Stripped-back Porsche GT3 RS blurs the line between road and race
Porsche has used the 2015 Geneva Motor Show to unveil its most track-ready, stripped-back 911 yet – the 911 GT3 RS. Under the bonnet is a 4.0-liter flat six engine that develops 373 kW (500 hp) and 458 Nm (338 lb.ft), almost exactly the same amount of power and torque that the outgoing GT3 RS 4.0 made. For buyers concerned with numbers above all else, the new generation RS is 0.8 seconds faster to 60 mph, with a sprint time of 3.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h). But whereas the old car put its power down via a six-speed manual gearbox, the latest RS is only being offered with a PDK double clutch gearbox. Although this will allow for even quicker laptimes and an easier ownership experience for those who want to drive their RS everyday, it also removes a layer of involvement from the driving experience that has made the RS so famous.
PDK gearbox aside, Porsche has thrown all of its racing expertise at making the GT3 lighter. Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) has been used for the car's engine and luggage compartment hoods, and a magnesium roof saves weight and lowers the RS' center of gravity – perfect for quick, flat direction changes.
As well as the magnesium roof, Porsche's engineers have fitted the rear-wheel steering system from the GT3 and a fully variable rear differential lock, both of which will supplement the handling improvements that come with the car's wider front and rear track and big tires.
The GT3's race credentials are reinforced by the ducting and venting that is everywhere on its body. The two vents behind the front wheels provide extra downforce at the front axle, working in tandem with the jutting chin spoiler and massive rear wing sitting proud over the rear wheels for high speed downforce.
So what's the net result of all these upgrades? The GT3 RS takes just 7:20 to lap Nurburgring Nordschleife, five seconds faster than the 10 kg (22lb) heavier GT3.
The GT3 RS' interior is based on that of the standard GT3, albeit with some changes to suit the car's higher pricetag and track bias. Alcantara trimmed carbon fiber bucket seats based on the 918 Spyder's sit in front of the car's half roll cage, while the optional Sport Chrono package allows drivers to track their drives via Porsche's Track Precision app.
The GT3 RS made its debut alongside the Porsche Cayman GT4 at the Geneva Motor Show. If you like the look of the RS, you'll need US$175,900 before you can park one in the garage.