Porsche 911 GT2 RS: Driven

You know how Porsche 911s work. Turbo ones (Turbos, not turbos, I mean) offer untold levels of secure, four-wheel-drive ferociousness. The ones that come out of the Weissach GT division, meanwhile - GT3, GT3 RS, and so on - are keener, track-focused machinery for the purist.

And then there's this new Porsche 911 GT2 RS - a car that doesn't just try to marry the speed of the former with the keenness of the latter, but to completely eclipse the current pinnacles of each.

You can imagine the planning meeting. 'See, what I'd like, is considerably more power than a Turbo S, driving through only two wheels and in a chassis that's much, much racier than the last GT3 RS. How does that sound?'

Well, a bit terrifying, to be honest, but also quite cool. So here we are, then. The £207,000, 700hp, GT2 RS.

Where to start? At the back, perhaps, given that's where the donkey is. It's a development of the Turbo S unit, so a 3.8-litre engine, but with bigger turbochargers, a titanium exhaust and a charge-air water cooler, whose refillable tank sits in the front.

It's a motor that not only develops 700hp at 7,000rpm - so still revs a bit - but that also produces 553lb ft from 2,250rpm until 4,000rpm. So it has what looks like quite a square torque curve. We'll see.

That drives the back wheels only, with power going to 325/30 ZR21 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres (the fronts, 265/30 ZR20s, are quite wide too), via a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox.

But the chassis has seen easily as much work as the motor. There are helper springs on the front MacPherson struts, which allow lighter main springs to be used. The last GT3 RS and current GT3 used a similar arrangement at the back, and so does this car. But more, here every single chassis link is rose-jointed, and as a result of all that work the ride height, camber, toe angle and roll-bar stiffness can be tweaked for road or track. This level of adjustability - plus slop-free precision - is one of the advantages of ball-jointing everywhere. The downside is usually a shocking lack of refinement. We'll see about that, too.

And then there's the body, which has a magnesium roof, and plenty of carbon fibre exterior panels, a la GT3 RS. Unless, that is, you specify the optional Weissach package - and you might as well - which shaves another 30kg off the kerb weight through fitment of a carbon-fibre roof panel, carbon-fibre anti-roll bars, and magnesium wheels - which alone are said to shed 11.5kg over the standard items. The kit's £21,000, but I suspect will pay for itself should you ever sell the car.

Now here's a thing. GT2s have received some horrible nicknames the past, which have been used as some kind of compliment. It's all been a bit macho, a bit blokey, as if spending time with something that might try to injure you is somehow a good thing - like wrestling a shark or taking on a nuclear submarine.

Anyway, you can forget that with the latest GT2 RS, because - yes, while this car is unflinchingly, uncompromisingly, uncommonly fast - it also has a remarkable level of poise, agility and communicativeness. It's as well sorted as any other GT Porsche, perhaps more so than most. I suppose it would have to be given how fast it is around the Nordschleife, where knowing what a car is about to do - and that thing being behaving quite reasonably - is, presumably, something of an advantage.

So, yes, the GT2 RS is raucous and focused. It weighs not much more than a GT3 despite having the weight disadvantage of a turbocharged engine, so there's no surprise in finding it's extremely loud. But the remaining refinement levels are actually surprisingly good. Body control is extraordinary, the ride is acceptable and the steering largely free from kickback, despite being fabulously communicative. It might just be the best electrically-assisted steering system in the world right now. Never mind GT2, this is a chassis worthy of a GT3 RS, no doubt.

And the engine doesn't spoil it. What you might expect to be massively boosty - and 182hp per litre suggests it will be - is better than you'd think. Sure, there's a bit of lag, but generally you get back what you've put into it. A dollop of throttle brings with it a correspondingly similar dollop of power. OK, there's a bit of a delay between those two things - more I suspect, than in, say, a Ferrari 488 GTB - but it's not like you give it the lot and then wait for terrible things to happen. No, the GT2 RS has a better matched engine and chassis than anything GT2-ish that has come before it.

The balance is focused 911-ish, only with extra poise and precision. The weather was pretty autumnal on our drive, which exacerbates low-speed understeer and, then, when you apply throttle, its willingness to push into oversteer, but you know both are coming, and can manage both accordingly. And the grip levels - and traction levels, considering - are something else. Not that you have to be challenging any of these to enjoy the RS. It, like most 911s, is still enjoyable even at sensible speeds, thanks to how talkative the steering, and how controlled the ride, is. I suspect a GT3, or perhaps even a GTS, would be just as enjoyable at road speeds, but neither can do what the GT2 RS does elsewhere. Not much can.

Which leaves it where? Well, I might enjoy the engine response of a GT3 on circuit a touch more, and the rounding of surface imperfections. But this is all you could realistically ask for in a GT2 RS, isn't it? To be engaging when you're not totally on it, but to be stupefyingly fast when the opportunity comes. That this time it does that with more finesse than ever, means that it still occupies a unique position. Just without the nasty nicknames.

Inspired? Buy a Porsche 911 GT2 RS here

: 3,800cc twin-turbocharged flat-6
Transmission: Seven-speed PDK, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 700@7,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 553@2,500-4,500rpm
0-62mph: 2.8secs
Top speed: 211mph
Weight: 1,470kg (DIN)
MPG: 24
CO2: 269g/km
Price: £207,506 (plus £21,042 for Weissach package)















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Comments (172) Join the discussion on the forum

  • numtumfutunch 07 Nov 2017

    Sounds great

    I think I'll pop into my local OPC tomorrow and order one

    Oh, hang on........

  • WhisperingWasp 07 Nov 2017

    There is something about this car that I find completely mesmerising! Can't explain it but I cannot think of a new car that I want more. Nor a car in recent memory for that matter.


  • Chestrockwell 07 Nov 2017

    Must have been a short drive, I was looking forward to reading a lot more about the car, amazing looking thing though, I’ll have one in satin black please

  • pmr01 07 Nov 2017

    WhisperingWasp said:
    There is something about this car that I find completely mesmerising! Can't explain it but I cannot think of a new car that I want more. Nor a car in recent memory for that matter.

    i completely agree with you

  • M7arthy 08 Nov 2017

    numtumfutunch said:
    Sounds great

    I think I'll pop into my local OPC tomorrow and order one

    Oh, hang on........

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