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Old 07-09-2011, 01:43 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - Short Take Road Test




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Porsche’s 911 GT2 RS is a brute, a lightweight, twin-turbocharged, 620-hp bout of madness that stemmed from Stuttgart’s quest to see how high up the sports-car ladder the 911 could punch. Overpowered almost to a fault and with enough grip to peel lane markings off the pavement, it is the most serious roadgoing Porsche ever.

Unlike the previous 996-era GT2, this 997 variant was deemed intense enough to skip straight to the “RS” designation reserved for Porsche’s homologated street-legal racers. That doesn’t mean you’ll see a GT2 RS on a Porsche Cup starting grid, but it illustrates the level of focus the car received.

Making a Rocket
The recipe was simple: put the company’s most powerful street-legal powerplant ever in the back of a GT3 RS chassis and remove even more weight. The engine is a port-injected, 3.6-liter flat-six from the Le Mans–winning GT1 race car of the late ’90s, with a pair of variable-geometry turbochargers huffing a maximum of 23.2 psi of boost into the combustion chambers. The result is 620 hp at 6500 rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque at 2250. Compared to Porsche’s other leading turbocharged rocket, the 530-hp, all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo S—which is fitted with a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic—the GT2 RS’s six-speed manual gearbox and rear-drive layout invite a significantly higher level of driver involvement.

Weight was pulled from throughout the car, with total savings of about 70 pounds compared to the GT3 RS and 400 or so relative to the Turbo S. Some of the more notable lightening bits include a single-mass flywheel, a carbon-fiber hood and front fenders (the latter a $6840 option), various aluminum suspension bits, lighter springs, single-lug wheels, an optional lithium-ion battery ($1700), less sound-deadening material, carbon-fiber racing seats, and polycarbonate rear and rear-side windows. Deleting the infotainment system and air conditioning—as on our example—is a no-cost option and further reduces mass, but we recommend keeping them if you plan on commuting to the track. A roll-bar where the rear seats used to be adds several pounds back in, as do airbag-equipped seats and actual glass for the rear windows, the latter two included on U.S. models to meet safety regulations.

Lighting the Candle
Power doesn’t so much as build with engine speed as it explodes. The tipping point for maximum thrust is about 4000 rpm, and there’s a slight delay in responsiveness at lower rpm as the turbos violently inhale the atmosphere through the intakes. The mechanical clatter of the engine overlaid with fast-moving, tormented air sounds much angrier than the naturally aspirated wail of a GT3. The lack of boost at low revs actually makes the GT2 RS surprisingly docile to pedal around town—save for the firm yet progressive clutch—but standing starts can be tricky.





Riding the line between bogging out and lighting up the massive rear tires—and doing our best to shift quickly from our tester’s right-seat driving position—we managed a deceptively, um, long 3.3-second run to 60 mph, or 0.5 second slower than our best in a Turbo S with launch control. While that’s still very quick, the GT2’s acceleration intensifies dramatically once the car is moving, and is accompanied by a significant lightening of steering effort as the car squats and squirms about for traction. Keeping both hands on the wheel is advised.

The gap between GT2 and Turbo S narrows at the quarter-mile mark (11.1 seconds at 133 mph to 10.8 at 129) and the GT2 takes the lead by 150 mph, which comes up in a blistering 14.4 seconds—1.0 second ahead of the Turbo S and 2.0 seconds quicker than a 638-hp Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The unrelenting thrust makes the estimated 209-mph top speed entirely believable.

Advanced Guidance
Based as it is on the already stellar GT3 RS, the precision and feel of the GT2’s chassis is sublime, what with its minimal, 3085-pound curb weight and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup rubber, sized 245/35-19 in front and 325/30-19 at the rear. Porsche’s adaptive suspension (PASM), carbon-ceramic brakes (PCCB) with center-locking hubs, and defeatable stability- and traction-control systems are all present and do their best to make the GT2 as drivable as possible. The steering is as crisp and tactile as any road car’s, outright grip is phenomenal and among the highest figures we’ve recorded (1.07 g), and the beautifully firm and progressive brakes can stop the car from 70 mph in a disorienting 145 feet, another near-best.

Overlooking the objective figures, the GT2 RS is simply insanely fast on the road and something of a handful when the front wheels attempt to leave the pavement under maximum acceleration in the lower gears. The snug-fitting racing seats and heavy primary controls are all excellent, and the seemingly endless amounts of grip and braking power offered loads of confidence on the fast mountain roads of northern Wales in the U.K. There is no twitchiness or demonic behavior as with previous hard-core 911s, so long as you’re pointed straight before you pin the throttle. Not that it’s a primary concern for such a vehicle, but we also managed an impressive 15 mpg overall during our drive.

ReentryLong stints in the driver’s seat of the GT2 do reveal some annoyances: road noise is brutally loud; the stiff ride is tolerable at best; the semi-slick tires have a terrifying lack of grip on even mildly damp roads; the car scrapes its front splitter on every speed bump (there is no nose-lifting system as on the GT3); and passing maneuvers will always end in speeds fit for incarceration. The GT2 RS feels like a track-day refugee, and with our tester’s bronze-colored wheels, fixed rear wing, and gaudy red-and-black Alcantara-lined interior, it looks like one, too. Factor in the $245,950 starting price (our example’s black paint pushed the as-tested figure to $249,090) and this is a very focused—albeit special—machine of limited use.

Although the recently introduced 500-hp GT3 RS 4.0 has replaced the GT2 RS as the ultimate sendoff for the 997—and is probably our pick for the best all-around track-day 911—it’s slightly less exclusive (600 units to the GT2’s already sold-out 500) and nowhere near as excessive. The GT2 is a wallflower next to the sultry lines of a Ferrari 458 Italia, but piloting it is an extraordinary event on par with nearly any blue-chip exotic. We won’t call it the best 911 ever, but it’s definitely Porsche at its most extreme.




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Old 07-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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They could have summed that article up much shorter.

Brutal Widowmaker.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #4
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I'd still rather have a GT3 RS for the track, and a then the Turbo S for my "daily".
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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fap..
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:59 PM   #6
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fap..
No kidding.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Yoo Shin View Post
I'd still rather have a GT3 RS for the track, and a then the Turbo S for my "daily".

I think you are a few $$ short on that, actually more like $100k short.

GT2 RS $245k
GT3 RS 4.0 $185k
Turbo S $160k
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #8
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Can you imagine having a front wheel blowout on that hill.... I would poop my pants
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:36 AM   #9
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I think one might be able to fit a Targa 4S +X51 package, (~120K, with some options)

And a Boxster Spyder with another of those 3.8 X51 408hp engines installed in it, and set up for the track, but still street legal. (probably less than 125K for the base Boxster Spyder, plus all the mods and engine swap.)

A 408hp, tuned Boxster Spyder would probably be quite sublime as a street/track car for sunny days.

And an AWD Targa with the same engine would be plenty for driving everywhere else, rain or shine, with a spare set of winter wheels and tires.

If one needs more practicality, one could replace the Targa 4S with a Cayenne V8.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:47 AM   #10
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NO V8! No flat engine = no Porsche!
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
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Just ruined my slacks... Got caught up dry humping my iPhone...smh
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:19 PM   #12
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This thing is utterly insane.

To put the insanity in perspective, is Viper had 450bhp/500tq and the Murci has 580bhp; both have bigger rear tires (and front). With RWD and ~600bhp my Murci smokes the rears through 3rd. The GT2RS should be named WidowmakerRS.

Nick
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by OrbitalEllipses View Post
NO V8! No flat engine = no Porsche!
I guess I am not THAT strict. I liked the 928 and the 944/968. But those had 4 seats, and were Grand Touring cars (928s) and sport coupes (924/944/968)

Cayenne would not be my first or even second choice of a Porsche.

But in order for some people to accomodate a true boxer-powered sports car, they have to complement it with more practicality.

A Targa 4S would be enough practicality for me, and still be fantastic car to drive... (glass roof also allows the rear window glass to open like a hatch, no other 911 does, just a practical bit...) But not for others, who might need Panamera or Cayenne space.

And if they still buy a Porsche-crested vehicle, it still keeps Porsche profitable, and they still keep building great sports cars.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
I think you are a few $$ short on that, actually more like $100k short.

GT2 RS $245k
GT3 RS 4.0 $185k
Turbo S $160k
I'm sorry, I wasn't considering the $$, I was just saying I'd rather just have the GT3 RS and a Turbo S, than one GT2 RS. Really if I could swing cash this big, I don't think another $100-150k would be that much more to scrape up.

Whichever I would go with, there will not be any damn PDK b.s. involved, straight up stick and 3 pedals .
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:08 PM   #15
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:58 PM   #16
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^^^ tehhhh SEX!
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:50 PM   #17
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I love the gt2 rs but you could build a 911s into better then the gt2 rs with the about 150k you have left over
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #18
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Id rather a gt2 rs than any other road car. This is porsche at its finest. It is scary and unappologetic. WOnder if there will be a 991 variant?
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