Road-test­ing the lat­est Porsche 911 – mi­nus air­con

Qantas - - Contents -

No air con­di­tion­ing, no ra­dio and no re­vers­ing cam­era. It’s hardly a great sales pitch for the most ex­pen­sive Porsche ever sold in Aus­tralia. But the 911 GT2 RS wasn’t cre­ated to pam­per. It’s all about go­ing fast – faster than any Porsche road car be­fore it.

The GT2 blends the best of the track-fo­cused GT3 with a tweaked en­gine from the po­tent Turbo S. There’s also been de­vel­op­ment in­put from for­mer Aus­tralian For­mula One ace Mark Web­ber, now an am­bas­sador for the Ger­man brand.

The re­sult is what Porsche con­sid­ers the ul­ti­mate com­bi­na­tion of big power and low weight. Hence, the ab­sence of fea­tures that even a $15,000 hatch­back gets. They can be added for no cost but it in­creases the weight – in the­ory, slow­ing the GT2, al­beit ever so slightly.

At the GT2’s heart is a more pow­er­ful ver­sion of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo en­gine from the Turbo S. Larger tur­bos team with big­ger in­ter­cool­ers to de­liver a 515kW rush. There’s even a wa­ter spray sys­tem that mon­i­tors the tem­per­a­ture and how the car is be­ing driven and can spray dis­tilled H2O di­rectly onto the in­ter­cool­ers, in turn boost­ing power by frac­tions.

Ul­ti­mately, that’s what the GT2 is about: tak­ing the best as­pects of the 20-plus 911 vari­ants and push­ing them to the ex­treme.

How­ever, a brief drive on the road quickly ex­poses com­pro­mises. Be­cause it drives through only the rear wheels – the Turbo’s four­wheel-drive sys­tem was deleted to save 50 kilo­grams – it doesn’t take much right foot to pro­voke wheel­spin.

The lack of sound-dead­en­ing (again, it’s about re­duc­ing weight) means there’s a per­sis­tent roar from the Miche­lin tyres, as well as a sand­pa­per-like scrap­ing from the car­bon ce­ramic brakes and a few clunks from the rear-mounted en­gine and seven-speed auto gear­box.

But it’s on the track that the might of the GT2 be­comes ap­par­ent. Even above 200km/ h, it pulls strongly en route to its elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited 340km/ h peak. Broad 21-inch rear tyres do their best to con­tain the 750Nm of torque, al­though the en­gine ul­ti­mately wins. The enor­mous rear wing and four-wheel steer­ing do a stel­lar job of keep­ing things straight. And fast.

The en­try price is steep at $645,400. And that’s be­fore you splash out an ex­tra $70,000 for the Weis­sach pack, which sheds an­other 27 kilo­grams with fea­tures such as forged al­loy wheels and a car­bon-fi­bre roof and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents.

Yet the GT2 brings loads more per­for­mance and ex­cite­ment than the $220,000-plus car it’s based on, mak­ing it one of the most en­gag­ing and en­tic­ing 911s ever.

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