Introducing the Porsche GT3 RS 991
Porsche is well known for producing some of the best sports cars in the world. The first thing that springs to mind with Porsche is their iconic 911 range. I’ve been lucky enough to experience one of their more recent Rennsport variants, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The particular model I’m referring to in this article is the 2016 991 version of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS .
Differentiating the Porsche GT3 RS from the Porsche 911
All great things evolve from their original form into something magnificent. Not only has Porsche been doing this with the 911 for over 50 years, they’ve been deriving the Porsche 911 GT3 RS variant of the 911 from their Porsche 911 Carrera since 2003. Some argue that all Porsche’s look the same, but it’s not hard to distinguish the differences when you see a Porsche 911 GT3 RS compared to the regular car, if you can call a 911 ‘regular’ at all.
Of course I’m referring to the visual aesthetics of the car. As soon as you lay eyes on this gorgeous beast you immediately notice the ultraviolet purple paint job which is arguable one of the most spectacular colors to ever grace the body of a car. The gorgeous bodywork is also complimented by a fresh set of Porsche’s lightweight center locking wheels finished in silver, perfectly contrasting the paintwork. This combination encapsulates what Porsche is all about, the subtle distinguished car to compliment a sophisticated gentleman.
The elements of the outside of the car are all functional. In pure weissach german porsche style everything on this car has been precisely tuned to perfection to assist with the handling of the car.
The first thing you’ll notice is the demanding presence the Porsche 911 GT3 RS has over a regular 911 as it has a much wider stance which is identical to the 911 turbo. This assists the chassis in holding the road as do the aero components such as front splitters, flat underbody (ground effects) and rear diffuser.
Three external notable features of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS are the louvers incorporated in the front fenders to help reduce turbulent air within the wheel arches, the turbo inspired intakes behind the driver and passenger doors and the giant GT racing wing at the rear of the car, all of which contribute to the down-force the car produces, giving you that god like handling when maneuvering the car at speed.
It’s What’s On The Inside That Counts
Moving into the cockpit of the car you’re greeted by a perfectly laid out interior which presents a very high-end feel. Recently Porsche has been able to get all of their interiors spot on, giving you a feeling that performance brands such as lotus haven’t been able achieve. It’s a lot more refined than such examples and something that is carried throughout the entire Porsche range.
Much like the exterior, the aspects of the regular 911 are represented through various styling elements within the interior. This is arguably one of the most important parts of the car to get right, as this is where the driver’s time is mostly spent as unfortunately we don’t yet have the technology to admire the car from the outside as we drive. Porsche has invested in the right areas of the interior to give the driver that special feeling they’re after when getting into a car of this stature. .
As with all race inspired cars, it’s crucial to stay firmly within the seat whilst cornering. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS has been complimented with some of the best race bucket seats I’ve ever seen and felt. Coming directly out of the Porsche 918 Spyder.
The choice of materials from the factory are second to none. As you peer into the cockpit you’ll be reminded of the car you’re looking at with the Porsche 911 GT3 RS stitching on the headrest. Throughout the cockpit there’s an abundance of carbon, alcantara and leather detailing the various components. The package has been put together with a precise blend of racing performance and luxury in mind. Porsche is absolutely on point with this and is world renowned for their ability to get this right in their GT cars.
Furthering the race car persona of the GT3 RS, a roll cage has been added to the interior for structural rigidity and safety. There’s even cloth door handles to emphasise the extent Porsche has gone to with saving weight.
Performance of the Porsche GT3 RS
As we all know, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a precision instrument. With the flat 6 engine pumping out a respectable 300kw/500hp and 460NM/339lb-ft of torque you can really enjoy the power. The car is so effective in it’s linear power delivery that one could argue that it performs too perfectly. Unlike a 458 italia or punchier turbo charged rival the Porsche 911 GT3 RS doesn’t excite the driver in the same fashion, especially when you’re lower in the rev range.
It definitely does pack a punch up past 6,000 RPM, but considering this is a road legal car and daily driven by some owners it was lacking that zippy and punchy feeling that is much desired and expected. I still found the experience of driving this machine very enjoyable but it didn’t blow me away on the street the same way a supercharged/turbocharged car would. I had a brief glimpse of how it could come alive on the track but I want to keep my licence.
Comparably to other cars out on the market the 0-100kmph time indicates the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is no slouch. It will reach 100kmph in just 3.4 seconds, faster than previous generation 997.2 911 GT3 RS at 3.7 seconds. Regardless the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is not a 0-100km/h speed demon like the latest version of the Porsche 911 Turbo S which will blitz to 100 in just 2.7 seconds.
Everything’s an Apex
Disregarding outright power, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, will still run rings around almost any other supercar. It excels with it’s pinpoint handling and flawless transmission. When driving you definitely get a sense that you’re one with the car, when you see an apex and point the car in that direction it will move in a more agile manner than anything else to ensure you hit every apex.
Above all, the biggest asset the 911 GT3 RS has is it’s PDK double clutch transmission. Every single shift, up and down through all rev ranges was performed without any issues. This is by far the smoothest gearbox I’ve ever experienced. Easily allowing it to transition into a daily driver if required. It also brings me back to the point of the 911 GT3 RS potentially being too perfect. It’s widely recognized that German design is second to none, although there could be an element of passion that is missing unless you’re pushing the car to the edge.
No True Enthusiast Leaves Their Car Untouched
I’ve not had the privileged of driving any press cars yet, luckily I get to drive ones owned by friends or car’s I’ve rented overseas. Much like the Maserati Gransport MC Victory I previously reviewed, this 991 911 GT3 RS has also been modified by the owner.
The most common modification to any enthusiasts car is to upgrade the sound of the car hence the exhaust. This car is not been neglected and has received a very simple bypass exhaust provided by the company Soul Exhausts. As expected, this upgraded exhaust has enhanced the sound of the already insane sounding horizontally opposed 6 cylinder boxer engine.
Retaining the original factory flaps to control the exhaust’s loudness, you’re able to be in either full stealth or race mode. Of course I opted for the latter and enjoyed the most surreal sound ever produced by a 6 cylinder. This is one of the big redeeming factors for the car being too perfect in other aspects. It helps add so much character to the car, as soon as the exhaust opened up from the lower rev range as I slowly applied the throttle, it’s not hard to understand why the 911 GT3 RS is loved by millions around the world. I don’t usually mention the price of an exhaust because it’s assumed to be expensive, as it usually is on these types of cars, but it’s unusual to only need to spend $800 on an exhaust upgrade to receive exponential dividends in enhanced sound.
Also worthy mention of a modification is the plaid style seat inserts that the owner has installed. I never knew the insides of the bucket seats are velcroed in and can be swapped out so easily. Definitely adding a bit more flare to the already gorgeous interior and pinch of personality.
With all Porsche’s there’s always a plethora of options to choose from when specifying your new car. The 911 GT3 RS 991 is no exception. This specific car had optioned the full carbon fiber interior, race bucket 918 spyder seats, LED headlights, carbon ceramic brake package, silver center locking wheels, bolted roll cage and a multitude of other options.
The GT3 RS Race Feel
It goes without saying, everyone is aware that the 991 GT3 RS is going to be a special car. Just looking at it on the road will give you a chill down your spine as you imagine yourself blasting through the PDK gears. From the moment you open the door, sit down and feast your eyes on the alcantara steering wheel and gorgeous set of gauges that sit behind it, you’re intoxicated by the pure bred Porsche.
The interior has played a massive role in making you feel like a superstar. But the real thrill comes from the drive.
What caught me by surprise was how easily you’re able to drive the car like a normal car through the streets of Sydney. The city itself is not known to have the best driving roads as they’re plagued with potholes and just poorly maintained surfaces. The car was ridicuoulsly smooth as it carved up the road.
Eventually I got a chance to put my foot down and immediately witnessed the roar of the engine combined with the soul exhaust. I was over come with excitement at this point as the sound was absolutely insane. Even at a lower RPM gradually making my way up the rev counter I was enjoying my time.
It all started to make sense why people are so obsessed with Porsches. Although this is a race inspired car, not a zippy hot hatch or turbo sports saloon. The power delivery is quite linear although still providing a fun experience. The PDK gearbox is so smooth it gets you up to speed without realising how fast you’re going, unlike a Ferrari 458 Italia or even a Alfa Romeo Guila Quadrifoligio which will push you back in your seat providing that sense of speed.
Porsche comes into it’s own element when you’re able to get it higher into the rev range. Although I wasn’t able to string it out as much as I’d like due to the fact we’re on semi busy public roads. I can say, the harder I pushed it the more inspired I was to keep going.
Regardless of outright engine power and performance. The car felt extremely agile no matter what scenario I was in. This a true testament to how finely tuned and precise the car is. I fell in love with the car in the short encounter I had and felt like a superstar driver. Much like Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and Maserati’s the 911 GT3 RS gives you it’s own special feeling which is unlike anything else and a unique flavor in the world of supercars. It’s almost impossible to see how they can improve this in the latest 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
The Verdict on the Porsche GT3 RS
The GT3 RS is a weapon of mass destruction. I can see how it easily destroy’s some of the world’s most desirable supercars. It performs flawlessly on the road and you can live with it easily day to day with no issues at all. The German auto maker has put together the ultimate race car for the road package once again.
I was intoxicated by the sound, aesthetics both inside/outside of the car and the agile nature of the handling. This could potentially be a case of a car that is too perfect although it does invoke a lot of feeling. The more seat time you get the more obsessed you become, making you want to drive more.
This boils down to a car that has so much character and on paper is the perfect car for almost any enthusiast. The fact that the majority of fun is had at the higher end of the rev range, how linear the engine performance is and ridiculously smooth the PDK gearbox is, it made me feel that Porsche may have focused on making it a little bit too perfect for the roads and left the edgy character too high up in the rev range but somehow still invokes a lot of enjoyment with every drive.
I think as humans we look for a few imperfections so we can relate to things. A car with anger management issues that tries to throw you off the road or kicks you as you shift through the gears could provide a little more excitement as you’re driving through the suburbs.
Although without a doubt I’d love to own a GT3 RS one day, I absolutely love the entire package that has been put together, it’s just a bit different as I’m used to power that packs a punch. But Porsche has made me realise there’s more to life than outright power, all of the other element’s they’ve focused on has let me appreciate other aspects of driving. I cannot wait to test drive and review the new and improved 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. As expected, I love this car and it would definitely be one of my top considerations when deciding to purchase a supercar. Even with the Porsche 911 GT3 RS price currently sitting around AUD $350,000+ on carsales. Perfect package for road and track? I think so.