Up there with ‘corners like it’s on rails’, ‘race car for the road’ must be one of the worst automotive cliches. Dedicated competition cars are simply much too loud, too focused, and too uncompromising to make any sense away from a track; similarly, a road car must have airbags and suitable seating and carpet - it’ll never feel like a proper racer, really.
The GT3 RS isn’t a race car for the road, either. But it must be closer to any such comparable car in history. Partly that’s due to the sheer speed - believed to be as fast as an actual Cup car if fitted with the same tyres - but also the wealth of technology fitted as standard. You’ll probably know it all well by now: the DRS, the differential adjustment, compression and rebound damping on the fly, variable traction control. It’d be remarkable in any car, let alone a 911. Even compared to the old GT3 RS, just 5hp less powerful, this cranks the road racer dial into uncharted territory.
It's impossible not to be a bit giddy when presented with OPR 911. There’s just so much to take in, gawp at, prod and poke. Or else marvel at how on earth any of this has made production. The rear wing is a truly ludicrous feat of engineering, something that looks like it belongs in a design museum as much as on a car; the slats and vents are outrageous, borderline unbelievable for something that has to deal with speed bumps and get an MOT in 2026; the enormous wheels are tucked in the vented arches perfectly. You’ll never get away quickly in an RS, because there's something else to admire and appreciate every time. Handy if it’s going to be part of a collection.
Same for inside - you could never go anywhere and still have fun playing racing driver with the dials, displays and information on offer. It’s like no other road car I can recall: the wheel festooned with adjustability that is, initially, a little bewildering. Especially if you’re a berk and commence your fiddling and fettling on the road - there’s just so much to pay attention to. In fact, a lot of the tweaking is only possible in Track mode, which makes sense, which changes the dash layout and obviously firms things up a fair amount. Inevitably then you end up twirling away like you’re Timo Bernhard, attempting to detect a difference between this setting for the diff on coasting and that one, caught up in a daydream that has almost nothing to do with roads busy with Festival of Speed traffic. It’s undoubtedly entertaining, but one to explore properly on another day with a bit more time and fewer distractions.
Ultimately, though, an owner won’t spend much time in Track on the road anyway. Predictably, and not unreasonably, it’s too aggressive for everyday use. From the evidence of this quick go, Sport could be ignored as well; not because it’s unduly harsh, but rather that Normal tends to do a better job of making the RS the best it can be on the road. Perhaps the most important takeaway from this drive is that the 992 is a more accommodating road car than the 718 RS; still rowdy and riotous, for sure, albeit not so utterly frenzied.
The noise can still be sensational, but when you want it to be - not with every prod of the throttle. And while firm, there’s some additional compliance in the 911 that’s absent in the Cayman, perhaps thanks to a longer wheelbase and newer platform. It’s damped exquisitely well, in fact, that modern RS miracle of seemingly no ride height, huge wheels and unflinching focus while still retaining some comfort. You could do some distance in this, nestled in that gorgeous carbon seat and content that this is just enough race car for the road.
Moreover, because the truly OTT elements aren’t here, you can concentrate on what the RS does epically well. The front end is like nothing before in a rear-engined Porsche, this car feels for all the world like a mid-engined, road-going RSR in the way it approaches a bend than an ordinary 911. There’s a trade-off for this - the 275-section Cup 2s up front and aggressive camber are easily deflected - but a firm hand at all times seems a fair compromise for instantaneous responses and almighty purchase. The steering, of course, is pretty much faultless. Whatever the corner, whether on a track or a roundabout apex clip, the tools are in your hands to make it inch-perfect. And very, very fast.
The brakes are surely some of the best to reach a road car, making every speed limit decrease into a pit lane speed entry, the desire to shed as much speed as possible as quickly as possible almost irresistible because of the feel and performance. And when the NSL sign reappears, 9,000rpm never feels more than a split second away. The stats show very little between GT3 and RS - 510hp at 8,400rpm against 525hp at 8,500rpm - and perhaps this is a classic case of being swept up in the moment, but the way this car hurled itself to the limiter from 6,000rpm or so felt even more wildly energetic than before. And even if it is little different, that still makes it as revvy and as furious as a GT3 - absolutely wonderful, then. The PDK is superb, with a really satisfying click to the paddles and an equally gratifying feel to the suede-topped, sequential lever - it’s seldom that you’ll resort to the auto function. The transmission is just another component of a properly absorbing, enthralling road drive.
Perhaps the best way to sum up the GT3 RS is to say that it feels like no other 992 whatsoever - the gap from GT3 to RS feels wider and more extreme here than ever before. It’s patently so much more capable, more exhilarating and more demanding than the car on which it’s based that it almost demands a badge beyond RS. This is one of those cars that, even after a short time with, you want to tell your car friends about every detail and recall every single second. Then start thinking about when the next drive might be coming. It will always be somewhat compromised on (or perhaps that should be 'handicapped by') the public highway, but never to the degree that its out-there appearance suggests. It’d be tremendous fun to find out which roads actually suit it best when time allows. But rest assured that the drive to the track day in a GT3 RS will be more enjoyable than merely tolerable, which is great. And then, when you get there, the fun will really start…
SPECIFICATION | PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS (992)
Engine: 3,996cc, flat-six
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 525@8,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 343@6,300rpm
0-62mph: 3.2 seconds
Top speed: 184mph
Weight: 1,450kg (DIN)
MPG: 21.1 (WLTP)
CO2: 305g/km (WLTP)
Price: £192,600 (as standard; price as tested £235,007, comprising ParkAssist with reversing camera for £1,007, seat belts in Shark Blue for £222, LED main lights in black including Porsche Dynamic Light System for £498, Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes for £7,473, Front axle lift for £2,546, Accent package in Indigo Blue for £615, Weissach Package for £29,600 (!), Wheels painted in Indigo Blue for £446.)
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