In Review

Porsche 911 GT2 RS reviews: is this the perfect sports car?

With its twin turbo engine and motorsport vibe, the latest 911 is the iconic brand’s most powerful road car to date

Porsche’s hardcore 911 GT2 RS is finally here, some six years after the track-focused 997 version was discontinued. 

The new supercar, which is based on the second-generation 991 Carrera, is being hailed by the company as the most powerful 911 ever made.

The car has a twin-turbocharged rear-mounted flat-six engine that produces 690bhp and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This helps it go from 0-62mph in just 2.8secs, with a top speed of 211mph.

The Porsche’s racing-inspired interior features bucket seats and six-point harness seat belts, along with a sports steering wheel and carbon-fibre trim highlights. 

Does its abundance of power and track-themed styling make it the best 911 ever made?

Here’s what the critics are saying:

Design

As expected with a 911, the GT2 RS has the sharp coupe-style silhouette of the regular second-generation 991 Carrera, with the same head and taillight design as the base car. 

But that’s where the similarities end. The GT2 RS has an abundance of wings and vents that helps keep it planted to the track at high speed. The front bumper is also new. It features large air intakes that cool the brakes and channel air underneath the sports car. 

Standard cars come fitted with 911 GT3-style alloy wheels, a carbon-fibre bonnet and a roll cage. According to Auto Express, an optional Weissach upgrade package includes a body-coloured stripe on the bonnet and a large Porsche sticker across the rear wing. The upgrade also swaps the standard car’s alloy wheels for lightweight multi-spoke magnesium rims. 

Buyers have a choice of four standard colours: black, white, guards red and racing yellow. There’s also the option of an additional four colours: GT silver metallic, crayon, lava orange and Miami blue. 

On the road

One of the first things drivers will notice when pressing the GT2 RS’s start button is how loud it is, says Autocar.

Conversation is not the car’s strong point. “If you have a passenger, make it one you know so well you don’t need to talk or one you dislike enough that you don’t want to,” says the magazine. Even at 70mph, you have to shout over the engine and road noise. 

That’s about as uncomfortable as the GT2 RS gets, the magazine says. And in other respects, the supercar is far from lacking in refinement. 

The same can be said for its turbocharged engine. Most boosted cars have a slight delay when applying the throttle because their turbochargers need time to spin up before they can deliver maximum power. This is often referred to as “turbo lag”.

That doesn’t appear to be a problem for the GT2 RS, says Car magazine, as the twin-turbo flat-six engine revs smoothly “all the way to the 7000rpm redline”. 

Although it’s not quite as instant as the naturally aspirated motor in the cheaper 911 GT3, the GT2 RS’s turbo lag isn’t nearly as severe as the “pauses” in modern McLarens, says the magazine 

Meanwhile, Auto Express argues that the steering is the “best yet in a modern 911”.

The magazine adds: “Its eagerness is aided by the rear axle, its weighting is beautifully judged, and the turn-in is immediate and accurate”. 

On the circuit, the supercar is “an experience verging on the narcotic”, says Evo, but “opportunities to drive the car in such a manner are almost non-existent in reality”. 

The sport’s car’s hardcore-edge means it has a similar sense of occasion to the iconic Ferrari F40, which makes “even a trip to the local shop for a pint of milk much more of an experience”.

Verdict

Buyers looking for the fastest GT car on the planet will be hard-pushed to ignore the GT2 RS, says Auto Express, as it boasts “incredible speed” and a “thrilling” drive. 

But the twin-turbocharged engine lacks the “voice” of the naturally aspirated motor found in the cheaper GT3, the magazine says. While it may be the most powerful 911 on sale, potential buyers may want to look elsewhere in the range for a model with a sweeter exhaust note. 

Car magazine agrees that the GT2 RS’s engine doesn’t have the “shriek of a GT3”, but argues that the hardcore GT has a “real evil sound” and lots of character.

But it’s the car’s chassis and handling that stand out above the engine note, says the magazine. This is thanks to the stability of the four-wheel steer system and the “lenient, but subtle” ESP traction control.

The new GT may not be the embodiment of the perfect sports car, says Autocar, but it’s a car for “ridiculous circumstances”.

Price and release  

Porsche has opened orders for the GT2 RS and has provided an online configurator that allows buyers to spec their perfect model. 

Prices start at £207,506 for the standard RS. The Weissach upgrade pack adds a further £21,042 to the price.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS E3 2017

12 June

Porsche surprised fans at the E3 games show yesterday by taking the wraps of its radical 911 GT2 RS during a demonstration of the upcoming Forza Motorsport 7 racing game.

The car is "the most aggressive expression of Porsche's legendary design", said Dan Greenawalt, head of Forza developer Turn10 Studios, and "features the most powerful road-going 911 engine ever made".

AutoExpress says the hardcore coupe has "motorsport-inspired styling and aerodynamics such as the large bonnet vents and splitter".

There's also a "huge rear wing" and large air ducts on either side to cool the rear-mounted turbocharged flat-six engine.

No performance specs were announced at the unveiling, but AutoExpress says Porsche engineers have issued a "conservative" power output estimate of 621bhp and 553lb-ft of torque.

Official figures "should be greater", adds the mag, with an expected zero to 62mph time of 2.9secs.

The GT2 RS will also adopt several chassis upgrades from the GT3, says Autocar, including "rear-axle steering" and torque vectoring, which brakes wheels individually to optimise cornering grip.

It could also be "just months away from launch", adds the site, as it appeared in production form.

The GT2 RS is Porsche's halo version of the 911 series, with the carmaker only releasing new versions of the coupe every five to ten years.

The last GT2 RS, which at the time Evo called "comedy fast" and "a challenge for drivers", appeared in 2010 and cost £164,000. The mag says the new version is expected to be priced slightly higher.

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