2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

(Weis­sach)

Motor Trend (USA) - - 2018 Best Driver’s Car - Words Frank Markus

Jonny Lieber­man: Se­nior Fea­tures Edi­tor The torque vec­tor­ing is so ef­fec­tive, it feels like trac­tion con­trol. It ain’t. That’s what stick­ing 553 lb-ft of torque to pave­ment feels like.”

The Mclaren’s La­guna lap record lasted less than an hour be­fore this Porsche shaved a whop­ping 1.48 sec­onds off of it with a drama-free, no-sweat text­book lap. That this heav­ier (es­pe­cially in back), less pow­er­ful, less torquey car av­er­aged 1.5 mph faster here (and 1.7 mph faster across our tiny fig­ure eight, where it also set a record) sug­gests that Weis­sach has de­feated Wok­ing in the chas­sis-devel­op­ment world cup.

Randy Pobst was ut­terly be­side him­self. “Some­body pinch me,” he said. “That was like noth­ing I’ve driven here ever be­fore. My def­i­ni­tion of a greathandling car is that it prac­ti­cally drives it­self. It’s not a bloody wrestling match. It’s a dance.” He waxed en­thu­si­as­tic about how it con­tin­ues to re­spond to steer­ing in­puts mid­corner on power, about the PDK sport mode’s per­fect shift strat­egy, about the ex­cep­tional brakes, and about how easy it was to drive. “You could drive a 1:28 around here, not just me. It’s that hooked up.” Our other semi-pro, Jethro Bov­ing­don, con­curred: “The GT2 RS re­wards con­fi­dence and tech­nique but rarely pun­ishes mis­takes.”

But lap records on smooth tracks aren’t ev­ery­thing. Five ed­i­tors begged to dif­fer on 198; that’s why this racer’s pet earned the sil­ver. Mark Rechtin found the front end “light and a lit­tle skit­tery” un­der hard ac­cel­er­a­tion and lack­ing the con­fi­dence of last year’s 911 Turbo S. Scott Evans felt “like the car is driv­ing it­self and you’re just hang­ing on. The Lam­borgh­ini begs you to use ev­ery horse­power. This one warns against it.” It was the only car that threat­ened to loop it­self off the moun­tain—even with all nan­nies switched on. Ed Loh was sur­prised at how much he didn’t like it: “The chas­sis wasn’t par­tic­u­larly con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing over rough pave­ment.” Our prob­lem? We rook­ies fool­ishly set the sus­pen­sion to Sport. Too stiff for the bumps. Ap­par­ently 911s can’t defy physics when their tires are air­borne.

“This is the ul­ti­mate 911. For now,” An­gus Macken­zie de­clared. And for some driv­ers and/or on some roads, it’s best. But we found a bet­ter all-arounder.

TRI-TONE Best Driver’s Wheel award goes to the 911’s three-color helm with the brightyel­low stripe to in­di­cate when the wheel is point­ing straight ahead. But you’d bet­ter wear your driv­ing gloves to pre­serve that red suede.

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