2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS – Official
Porsche completes the 911 lineup with this epic 620-hp machine.
BY JENS MEINERS
When this Porsche 911 GT2 RS launches at the Moscow auto show in August, it will be the crown jewel of the 997 portfolio and complete the lineup. Compared with the last GT2, this new RS serves up a rather unexpected and extreme power boost, adding 90 hp for a total of 620, available at 6500 rpm. Torque from the twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter flat-six rises just slightly from 505 lb-ft to 516, available from 2250 to 5500 rpm. The huge power jolt likely explains why Porsche went straight to GT2 RS in naming this beast, completely skipping the plain GT2 moniker. Oh, and Porsche says this car will lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes, 18 seconds, which is skull-poppingly quick. For reference, that’s four seconds quicker than the Dodge Viper ACR and only 20 seconds behind the wicked Ferrari 599XX.
The awesome power—more than any other factory Porsche, ever—is transmitted to just the rear wheels and only through a six-speed manual, unlike on the 500-hp Turbo and the 530-hp Turbo S, which are equipped with all-wheel drive and have the PDK dual-clutch transmission as at least an option. Given the off-the-line traction deficit and pokier human shifts, it’s no wonder the GT2 RS takes a claimed 3.4 seconds to get to 60 mph, while the Turbo S, with the help of all-wheel drive and its standard PDK, is said to manage the feat in 3.1. (We predict both models will actually be quicker in our testing, considering Porsche’s typically conservative estimates and the fact we pedaled a Turbo to 60 in 2.9 seconds.) The pecking order is reinstated before 124 mph, however. Porsche says the GT2 RS breaks that barrier in 9.8 seconds, with the Turbo S trailing it by one full second. After 28.9 seconds at full tilt in the GT2 RS, you’ll be traveling 186 mph, and top speed is a blistering 205 mph.
Some expected the next GT2 to switch to Porsche’s new, direct-injection 3.8-liter flat-six engine architecture, but this is in fact the final and ultimate iteration of the well-proven 3.6-liter engine. It’s force-fed by two variable-blade turbochargers, one for each cylinder bank. Learning that the explosive powerplant hooks only to a traditional manual is heart-warming, particularly since cars such as the BMW M3 GTS and the Audi R8 GT don’t offer a three-pedal manual at all.
Fuel economy will be of negligible importance to the 500 owners of the GT2 RS, but at 19.7 mpg in the European cycle, it’s pretty efficient. That comes in part from extreme weight shaving, including the use of carbon fiber throughout and Porsche’s new lithium-ion battery, which itself saves 22 pounds. Lightweight door panels and a reduction in soundproofing material are part of the program, too. Porsche says that at 3075 pounds, the new model manages to drop more than 100 pounds compared to the previous GT2, and it is nearly 400 pounds lighter than the recently launched 911 Turbo S.
Inside, the 911 GT2 RS equipment includes carbon-fiber-reinforced racing bucket seats, an optional nav system, carbon-finish “RS” door sills, and an available Chrono Plus package. The uninitiated can swap out the racing seats for electrically adjustable sport seats. The shift knob, handbrake lever, steering wheel, seat inserts, and headliner are covered in Alcantara. The instruments use yellow needles, and the Clubsport package, which adds a roll bar, a six-point harness, and pre-wiring for a kill switch is a no-cost option (at least in Europe). The infotainment system, air conditioning, and cup holders can be deleted for further weight savings.
The GT2 RS also comes with standard carbon-ceramic brakes, a much-needed stability-control system, dynamic engine mounts, and Porsche’s PASM adaptive suspension. The GT2-specific wheels are center-locking and wear 245/35-19 front and 325/30-19 rear rubber; silver, gold, and black finishes are available. There also are carbon-fiber front and rear lip spoilers fitted to unique fascias, and the gigantic wing is specific to the GT2, as well. The front trunklid is made from carbon fiber, as are the rear spoiler lip and the hip-mounted air scoops, and they stay dark no matter which color you choose. The GT2 is available in silver, red, white, and black.
U.S. dealers get the new model in October, but you’d better get your name on a list well before then if you want one of the few units coming here. Only 500 will be made for the entire globe, and American buyers will pay a cool $245,000 for the right to own one. For an instant collector’s item, that’s probably fair.