape in­tact and its flat­six en­gine still rear-mounted. Our fa­vorites are the pure vari­ants that hark back to the rac­ing her­itage of this iconic model. When ru­mors that all vari­ants were go­ing to be tur­bocharged be­gan to cir­cu­late, purists and fans were un­der­stand­ably alarmed, but their fears were put to rest when a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated vari­ant joined the re­freshed 991 lineup.

In early 2017, the up­dated GT3 was in­tro­duced with a high-revving 4.0-liter boxer mill de­void of tur­bos; a year later, it was joined by the GT3 RS. In the Porsche world, ‘Rennsport’ or ‘rac­ing sport’ are de­rived from rac­ing cars but are street-le­gal. When you at­tach these two let­ters to a vari­ant that’s al­ready con­sid­ered a pure track mon­ster, you get an even more ex­treme ver­sion.

As is usu­ally the case with most Porsches, at first glance, you won’t be able to put your fin­ger on the vari­ant-spe­cific changes ap­plied to this car’s ex­te­rior. Com­pared with the GT3, its front end has a more an­gu­lar lower grille, which are flanked by side in­takes with in­te­grated turnsignal in­di­ca­tors. It also gets a wider front lip. The car­bon-fiber-re­in­forced hood re­ceives a pair of GT2 RS-style NACA ducts for cool­ing the front brakes. The sides still have vented car­bon-fiber front fend­ers and sport prom­i­nent side in­takes on the rear fend­ers. The rear end gets restyled cor­ner vents, new LED tail­lights, and an up­dated wing with brack­ets.

In­side, the most no­tice­able change is to the steer­ing wheel, which fea­tures darker restyled spokes. The cock­pit also gets the new Porsche Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Man­age­ment in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem with a flush-mounted screen, which is now stan­dard across the 991 range.

‘The gT3 Rs is ca­pa­ble of sprint­ing from nil to 100kph in 3.2sec’

Tucked away in the rear is a 4.0-liter nat­u­rally as­pi­rated flat-six. The block and heads are alu­minum; the con­nect­ing rods are forged ti­ta­nium. At 520hp, power is up by 20 horses com­pared with the reg­u­lar GT3 and the pre­vi­ous GT3 RS. Send­ing this power to the rear wheels is a seven-speed PDK trans­mis­sion with short gear ra­tios. Thanks to its ex­cel­lent power-to-weight ra­tio, the GT3 RS is ca­pa­ble of sprint­ing from nil to 100kph in 3.2sec, all the way to a top speed of 312kph.

The sus­pen­sion gets new spring rates, shock ab­sorbers, and other up­grades like ball joints on all sus­pen­sion arms and helper springs. Its track, cam­ber, and anti-roll bars can be ad­justed in­di­vid­u­ally to op­ti­mize the car’s track setup. The Porsche Torque Vec­tor­ing Plus, which has an elec­tron­i­cally reg­u­lated and fully vari­able rear dif­fer­en­tial lock, helps make the GT3 RS more ag­ile around cor­ners. Mean­while, rear-axle steer­ing im­proves sta­bil­ity at higher speeds by keep­ing the front and rear wheels at the same an­gle; at lower speeds, it “short­ens” the wheel­base by turn­ing the rear wheels in the op­po­site di­rec­tion as the front ones.

These new sys­tems show that Porsche is push­ing the lim­its of tech­nol­ogy and en­gi­neer­ing to cre­ate the most per­fect sports car that is equally at home on road and track, while stay­ing true to its 911 her­itage. Just to stress how much of a track car this is, it can be spec­i­fied with a Club­sport Pack­age—which adds a roll cage, a six-point har­ness, a fire ex­tin­guisher, and a bat­tery cut-off switch— at no extra cost. An op­tional Weis­sach Pack­age con­trib­utes ad­di­tional weight sav­ings through the use of car­bon-fiber bits and mag­ne­sium wheels.

The 2019-model 911 GT3 RS will be launched in Ger­many this month. And be­cause awe­some­ness doesn’t come cheap, the car car­ries a hefty price tag of €195,137 (P12.5 mil­lion). Ex­cit­ing vari­ants like this re­ally should re­main in Porsche’s lineup—it’s cars like these that carry the orig­i­nal Porsche DNA, which plug-in hy­brids prob­a­bly wouldn’t be able to du­pli­cate.

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