Just pulled the paddle. The car is banged into third gear. Keeping close to the left side of the track, I'm trying to best set the car up for the fast right hander up ahead. I slowly begin to pull the car to right, grab the paddle as I approach 170 km/h. On a corner.
The car is stable whilst turning despite the bumps in the middle of the corner. I'm bouncing towards the outer-side of this right hander. The engine is now screaming at the top of 8,800 rpm as I hit the paddle again to execute the fastest shifts known on a road car. In a split second, I'm standing on the carbon ceramic brakes, the car squats low to the ground, I downshift rapidly with every pop-crackle-bang after each blip. The front end is razor sharp. No lag, no hesitation.
I turn the Alcantara wheel, as I execute mid-corner corrections, I'm already starting to roll on the throttle. The engine is eager to uncoil, waiting to snap back to the red line. I'm hard on the throttle. The back is lit up. My hands quickly shuffle while I control the car's rebellious intentions. As I straighten it out, the needle starts bouncing off the limiter in second. I tap the right paddle with my foot firmly on the gas pedal and it launched me into another dimension.
If there was one car that had big shoes to fill, it was this one. I recently drove the 2012 911 GT3 RS 4.0 at a racetrack, the swansong of the great 'Mezger' engine. Once I stepped out of the car I thought, “How on Earth could Porsche possibly improve this package?” Well, look no further.
An even bigger wing, fatter tires, 8,800 rpm of naturally aspirated shout, and arguably the best transmission on a car. Ever. Despite using the Turbo’s heavier wider body, the car still manages to be 10 kilograms lighter than the GT3 thanks to its strict diet of carbon fibre and magnesium. Namely the roof being in magnesium and the front wing, bonnet, deck lid and that humongous rear wing finished in carbon fibre. How extreme can you go?
You can tell that the mad scientists over at Stuttgart really focused on engineering the aerodynamics to near perfection. The front splitter coupled to the louvres as well as the ridiculous rear wing make up a combined 330 kilograms of downforce at high speeds. The aero not only improves the immense grip levels but also works to channel air into the intakes at the rear of the car, creating a ram air effect which helps the engine produce more power.
Power is the solution to all things.
Speaking of power, this RS pumps out 500 horses and 460 Newton Meters of torque from a glorious 4-liter engine. In today's money, 500 horsepower doesn't propel it to superstardom, but when it is mated to a 7-speed PDK gearbox, rear wheel steering, and suspension adjustability similar to that of a Carrera Cup car - you've got a Porsche with number plates that seems more comfortable on the racetrack than some actual racecars. The tradition of reducing weight, adding power and increasing cornering capability has definitely been applied. I mean, you don't even get a real Porsche crest on the hood. You only get a sticker.
On track, the car is an absolute weapon. Upon finding a straightway, you are quickly reminded of Porsche’s ability to punch way above their weight. You get shot out of corners so quickly, with so much violence, that you wonder how on Earth you haven't parked it on the tire barrier. The power band is wide. There is so much on tap from anywhere on the rev range. I found myself pulling the paddles excessively just trying to hear what the car has to offer. The sound of a naturally-aspirated high performance engine is now a dying breed. It's such a sad thing that the future generations may no longer get their ears to bleed to the tune of combustion.
One of the best sounding cars in the world.
Upon entering the car you’re greeted by carbon fibre, leather and the best material in the world, Alcantara suede. The sportier and smaller 918-inspired three spoke steering wheel with the yellow centre stripe makes trying to drive the car slowly, very, very difficult. The half cage, Sport Chrono Package, and fire extinguisher only make smashing on the gas pedal as natural as breathing. Did i mention that the car has a Pit Lane Speed limiter function? The only model to get this feature.
Despite being the most hardcore Porsche, the RS interior is still impressive in the way that it's finished. The fixed back carbon seats are a must. You see glimpses of the carbon from the front and you get that nice pop of red from the Alcantara suede. It's a bit of a pain to get in and out of, but once you're in them, it is snug even when taking a corner at 200 km/h. Nothing feels cheap, from the buttons on the centre stack, the latch used to move the seat backwards and forwards, and even the fabric door pulls. It's extravagant.
"As much as it is a monstrous track weapon, it is above all a very lovely road car."
I certainly would've loved a manual gearbox. The extra engagement and the ability to step on a clutch is all too indulgent, but I do confess that there is no way in hell I could be as quick around a track next to the PDK tranny. The PDK gearbox has been slightly reworked for this car, as well as featuring a slightly shorter paddle pull. The gear changes are about two seconds quicker than lighting.
The enormous 265 front and 325 rear wheels matched with a locking rear diff and rear wheel steer makes this car turn like nothing before it. Despite the car's lopsided weight distribution, the car felt manageable through the corners. Though the car wants you to work hard - it is very, very rewarding. It's a bit of a daredevil, but it's the smartest and most experienced one out there.
"This Porsche is capable of 300 km/h, so you'll get to your appointment much quicker than the rest of the world. And you do know what they say, right?"
The steering is perfect, from the actual design and feel of the three spoke wheel to the crystal clear feedback. It is so good that I could tell what brand of paint they used on the tarmac. Brake feel is otherworldly, and so is the braking capacity. Shedding off speed at 200 km/h in 5th gear into a 2nd gear left hairpin taken at 60 km/h proved to be peanuts for the massive carbon ceramics and without the tiniest hint of fade.
Everything that you touch in this car is sensational. I'm at a loss for words. Despite the stratospheric performance, the most hardcore Porsche returns decent fuel economy. I averaged 5.7 kilometers per liter, which I can say is much better than our Chevrolet Suburban. Besides, this Porsche is capable of 300 km/h, so you'll get to your appointment much quicker than the rest of the world. And you do know what they say, right?
Time is Money.
Rest your foot on the throttle pedal while crawling on a busy street and you can feel the car just waiting to be catapulted into the horizon. You’re scared the rear tires will light up but you do it anyway just because the car makes you feel invincible. I found myself going 15 km/h in a village and shifting between first and second just to hear the car orchestrate the perfect blips. The signature five gauge cluster is absolutely gorgeous, the massive rev counter in the middle really pokes at you to make sure that needle reaches the red line.
As much as it is a monstrous track weapon, it is above all a very lovely road car. It's a beautiful car to just coast through town in, as it is confidence inspiring in so many ways. Steering, direct and predictable. Placing the car on the road, a breeze - despite its big hips. The throttle - sharp yet manageable. It very much feels like any other 911 despite feeling unlike any other car on the road. It is by far the best 911 GT3 RS yet, which means that it is the best Porsche. Ever. Now how much are you willing to buy my leg and appendix for?
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Professional Racecar Driver