Road Tripping: Shock And Awe With The Porsche 911 GT3 RS

BY Sean Loo

Oh, you want something that turns it up to eleven? Well, step right up to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

This, my friends, is the latest and greatest 992 Porsche GT3 RS. It's not just inspired by motorsport; it's a full-blown race car that's been tamed just enough for those brave souls who want to experience it on both road and track. Well, relatively speaking, of course.

And, as fate would have it, this automotive marvel arrives exactly 50 years after the iconic 2.7 RS kicked off the 911 RS legacy. Talk about serendipity.

Now, when I first laid eyes on the GT3 RS in Singapore, it felt like I was witnessing a heavyweight champion in the ring. Its appearance is challenging, even brutal, but spend some quality time with it, and you'll find yourself smitten by its unapologetically aggressive design and almost cartoonish proportions.

And, believe it or not, this beast manages to pull off the 'looks good in any colour' feat. Don’t believe me? I implore you to indulge in a Porsche configurator session, and you'll see what I mean.

This current GT3 RS, my friends, is a breed apart. The older generations were essentially 911s with wide bodies and wings, but this one? This one's a freak.

You might wonder, why all the fuss about extreme aero? Well, it's all about downforce, and let me tell you, this car is obsessed with it. Just take a gander at those countless holes, wings, cutaways, and vents; they're all in the name of creating and managing downforce.

The numbers are mind-boggling: a staggering 860 kilograms of downforce at 280km/h. That's well over double what the previous 991.2 GT3 RS managed. Here's where it gets even more interesting – thanks to some nifty movable flaps in the front spoiler and a hydraulic DRS-style element in that enormous swan-neck rear wing, you can dial it back to a mere 306 kilograms at the same speed in the blink of an eye.

So, you've got massive grip when you need it, and less drag when you don't. Brilliant, isn't it?

The aero wizardry behind this feat is nothing short of spectacular. Instead of the usual trio of radiators in the front bumper, a la every other 911, the GT3 RS opts for a single massive radiator that leans forward, taking inspiration from the RSR and GT3 R racers.

The trade-off? Well, you can say goodbye to any front trunk storage, but in return, you get the precious space needed for those movable underbody vanes. They're constantly adjusting and working in harmony with the rear wing and diffuser to maintain a precise 30 per cent front and 70 per cent rear aero balance.

Now, I can almost hear you wondering – does this beast pack a monstrous powerplant? Surprisingly, no. Sure, there have been some power gains, but nothing too dramatic.

This beast is powered by a 4.0-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six that revs all the way to 9,000RPM, producing 518bhp. This modest increase is mainly thanks to some hotter camshaft profiles.

What's really refreshing in this age of turbocharged and electric juggernauts is that Porsche has opted to keep the power output relatively constant and focused its efforts elsewhere.

They've worked their magic on the seven-speed PDK gearbox, which boasts a shorter final drive ratio compared to the GT3. And then there are the wing-profiled wishbone suspension arms, which contribute a solid 40 kilograms of downforce at top speed.

Translated, this enables the GT3 RS to rock the century sprint in a mere 3.2 seconds, going all the way to a top speed of 296km/h. Yes, it is 14km/h slower than the GT3 in a straight line, but in the corners? Hasta La Vista.

When you put it all together, the GT3 RS tips the scales at 1,450 kilograms, which is only 15 kilograms more than an equivalent GT3. Not too shabby, especially considering it boasts the full suite of driver aids, including rear-wheel steering and adjustability in just about every department.

Of course, driving this monster on regular B-roads cannot do it justice, as it has more than enough grip for even the tightest of corners. I’m sure it will be a hell of a ball on the track, but my limited time spent with the car cannot do it justice.

However, even in that brief stint on the roads, the GT3 RS gave me its full undivided attention, and that led to pure unadulterated joy each time I stepped on the gas. It may be a hulking supercar with that large aircraft-carrier-styled wing, but on the roads it's as easy as Sunday morning to get around.

What we've got here, my friends, is a masterpiece in aerodynamics and chassis dynamics. I must applaud Porsche for resisting the urge to simply crank up the power and, instead, choosing to explore every nook and cranny of the 911's performance potential.

In the world of supercars, there's nothing quite like it. The GT3 RS may not win any beauty contests, but you won't care one bit because it delivers where it matters most – in performance.

Make no mistake, you'll need to bring your A-game to fully appreciate this automotive marvel. It demands it. A testament to the unrelenting pursuit of speed.

Photo Credits: Sean Loo (@auto.driven)