The most powerful road-going Porsche ever!
By Patrick Hong July 27, 2010
Baden-Baden, Germany—It’s hard not to get excited about getting behind the wheel of the most powerful road-going Porsche ever. At first look, like the standard GT2, the speedy new Porsche can be mistaken for just another 911 variant. But the RS takes the GT2 to an entirely new level, both in appearance and performance.
Get closer, and you’ll see that the RS is differentiated from its siblings by generous use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) throughout the car, most notably on the front hood and fenders, the side mirrors, the rear air intakes and the lip spoiler. Compared to the stock GT2, the RS has a 12 mm wider front track, 5 mm lower ride height, and the center-locking Speedline wheels make for a more aggressive stance.
Armed with a race-bred engine originally designed for the 24 Hours of Le Mans but now brought to life in a production car as a 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-6 with variable turbine geometry (VTG), the GT2 RSsends all of its 620 bhp and 516 lb.-ft. of torque via a 6-speed manual to the rear wheels. According Porsche, zero to 60 mph takes only 3.4 sec, and the 205-mph top speed is limited only by gearing. Andreas Preuninger, Project Manager for Porsche’s motorsport-derived road cars, noted that the RS is designed not just for acceleration, but also ultimate speed and handling on a race track. In fact, the RS was born when Porsche engineers were fine-tuning the GT2, and came up with a wish list of how that car could be further improved. It’s really no wonder, then, that the RS can lap the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7 minutes and 18 seconds, besting the Corvette ZR1, Dodge Viper ACR and Nissan GT-R.
Despite rain showers that drenched the roads during our drive, the GT2 RS still managed to shine. Porsche engineers paid much attention to making the car ultra responsive to driver input, and it shows. In addition to carbon-fiber body panels, other weight-saving features include the single-mass flywheel that allows the engine to freely rev up to its 6750 redline and deliver endless punch. In the handling department, ball-joints are now on duty at all connection points—the front toe links being the only exception—allowing the suspension components to better maintain their geometry under load. More suspension rigidity also means that the RS can fully exploit its Michelin Pilot Sport Cup N1 spec (front) and N2 spec (rear) tires, and generate a Porsche-claimed 1.5g of lateral grip. Through Germany’s Black Forest, the car feels right a home, with precise steering feel and confidence-inspiring rear grip, even in the wet. And despite the firmer springs coupled to adjustable dampers, the ride is never choppy and feels quite compliant.
With the less-than-ideal driving conditions on public roads, we were given the chance to ride with former World Rally Champion and road racing pro Walter Röhrl in the GT2 RS on a closed race track to fully explore its limits. Lap after lap Röhrl ‘s mastery at the wheel is impressive. His silky smooth steering inputs toss the car through the corners with precision. And his exact throttle inputs power the car out with just the right amount of rear side-stepping, enough to give passengers (like me!) an unforgettable thrill ride. Asked how he likes the GT2 RS compared to the normally aspirated GT3 RS, Röhrl said he prefers the consistency of the power delivery from the non-turbo car. But when compared to the Porsche Carrera GT supercar, he said the RS handling behavior is much more progressive, largely due to the better tire technology today.
The 911 GT2 RS is for the hardcore enthusiast who seeks the ultimate Porsche driving experience; casual fans need not apply. There will only be 500 GT2 RSs produced worldwide, each with a starting price of $245,000. Expect about 135 copies to come to the US. Cars will be available starting October. So get your orders in now!