Porsche GT3 RS is a screaming athlete for road and track
Lightweight, fast and intense are words that describe the GT3 RS experience, writes Phuti Mpyane
Porsche 911 variants such as the Turbo and Carreras are fast and luxurious chariots that come in several shapes in all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive guise. But they are cultured pussycats when compared with the rear-wheel drive Frankenstein that is the GT3 RS coupe with its head-turning big wing and dramatic cooling louvres.
The interior is tastefully crafted to reflect a dual theme of sophistication and motorsports. There’s a digital menu and driver’s information binnacle, a touchscreen display, Bluetooth, a thumping Bose sound system, two USB ports and a wireless phone charger mixed with an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and lightweight door panels with pull straps.
Behind the pair of bucket seats is a titanium roll cage that gives the cabin protection and ornamental beauty.
Turn the key and it erupts with loud pops and bangs. Inside the unfiltered cockpit, induction noises and the coarse voice of a highly-strung rear-mounted “boxer” motor vibrate deep in your chest, a GT3 RS charm.
The nose is wickedly low but pressing a button lifts the front-end to help it scale protruding surfaces to avoid scraping the front. Don’t be surprised if it lifts up a wheel in the air while negotiating oversized speed humps, such is the unyielding stiffness of its motorsport suspension.
Porsche has skilfully softened the car to make it also bearable to drive daily or on long trips. The seven-speed PDK automatic transmission can be adjusted in two ways — Normal or Sport.
The former snatches gears earlier with regular veracity, while the latter quickens the shift-speeds and up-changes arrive much later. You can also use sequential changes via steering wheel paddle-shifters or the gear lever.
You can use the Porsche GT3 RS as a stylish daily commute if you want but ultimately it’s a motorsport device that’s itching for chequered flags.
There’s no Drive Mode selector. Effectively, the GT3 RS is always “on”. The driver moderates the violence using the throttle. You can also tone down the bimodal exhaust system where relative calm engulfs the cabin to allow for decently audible telephone conversations.
Cruise control adds to the civility while the normal mode of its adjustable dampers avoids it bobbing about on roads like a paddock animal.
Predictably, the 383kW and 470Nm naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine that revs to an insane 9,000rpm is a highlight.
The full “Weissach” crash diet that’s fitted to the test unit shaves 29kg off the standard car through a black and lightweight carbon-fibre roof and bonnet with Naca ducts and light magnesium wheels. This gives it petrifying looks and trigger throttle responses, unbelievable grip and mega pace.
In our Vbox test at Gerotek the car rocketed to the 100km/h mark in 3.6 seconds and completed the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds. Keep the throttle pinned down and it’ll reach its 312km/h top speed with absurd ease.
Gerotek’s dynamic handling track revealed that the GT3 RS is a masterpiece of precision driving. It shrinks inside the edges of the narrow track and the savage acceleration will see you arrive at corners sooner than the mind can compute. Thankfully the carbon ceramic brakes have monumental bite when the temperature is right and when needed most.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
WE LIKE: Looks, 9,000rpm, handling, pace
WE DISLIKE: Nothing at all
VERDICT: A fiercely addictive investment toy
It has astonishing grip and agility and razor sharp steering with quick-turn ratios. These and other motorsport steroids it shares with the GT2 RS are big influences in how it hangs on in fast or slow corners, as are grippy soft-compound Michelin Cup tyres.
Admittedly we scratched the surface of its capabilities. In the hands of a seasoned pro driver who can unlock the 144kg of downforce generated by the large spoiler the GT3 RS is a trophy collector.
This unit forms a part of the last batch of the Type 991.2 swansong that is still on sale in SA. Developmental work on the Type 992 GT3 RS is at an advanced stage and it can show face at any moment. In the meantime the current GT3 RS offers giddying performance thrills that only a few can match for R4.2m.
Type: Six-cylinder petrol
Type: Seven-speed PDK auto
Type: Rear wheel drive
Top speed: 312km/h
0-100km/h: 3.2 sec (claimed); 3.6 sec (as tested)
Fuel Consumption: 12.8l/100km (claimed), 20.6l/100km (as tested)
Weissach package, front-axle lift system, Chrono Package, Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB), 20/21-inch GT3 RS magnesium alloy wheels, touch-operated infotainment system, Bluetooth, 2x USB, wireless phone charger, stability control, 2x passenger airbags, traction control, navigation, remote central locking, dual-zone air conditioning, roll-over bar, fire extinguisher, preparation for a battery disconnect switch.
Warranty: Two years/100,000km
Maintenance plan distance: Two years/100,000km
Lease*: R89,332 a month
* at 10% interest over 60 months no deposit
Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD 449kW/600Nm — R5,095,000
McLaren 600LT coupe 441kW/620Nm — R5,650,000
Mercedes-AMG GTR, 430kW/700Nm — R3,542,680
Aston Martin Vantage Auto, 375kW/685Nm- R2,999,000
Porsche 911 Turbo, 427kW/750Nm — R3,339,000
Motor News star rating
Design * * * * *
Performance * * * * *
Economy * *
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