MHH International Experiences the Thrill Of The Porsche GT3 RS
This writer is happy. Happy because he recently spent a day behind the leather steering wheel (with a Lizard Green colour-matched ‘top-dead-centre’ marker) of the Porsche GT3 RS you see in the images.
The Porsche GT3 RS is so finely honed that the ride pays even the most novice driver back in many ways. This car is superb and made extra special by being powered by a 4.0L, naturally aspirated flat six, grumbling and barking and screaming behind you delivering plentiful, precise power delivery, an evocative soundtrack and an increased rev range.
Porsche 911’s do not change over the years, they evolve. Just when you think the model can’t get any better, it does. Somehow the Porsche team always seem to find that little extra something.
One of the few 911’s without turbocharging these days, the GT3 RS still delivers a huge 513bhp, whisking the occupants from zero to 62mph in just 3.2 seconds. That’s from a standing start of course; it’s the in-gear acceleration that really counts and it is awesome. From 50 miles per hour to 75 takes just 1.8 seconds, flicking quickly through the sport-tuned, seven-speed PDK short-ratio gearbox. It happens faster than you can say it. It is necessary to remember that this car is, essentially, a racing car that just happens to be road-legal.
Remember the days of the wayward rear end of a 911? Oversteer at best and heading for disaster at worst? Not any more; at least not with this car. The Porsche GT3 RS utilises rear-wheel steering, specially recalibrated for the job. It works extraordinarily well. Adaptive engine mounts, an electronically controlled locking differential with torque vectoring, and more aerodynamic trickery that you can imagine all work together in conjunction with the massive tyres to provide unimaginable grip. In the dry, anyway.
The steering is enormously precise. You simply cannot miss your corner apex. Front-end traction going into corners makes the car feel totally flat and stable; there’s nothing twitchy going on. On the way out the shove from the rear-end is immense, yet the car is so well set-up it does not induce fear and apprehension. The GT3 is whispering in your ear like a little red devil, ‘Go on. You can do this’.
Fortunately, for an extra £6500 (UK price) you can choose huge Porsche Ceramic Composite brakes. Since the car as tested costs £159,000 in total the supplement won’t really cause a ripple in your bank balance and, seriously, you really do want these brakes. The modulation is superb; no grabbing or snatching or fading even under heavy pressure. This car can stop as quickly as it gets to a top speed of 193mph.
Crucially, there’s a button that turns the volume of the titanium sport twin exhaust up to NUMBER 11.
One of the most surprising aspects of this ultimate sports car is the ride. The Porsche GT3 RS is quite amiable when pottering about. Sure, it’s firm and the occupants can feel the bigger blemishes of the road surface, but on a smooth road all is serene. Everything is kept in order by an adjustable chassis and Porsche’s Active Suspension Management, the variable dampers being sport-tuned.
The fixed-back carbon-fibre seats, and the steering wheel, have ample adjustment although there are no rear seats, the better to accommodate the scaffold-like roll bar, because you never know. There is an adequate storage pit for weekend luggage under the front bonnet as usual. If you can live with the noise long-term then this is a motor you could use every day.
Lightness Is All
Rather than supplementing with forced induction Porsche have chosen in this case to follow the mantra of the late, great Colin Chapman of Lotus fame who said, 'First, add lightness’. It still holds true today. The bonnet, front wings and engine compartment lid are all manufactured in carbon fibre. There are no interior door handles, just straps: That’s a few grams shaved off right there. The weight saving continues throughout the vehicle but not at the expense of comfort and the model shown had all the mod-cons you would expect in any one of those run-of-the-mill prestige cars.
It is no exaggeration to say that this was the best drive this writer has ever experienced. It is truly impressive how the Porsche GT3 RS designers and engineers have fettled every aspect of the car, every component working in harmony with all others. It’s a symphony on wheels played by Motörhead. It’s a fairground ride fashioned by gods; truly a vehicle that the company should be justifiably proud of.
This is not the sort of car this writer usually drives; expensive cars, yes, fast cars certainly, but never something that could be taken to a track as is and immediately break records. The drive was sublime. The GT3 does not make a driver feel out of his or her depth and the throttle responds gently to the lightest of pressure which means none of those sudden, panicky ‘hurtling forward’ experiences.
However, after spending some time getting used to the car and how it responded to inputs the opportunity finally occurred to properly put the boot in. Warp speed: See traffic disappear in the rear-view mirror; see hedgerows blur and the road rush toward you. Catch brief glimpses of pale faces as you flash past other cars; it is something that will live on in this writer’s motoring memory.
The Porsche GT3 RS is the finest driver’s car ever made. Full stop.
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