Road-testing the latest Porsche 911 – minus aircon
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.