991.1 GT3 RS v 991.2 GT3

Gen2 GT3 v Gen1 RS: which is the best Porsche 991 GT for £150,000?

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Lee si­b­ley

The Edi­tor an­swers a com­mon ques­tion: which is the bet­ter Porsche GT for £150k?

The ever-chang­ing na­ture of the Porsche mar­ket­place of­ten throws up some in­ter­est­ing co­nun­drums for the 911 buyer. As val­ues of sep­a­rate mod­els fluc­tu­ate, they of­ten com­bine to bring about new sce­nar­ios for those in the mar­ket to con­sider: ‘What’s around for my £100,000?’ for ex­am­ple. Right now there are many dif­fer­ent choices of 911s avail­able at many dif­fer­ent price points. As a case in point, for £40,000 you could choose any­thing from a G-se­ries clas­sic, to a 996 Turbo, to a 997.2 Car­rera S right now. The mar­ket’s con­stant evo­lu­tion means dif­fer­ent cars move in and out of the equa­tion, what­ever your bud­get. It’s what keeps things in­ter­est­ing, in many ways.

As an­other case in point, only five years ago we ran a head-to-head road test in this very mag­a­zine ask­ing which was the bet­ter Turbo for your £60,000: 993 or 997.1? To­day the 993 is worth at least dou­ble that, while a 997.1 can be had for £50,000.

Mar­ket cir­cum­stance has dic­tated the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS have been trad­ing hands for roughly the same money for a while now, so the ques­tion we’ve rou­tinely found levied in our di­rec­tion in the past year is thus: ‘Which is the bet­ter buy for my £150,000; a Gen2 991 GT3 or Gen1 991 GT3 RS?’

Re­ally, there are mul­ti­ple an­swers to the ques­tion, and it all comes down to what you’ll do with the car. We’ve there­fore as­sessed both the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS over three prac­ti­cal cat­e­gories, which cov­ers all pos­si­ble own­er­ship in­ten­tions.

In­vest­ment po­ten­tial

While it’s not re­ally some­thing we like to en­ter­tain here at To­tal 911, be­cause we be­lieve you should buy a Porsche purely for the thrill of driv­ing it, it can­not be de­nied the na­ture of these cars will at­tract those look­ing to in­vest. The 991.1 GT3 RS in par­tic­u­lar saw thou­sands of sup­posed en­thu­si­asts from around the globe clam­ber­ing to get a build slot at launch, be­liev­ing an RS to be a sure­fire in­vest­ment off the back of the golden years of the mar­ket boom. As a re­sult you’ll find no end of high-spec, Paint To Sam­ple 991.1 GT3 RSS with de­liv­ery miles lit­ter­ing the clas­si­fieds, all of them tum­bling towards, or below, list price. They’ve come down a hell of a long way – in the early days these same cars were be­ing traded for a quar­ter of a mil­lion pounds.

Porsche it­self was only too happy to make hay while the sun was shin­ing in the pe­riod, bow­ing to this un­prece­dented de­mand and pump­ing out a mon­u­men­tal 5,000 units of the 991.1 GT3 RS world­wide. That’s in sharp con­trast to any other gen­er­a­tion of 911 Rennsport ever made. There are just 1,500 997.2 GT3 RSS, for ex­am­ple, or 1,100 997.1 GT3 RSS, or just 672 996 GT3 RSS. In the con­text of the RS strato­sphere the 991.1 rep­re­sents a rel­a­tively weak in­vest­ment – its num­bers are not favourable, it doesn’t have the caché of be­ing the last nat­u­rally as­pi­rated Rennsport, and all ex­am­ples are PDK only, of course.

De­spite this, in com­par­i­son to a GT3, a GT3 RS with sim­i­lar miles will very nearly al­ways hold prece­dent, the al­lure of those fa­bled last two let­ters af­fixed to its deck­lid clear. Man­ual 991.2 GT3S may yet upset the ap­ple cart – and Tour­ings in par­tic­u­lar, given their rar­ity – but there’s no rea­son a PDK 991.2 GT3 will ever usurp a 991.1 GT3 RS. Don’t be fooled into think­ing ei­ther of these cars rep­re­sents a good in­vest­ment at present though; that both are trad­ing for £150,000 shows they are gen­er­ally very close to list price, a far cry away from the golden days of two years ago when even Pdk-only 991.1 GT3S were ex­chang­ing hands for £100,000 above list.

Track day use

There’s no doubt about it, the track is home for the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS. As a con­se­quence of

their birth­place in Flacht their pri­mary ob­jec­tive is chas­ing lap times, and so the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS are both ex­cep­tional tools to use in your own quest for ex­cel­lence at the cir­cuit.

Here, there­fore, it’s all about per­for­mance, and the stats will tell you the pre­vi­ous-gen­er­a­tion GT3 RS might just have the edge over the newer GT3. Though they both have the same max­i­mum power and torque out­puts, it is the Rennsport which is faster across the board in terms of ac­cel­er­a­tion, though it does suf­fer slightly on out­right top speed com­pared to the GT3. How­ever, keep in mind that max­i­mum speeds will be af­fected by ad­just­ments in ei­ther cars’ aero­dy­nam­ics, so it will de­pend on your set-up. That’s all straight­line stuff, though: if you look at their re­spec­tive Nür­bur­gring lap times, the Green Hell ever a sta­ple for a 911’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties, it is the GT3 which con­quers its old ri­val by some eight sec­onds, a tre­men­dous achieve­ment that shouldn’t be over­looked in a hurry.

Away from the stats, you’ll find the GT3 ever so slightly softer than the RS, the lat­ter more stable through fast sec­tions on track. And though both

PDK and man­ual gear­boxes are bril­liant in the 991.2 GT3, it is the GT3 RS’S PDK gear­box which has the edge in terms of its clin­i­cal out­put, be­ing faster and more re­spon­sive, and the steer­ing is slightly bet­ter

too. The mar­gins are in­cred­i­bly fine here, so don’t ex­pect them to be night and day, but they are mar­gins nev­er­the­less.

The GT3’S en­gine, how­ever, is an ab­so­lute work of art. Pre­vi­ously de­scribed by To­tal 911 as the best ever flat six to find its way into a Ne­unelfer with li­cence plates, it’s torquier at lower revs, with lit­tle let-off in power from its peak at 8,250rpm all the way to the red­line at 9,000. The RS, mean­while, tails off rather sharply after its peak power at the same point, though its red­line is slightly shorter at 8,800rpm, its ex­haust note not quite as ex­otic as the GT3 at nine grand. Run­ning costs are rel­a­tively equal depend­ing on your spec – some have ce­ramic brakes, for ex­am­ple – so if you want more emo­tion from the car on track the GT3 will pose a tan­ta­lis­ing propo­si­tion, but if cir­cuit pre­ci­sion is your end goal it is the GT3 RS which has the greater po­ten­tial to un­lock it for you – pro­vided your driv­ing is up to the task.

On the road

If the vast ma­jor­ity of your plea­sur­able driv­ing is done on the pub­lic road the 991.2 GT3 is the car for you. Of course, the na­ture of both mod­els’ track ori­en­ta­tions means they’re slightly com­pro­mised for this en­vi­ron­ment from the get-go, so here we’ve looked at which is the most ac­com­mo­dat­ing. This is where the GT3 wins, as it’s go­ing to be more palat­able in terms of com­fort and en­gage­ment – par­tic­u­larly if, in re­gards to the lat­ter, you opt for a man­ual vari­ant. Its ride will still feel overly firm and a lit­tle crashy in places, es­pe­cially at low speeds over less-than-per­fect sur­faces, and it will prove tax­ing to con­tin­u­ously climb in and out of if you have bucket seats. De­spite that it’s still not as com­pro­mised as the ride of the 991.1 GT3 RS, which lacks the rather more so­phis­ti­cated sus­pen­sion of its suc­ces­sor in the 991.2 GT3 RS which rep­re­sents a huge im­prove­ment in qual­ity on the road.

The GT3 RS’S re­duced sound dead­en­ing means its cabin is of­ten over­awed by en­gine noise too, even at cruis­ing speeds on the mo­tor­way. You won’t quite have to shout to be heard by your pas­sen­ger, but don’t ex­pect the same level of deco­rum you might en­joy from a re­laxed con­ver­sa­tion in a Car­rera. The GT3’S more in­su­lar cabin means this isn’t so much of a prob­lem, though rolling tyre noise can be just as dron­ing as the Rennsport. For an early morn­ing Sun­day drive, though, you’ll want the GT3; its slightly more sup­ple sus­pen­sion is bet­ter suited to the rigours of the pub­lic road, and chas­ing that 9,000rpm red­line – and un­leash­ing the crescendo of noise which comes with it – will be far more in­vig­o­rat­ing than non­cha­lantly hit­ting ev­ery apex in the Pdk-only GT3 RS. That’s the is­sue with the Rennsport here: it’s so good as a per­for­mance car that in fact it is too good for this en­vi­ron­ment to get any­where near the most from it. Own­ing a 991.1 GT3 RS and never tak­ing it to a track would be like hav­ing a win­ning lot­tery ticket in your back pocket yet never cash­ing it in. A man­ual GT3 has fur­ther, ob­vi­ous ad­van­tages in terms of en­gage­ment over the RS, too.

Con­clu­sion

As you can see, the out­come of your de­ci­sion here will re­ally come down to your life­style and driv­ing in­ten­tions. In truth it’s no dif­fer­ent to any de­ci­sion in­volv­ing mul­ti­ple choices within a cer­tain price bracket. Think care­fully about what you want from your 911 ex­pe­ri­ence and how you want to use the car, and that will of­ten dic­tate your sen­si­ble out­come. You should pre­pare for the fact the right 911 for you might not be the model you think you want at the out­set.

thanks

Thanks to John West­brook for sup­ply­ing the 991.1 GT3 RS in our pic­tures

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Pho­tog­ra­phy by rich Pearce

BELOW Rennsport has a more com­pre­hen­sive aero pack­age than GT3

above The RS chases down the GT3. Both have an iden­ti­cal 500hp achieved at a heady 8,250rpm

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