2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS First Drive: It

    How do you enhance on a automobile that’s already punching nicely and actually above its weight? The 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a machine that, in our testing, totally vanquished two of my favourite track-oriented sportscars, the Mustang GT350R and Dodge Viper ACR. There and elsewhere, the GT3 RS simply stood toe-to-toe with practically any track-focused automobile on the highway, together with these costing many instances extra.

    So the place do you go from there? Effectively, for those who’re Porsche, you begin with the standard: extra energy. That is by no means a nasty first step, however a laundry-list of minor tweaks, additions and refinements create a new GT3 RS that has all of the reassuring character and terrifying pace of the earlier era but by some means gives much more of each.

    The $187,500 GT3 RS is the purest, most track-focused taste of all of the two-dozen variations of the present Porsche 911, and for the 2019 mannequin 12 months, it is even higher than ever.

    Greater than a point-release

    In the event you’re searching for the complete nomenclature, this automobile is the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, constructed on the 991.2 platform. For the bottom Carrera, the transfer from 991 to 991.2 in 2015 noticed the novel introduction of turbocharging throughout practically the complete vary.

    Nonetheless, the 991.2 taste of the GT3 RS stays stubbornly freed from compelled induction, its four.Zero-liter flat-six now serving up 520 horsepower because it howls its approach as much as a 9,000rpm redline. That is 20 extra indignant ponies than final time, sufficient to get the automobile from Zero to 62 miles per hour in three seconds flat, with a high pace of 194 mph.

    Sure, there are faster vehicles on the market, and sooner ones too, however its 6:56.four lap time across the epic Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany, lengthy the defacto benchmark for such machines, makes the GT3 RS is the third-quickest manufacturing automobile ever examined at that monitor, behind solely its sibling GT2 and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Sure, which means the GT3 RS is faster even Porsche’s $1 million 918 hypercar.

    The GT3 RS weighs three,153 kilos, about 22 kilos much less the present 911 GT3, because of some additional light-weighting all through. These keen to shell out one other $18,000 for the Weissach bundle will see larger financial savings, owing to much more in depth use of carbon fiber, changing issues like rollbar endlinks and even the shift paddles with the matte-black stuff.

    Refined it ain’t. 

    Tim Stevens/Roadshow

    For the final word in weight financial savings, although, one other $13,000 nabs you a set of magnesium wheels, which alone shave off practically 25 kilos from the automobile — and look impossibly cool with their deep, darkish, unpainted luster.

    However to attain a time like 6:56.four on the Nürburgring, much more was wanted. The automobile sports activities limitless aerodynamic tweaks so delicate they’re straightforward to overlook, like extra pronounced gills on the entrance fenders and a scalloped entrance splitter that permits extra air to channel beneath the brand new floor-mounted diffusers.

    For quickest identification of 2016 vs. 2019, search for the pair of inset NACA ducts on the hood, which feed cool air on to the entrance brakes’ discs.

    And eventually, there are the tires, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s now optionally obtainable in a super-sticky “R N-spec” that you will positively need on your personal Nürburgring makes an attempt.

    All that, plus a whole bunch of different tweaks, mix to make the automobile a lot sooner than earlier than round that the majority epic of race tracks. Nonetheless, making a automobile sooner can usually makes it tougher to drive and, even worse, much less enjoyable. Fortunately, that is not an issue right here.


    For max grip, attempt to preserve all 4 tires on the bottom. 


    On the monitor

    Sure, I used to be fortunate to check the GT3 RS across the Nürburgring, however no it wasn’t the complete, public monitor. My time was restricted to the Grand Prix circuit, which is decidedly much less epic than the complete Inexperienced Hell however, frankly a greater and extra managed setting for pushing a brand new, unfamiliar automobile to its limits.

    And with ‘Ring guru Matthias Hoffsummer exhibiting me the short approach round, inside just a few laps I instantly felt at dwelling within the new RS, my thoughts filling with fond recollections of the various, many thrilling laps I would spent in its 2016 predecessor.

    Within the tight, downhill hairpin that ends the entrance straight I went in too sizzling and pushed the entrance just a few instances, understeer that was rectified by merely unwinding the steering for a second. Later, I acquired on the fuel too early approaching to the again straight and the rear tires spun up on the pollen-coated asphalt.

    The rear kicked out, however with solely the lightest of countersteers, with out even lifting off the throttle, away we went rocketing down the again straight and flat by means of the 120-mph kink.

    I will spare additional descriptions of my on-track over-exuberances, however I wish to paint the image of a automobile that by some means manages to be quick and but enjoyable. The GT3 RS doesn’t require that you simply dance on a razor’s edge. It gives sufficient nuance and really feel to let you understand while you’re over the restrict and sufficient poise to offer you time to deliver it again.

    It’s fairly merely an epic pleasure to drive on the monitor. However, in fact, it is also road-legal.


    Although maybe not probably the most snug automobile on the highway, the GT3 RS is completely livable. 

    Andrew Hoyle/CNET

    Exterior the ‘Ring

    Whereas the Nordschleife will get all the excitement, I will allow you to in on a bit secret: the slender, twisting roads across the monitor are among the greatest on this planet, and so they come full with pace limits simply in need of the quickest you are legally allowed to do on most US highways.

    They’re sinuous and difficult and, as I steered the brand new 911 GT3 RS by means of them, I could not assist however feeling like I used to be astride a cruise missile. The verdant hills, blooming fields and curious cattle flashed by means of my peripheral imaginative and prescient as if some greater energy have been leaning on the fast-forward button and I used to be merely a passenger.

    I used to be, nevertheless, in full management, the RS holding sufficient Gs within the corners to rearrange my face in a wide range of new and surprising methods. I solely dared exceed the obtainable grip of the tires within the tightest of hairpins, the tail sliding simply sufficient to pivot the automobile across the apex earlier than the rear-end squatted and away we went to the following bend, engine howling all of the whereas.

    You will want to maintain it howling, too, as a result of whereas the motor is joyful to spin as much as its 9,000 rpm, its temper would not actually begin to enhance till about four,500 rpm. Fortunately, the rifle-quick, seven-speed PDK means the proper cog isn’t greater than a faucet away.

    And when it is time to dial it again to cruise by means of a bit city or to take a seat in site visitors, with the contact of some buttons the exhaust quiets and the suspension relaxes considerably, making a automobile that, whereas not precisely snug, is eminently livable. A fairly passable Bose sound system is paired to an infotainment bundle that is missing for nothing apart from Android Auto. The entrance trunk will simply swallow a weekend’s price of baggage, and there is much more cargo house behind the seats, guaranteeing this is not only a nice automobile for a weekend on the monitor, it is a fantastic automobile for any weekend.

    That is, in any case, nonetheless a 911.

    2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

    Cliche, however that is the angle most different vehicles will see. 

    Tim Stevens/Roadshow


    If I got here off as a bit enamored at instances throughout the writing of this it is as a result of this was merely an epic day of driving. Whereas I have been fortunate to have greater than my justifiable share of these, few days have performed a lot to typify the character of a automobile. The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is among the many most enjoyable monitor toys in the marketplace. That it is in a position to be that and but remains to be such a pleasure in the actual world is greater than an engineering feat, it is magic. 

    Editors’ be aware: Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers so as to present scored editorial evaluations. All scored automobile evaluations are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nonetheless, for this characteristic, the producer coated journey prices. That is frequent within the auto trade, as it is extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial crew are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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