The 911 for dream­ers

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - LUXURY CARS - Paul Gover

AN­OTHER sell­out Porsche has just been re­vealed in Europe.

This time it’s the 911 that every­one dreams about – the road-rocket GT3 RS. Only 20 cars will come to Aus­tralia and the or­der book is al­ready full, al­though Porsche Cars Aus­tralia is also get­ting ready to roll out the reg­u­lar GT3 and the Turbo at the top end of the 911 line-up.

The GT3 RS is go­ing to have a pric­etag in the $335,000 range but that has not de­terred driv­ers who want the ul­ti­mate in hard-edged 911 motoring.

‘‘We’re hold­ing 20 or­ders at the mo­ment. With a bit of luck it might be bet­ter than that, if we can get some ex­tra sup­plies,’’ says Michael Win­kler, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Porsche Cars Aus­tralia.

‘‘We’ve got an in­ter­est­ing year com­ing up in 2010. We’ve got the Turbo, the GT3 and the GT3 RS. They are very spe­cial cars but in some cases we will be talk­ing to the same peo­ple.’’

First pic­tures of the lat­est RS – a model that tracks back to 1973 – show a car that is more ex­treme than ever be­fore, with a power up­grade, big­ger wheels and tauter gear­ing over both the out­go­ing RS and the cook­ing­model GT3.

‘‘It’s a lot more hard­core. It is a car very much for the ex­treme en­thu­si­ast. We’re talk­ing about the guy who wants to go to the track and, around the world, col­lec­tors who want some­thing that is built in such low num­bers.’’

The key to the RS deal is a 3.8-litre flat six with a romp­ing 335kW. That’s up by 11 from the reg­u­lar GT3 and a full 26kW more than the pre­vi­ous­gen­er­a­tion RS. The en­gine also has lighter parts in­side to make it re­spond quicker and rev higher.

There are shorter gears in the sixspeed man­ual and a dif­fer­ent dif­fer­en­tial ra­tio, which hurts top speed but boosts off-the-line ac­cel­er­a­tion and punch out of cor­ners.

Porsche says the RS is 10kg lighter than the stan­dard GT3 and it has a dis­tinc­tive gi­ant car­bon-fi­bre rear wing and flared guards to cover wider front and rear tracks. It sits lower to the road and there are ex­tra aero parts in the nose and a ti­ta­nium sports ex­haust.

Me­chan­i­cal changes to the RS run deep, from ac­tive driv­e­train mounts – to re­sist twist­ing forces in cor­ners – to a light­weight lithium-ion bat­tery and 19-inch al­loy wheels with 245x35 front tyres and 325x30 rear rub­ber on 12-inch wide rims.

Porsche’s ac­tive sus­pen­sion man- age­ment is also stan­dard but with sports set­tings for ex­treme driv­ing. It’s the first time the sys­tem has been ex­pressly tai­lored to the RS.

Win­kler says the RS will come in the first quar­ter of next year, soon af­ter the reg­u­lar GT3 and Turbo.

‘‘The other two cars will land be­fore Christ­mas but we’ll wait to release them in Jan­uary,’’ he says.

The sales tar­get for the GT3 is about 80 cars and he is not mak­ing pre­dic­tions on the Turbo.

‘‘I’m just try­ing to be very pru­dent be­cause the mar­ket has been quite dif­fi­cult. It is very im­por­tant not to over­stock the mar­ket.’’

MORE HARD­CORE: There’s no mis­tak­ing the 911 GT3 RS with its dis­tinc­tive colour scheme, squat­ter stance and aero­dy­namic aids (left), and its race­car-like in­te­rior (above).

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