Thursday 26th January 2012


Chris Harris video: the GT3 RS 4.0

Chris has been with us three weeks now and hasn't mentioned his 4.0 ... that's about to change!


Some of you will already know how, why and when I bought this car. I seem to remember quite a long discussion about it in General Gassing a while back.

Shh, the 911's had a bit of a hibernation
Shh, the 911's had a bit of a hibernation
For those of you who don't know, here's a precis. The car cost £135,276. I borrowed £100,000 from Porsche Financial Services at 8.52% (don't say it) and now pay £1,280.71 every month to own the car of my dreams. This attitude does not sit well with some people, but that doesn't really worry me. I just wanted to own this car.

The last finance payment has delivered precisely zero miles, because since late December the car has been living in the spotless surroundings of Porsche Centre Bristol.

Most of you will have watched and read about this car several times already, so I didn't see any point in delivering another road test. Instead, I thought I'd just document the last drive I had in 2011 before plonking the car into hibernation.

4.0 must be special if it's getting this treatment
4.0 must be special if it's getting this treatment
Isn't that a bit fair-weather? Probably, but a few days before this was shot I was pootling down the M4 when a liquorice-coloured-cloud turned all three lanes into a river. The 4.0 is fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres which have just 4mm of tread - mine were a little worn. The ensuing wobble persuaded me that I either had to buy a set of regular street tyres for the winter months or leave it alone for a while. Tyres are expensive: decision made.

The crazy thing about these RS models is just how usable they are (on normal tyres). The fixed bucket is fine for long distances, the upgraded hi-fi makes itself heard above the road roar, the sat-nav is the same as any other 911's and I've even got a Bluetooth phone in mine. It's like a 7-Series with crap stickers and a special engine. For the avoidance of doubt, that last sentence was not to be taken seriously.

This engine is just amazing though. A nick under 500hp from a normally aspirated four-litre flat-six makes it about as involving and characterful as any road car motor I can think of.

Tea tray spoiler lives up to its name
Tea tray spoiler lives up to its name
The uniballed lower-rear-arms make it more positive than a 3.8 RS on the road, but this car was never designed to work on rubbish B-roads: it just follows cambers and feels too wide. Far better to take it somewhere more open or, failing, that a long circuit in Northern Germany. I haven't lapped a 4.0 there yet, but suspect it's a bit handy.

Could you improve it? Anything can be improved. I'd like to stick some Exe-tc dampers and springs on it and remove the PASM (which has failed a few times on account of the front axle lift being left on, but is now fixed) but can't afford to risk losing the warranty.
How long will I keep the car? As long as I can afford to. Which probably isn't that much longer, so I'm going to get it back out next week and enjoy it while I can.

Anyway, here's the vid.

Author: Chris Harris

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