Downforce, DRS and designing at smashing lap times: welcome to Porsche’s latest tilt to a road racer
We’re simple creatures here – Porsche could fit its 517 horsepower 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat six into a mobile library and we’d probably call it good. So to have an engine of that size and splendor almost instantly get lost in the car it powers? That’s worth a look.
But it’s not like the new 992-generation 911 GT3 RS really needs a lot of attention to establish its intent. When the folks writing a press release feel compelled to mention that their company’s sports car is £194,300 ‘legally on the road’, you get an indication of what that machine is all about.
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Unsurprisingly, then, the GT3 RS relies heavily on Porsche’s Le Mans-class winning 911 RSR and 911 GT3 R customer race car, or produces 409kg of downforce at 204mph and 860kg of aero-derived chonk at 177mph. If you can take in the number, shape, and prominence of wings, diffusers, and fins and don’t get to “That’s got to stick to a stuffed toy like puppy poop,” you probably haven’t found much pleasure in aerodynamics, or even scatology. comparisons.
The top speed of 184 mph is equally easy to square up, as is a zero to 62 time of 3.2 seconds. After all, if you’ve got 517 horsepower and 1,450 kg to motivate through a rapid-fire, seven-speed PDK gearbox and anything close to decent traction, you’re not going to plod along like a mule.
But that’s where the soup of some pretty fast machines will slip past you – this is a car with twice the downforce as the old GT3 RS and three times as much as the current 911 GT3. And carrying that kind of drag to just under the metric triple-ton will take more than even Porsche’s flat-six can achieve without a little help.
But the motorsport focus of the new GT3 RS is so great that it even has an F1-style drag reduction system. And the mechanics are pretty similar to F1 too – look closely at the rear wing pillars and see the servos, ready to go from full slipstream to maximum downforce at the push of a button. And, according to the Bugatti Veyron et al, that rear wing will also act as an air brake “during emergency braking at high speeds.” Which makes us wonder if a future track racer could rely on air brakes that don’t activate due to too timid pedal pressure.
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On the other hand, considering the stock brakes for the GT3 RS are a massive 408mm up front and 380mm in the rear – gripped by six- and four-pot calipers respectively – you’ll need to have a pharmacy who’s damn brave™ pills before you spontaneously straighten a corner. makes.
If that still seems like a risk you don’t want to run just yet, Porsche also offers the option of ceramic brakes with an extra 2mm diameter at the front and a further 10 at the rear. And there’s something to be said for kicking the brake pedal like a mule at every brake mark and letting the solid discs, ABS and air brake work together. Finesse is great and all, but brute force has generally worked for us.
Should brute force not work in your favor, the RS’s long-standing, free Clubsport package adds the roll bar, six-point seat belt and fire extinguisher you need to find ten-tenths another day. This is still Porsche, of course, so you can pay through the nose (other openings are available) for a carbon fiber roll bar to save six pounds and forged magnesium wheels to recoup another eight.
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On that note, the idea of someone with the cash to splash on a GT3 RS and choosing not to go the whole hog of options – or at the very least jump after the free ‘go racing’ Clubsport package – seems like a bit of a mental jump for us. But again, we are simple creatures.