2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS First Drive Review: It’s magic

How do you enhance on a automobile that’s already punching properly and really above its weight? The 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a machine that, in our testing, completely 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 almost any track-focused automobile on the street, together with these costing many occasions extra.

So the place do you go from there? Well, in the event you’re Porsche, you begin with the same old: extra energy. That’s 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 technology but by some means provides 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.

More than a point-release

If you are searching for the total 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 almost the complete vary.

However, 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 manner as much as a 9,000rpm redline. That’s 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 prime pace of 194 mph.

Yes, there are faster automobiles 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. Yes, meaning 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. Those keen to shell out one other $18,000 for the Weissach package deal will see larger financial savings, owing to much more intensive use of carbon fiber, changing issues like rollbar endlinks and even the shift paddles with the matte-black stuff.

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Subtle it ain’t. 

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

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

But to attain a time like 6:56.four on the Nürburgring, much more was wanted. The automobile sports activities limitless aerodynamic tweaks so refined 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 lastly, there are the tires, 20-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s now optionally out there in a super-sticky “R N-spec” that you will undoubtedly need to 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 almost all epic of race tracks. However, making a automobile sooner can typically makes it more durable to drive and, even worse, much less enjoyable. Thankfully, that is not an issue right here.


For most grip, attempt to hold all 4 tires on the bottom. 


On the monitor

Yes, I used to be fortunate to check the GT3 RS across the Nürburgring, however no it wasn’t the total, public monitor. My time was restricted to the Grand Prix circuit, which is decidedly much less epic than the total Green 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 displaying me the fast manner round, inside a couple of laps I instantly felt at residence within the new RS, my thoughts filling with fond reminiscences of the various, many thrilling laps I would spent in its 2016 predecessor.

In the tight, downhill hairpin that ends the entrance straight I went in too sizzling and pushed the entrance a couple of occasions, understeer that was rectified by merely unwinding the steering for a second. Later, I acquired on the gasoline 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 the 120-mph kink.

I will spare additional descriptions of my on-track over-exuberances, however I need 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 just dance on a razor’s edge. It provides sufficient nuance and really feel to let you understand once you’re over the restrict and sufficient poise to present you time to carry it again.

It is sort of merely an epic pleasure to drive on the monitor. But, in fact, it is also road-legal.


Though maybe not essentially the most snug automobile on the street, the GT3 RS is completely livable. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Outside the ‘Ring

While the Nordschleife will get all the excitement, I will allow you to in on somewhat secret: the slender, twisting roads across the monitor are among the greatest on this planet, they usually come full with pace limits simply wanting the quickest you are legally allowed to do on most US highways.

They are sinuous and difficult and, as I steered the brand new 911 GT3 RS by 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 my peripheral imaginative and prescient as if some larger 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 quite a lot of new and surprising methods. I solely dared exceed the out there 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 might want to hold it howling, too, as a result of whereas the motor is completely happy to spin as much as its 9,000 rpm, its temper would not actually begin to enhance till about four,500 rpm. Thankfully, the rifle-quick, seven-speed PDK means the right cog is rarely greater than a faucet away.

And when it is time to dial it again to cruise by somewhat 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 package deal that is missing for nothing apart from Android Auto. The entrance trunk will simply swallow a weekend’s value of bags, and there is much more cargo area behind the seats, making certain this is not only a nice automobile for a weekend on the monitor, it is an important automobile for any weekend.

This is, in spite of everything, nonetheless a 911.

2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

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

Tim Stevens/Roadshow


If I got here off as a bit enamored at occasions through the writing of this it is as a result of this was merely an epic day of driving. While I have been fortunate to have greater than my justifiable share of these, few days have executed a lot to typify the character of a automobile. The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is among the many most enjoyable monitor toys available on the market. That it is capable of be that and but continues to be such a pleasure in the true world is greater than an engineering feat, it is magic. 

Editors’ observe: Roadshow accepts multiday car loans from producers with the intention to present scored editorial critiques. All scored car critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. However, for this characteristic, the producer coated journey prices. This is frequent within the auto business, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to automobiles than to ship automobiles to journalists.

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


Publish Date: 2018-05-05 00:03:02

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