Another Porsche GT3 RS, and we are smitten.
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.