Porsche 911 GT2 RS – Road Test

Posted on Dec 28, 2017 by
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
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  • 911 GT2 RS
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  • Last modified: December 28, 2017

Review Summary:

The ultimate is fairly unforgiving on the road during the daily grind, but let the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre 700 horsepower engine run free and the new GT2 RS is also one of the most thrilling supercars money can buy

Pros

Awesome steering, addictive turbo power, tremendous brakes, lightweight technologies

Cons

Noisy on the cruise but as far as the suspension goes it's fine to use regularly

With the new 911 GT2 RS putting 700 horsepower down to the rear wheels, Porsche has developed the ultimate 911 and probably the fastest road car on the planet – Auto Middle East went for a drive on road and track in Portugal.

2018 porsche 911 gt2 rs

Hang on, 700 horsepower just to the rear wheels? Why would anyone do that?

Because Porsche people are nuts.

Between two 918 Spyders in Portugal, and two GT2 RS, one for test driver Matthias Hoffsümmer and one for racing legend Walter Röhrl, there was never more than a few minutes of rest for the cars, 410mm carbon ceramic brakes or Michelin road-rated track tyres, as the pilots and engineers kept bombing out for another three or four laps of the 4.7km-long Algarve International Circuit. Whenever they dive in from the chase – the brand new GT2 RS representing the peak of 54 years of 911 evolution and the closest Porsche’s ever got to putting a 911 race car on the road leads, and the company’s sold-out 887-horsepower mid-engined 918 Spyder hybrid hypercar follows around the track – the guys huddle away from the journalists waiting their turn, and discuss important stuff, hushed. They do that all day, maximum attack, in and out, months after the car’s been finalised. Always tweaking. Always thinking.

During espresso breaks the chat turns to everything, as long as it’s cars, the ‘Ring, racing, classics, the new Ferrari, the new Lamborghini – these are the ultimate car guys making the ultimate car. And the chat turns to social responsibility… How does a two-wheel drive 700 horsepower winged monster fit into today’s sensitive world? GT department boss Frank-Steffen Walliser thinks 700 horsepower is quite on the responsible side. In fact he thinks the car can handle more…

2018 porsche 911 gt2 rs

Sounds like a nice guy.

Walliser and his guys live and breathe racing and cars, and they’ve developed what they deem to be the greatest ever 911 – turbocharged, two wheel drive, as light as possible and as wide as possible, with rear-wheel steering and hundreds of kilos of downforce, and a massive rubber contact patch. And on the track the chassis and brakes in the GT2 RS are so capable that you dare think him to be correct – it could handle more power.

But if you try to switch everything off this car will step out over a crest and off throttle and under braking and especially under power, so just so you know.

Otherwise it’s pretty incredible how accessible Porsche has made 700 turbocharged horsepower without the security of all-wheel drive normally associated with 911 Turbos. The secrets are too many – Porsche has basically gone through the entire 911 and made it the single biggest step beyond the series cars yet, so just don’t call it a tuned 911 Turbo S.

The GT2 RS has unique internals for the 3.8-litre flat-six and a special cooling system, as well as a water-cooled charge air system with a five-liter reservoir for distilled water in the front. You know, for weight balance. And also because there’s literally no room in the back, with the two turbos and titanium piping taking up every millimetre of room, surrounded by composite bodywork,.

2018 porsche 911 gt2 rs

Speaking of which everything is lightweight, the wheels magnesium, the suspension components carbon fibre and even front and rear roll bars made of carbon fibre, and optionally if you spec the Weissach Package (which Porsche says 90 percent of customers will), you also get a carbon fibre roof. The windows are Gorilla glass like on your smartphone, lighter and stronger than the polycarbonate on the old GT2.

A bit obsessive…

To say the least. The obsession runs deep, so much so that this 911 beat everything else around the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife with a production car record lap time of 6:47.3. Even the million-dollar 918 Spyder, by 10 seconds. It’s absurdly fast, and with a seven-speed PDK it pulls with so much torque from every speed, that it’s most definitely not an on-off affair with the throttle pedal because the boost is so explosive it lurches you onwards. More impressively you can dive on the brakes so hard that with the accompanying confidence it’s insane the kinds of speeds you achieve in a GT2 RS without needing more than half the throttle pedal travel. Anything more would be asking for trouble on a public road, and only reserved for the track where the GT2 RS can really run free.

2018 porsche 911 gt2 rs

So out of the dozen or so 911s available, this one is the business then?

It is indeed, and from AED949,700 we dare call the 911 GT1 RS a bargain considering you’d likely need to spend that much but in US dollars to get close to its pace. It’s a true driver’s car and a technological tour de force at the same time meaning Porsche has really nailed the balance of an aero-heavy car and pure enjoyment. The GT2 RS’s sheer breadth of ability (except for daily driving, which it doesn’t do very well with the booming engine sound and road and tyre noise due to minimal sound deadening) also makes it a thrill machine in the hands of both novices and pros.

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