WITH BODY parts made from magnesium and carbon fibre, it sounds like something NASA would build, but drivers will soon be able to get their hands on it without spending years in training at the Lyndon Jonson Space Centre in Houston: the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is ready for lift-off.
Launched today at the Geneva motor show, the GT3 RS, as its known to its fans, is claimed to be significantly faster than the Carrera GT supercar on a flying lap of the demanding, 12.9-mile Nurburgring racing circuit. Porsche says that it has recorded a time of 7min 20sec, which is nine seconds quicker than the Carrera GT.
Those who have the means to attempt to replicate such feats of driving bravery will need to spend £131,296, which isnt quite the shocking figure it may first appear to be. In fact, its something of a bargain compared with its arch rival, the Ferrari 458 Speciale, which costs £206,945.
So, is the GT3 RS half the car the 458 Speciale is? Definitely not. It features a 4-litre, naturally aspirated flat-six-cylinder engine which produces 493bhp and 354 Ib ft of torque improving upon the 469bhp and 324 Ib ft of the standard GT3. Thats enough power, says Porsche, to propel the GT3 RS from 0-62mph in 3.3seconds, from 0-124mph in 10.9 seconds. Sounds fast enough to us.
The six-cylinder engine is paired up with a seven-speed flappy-paddle transmission, which offers a coasting function when lifting off the throttle, to help save fuel, and a Pit Speed mode which limits the cars speed in a pit lane at a busy track day. We cant see much call for the former, but expect to see GT3 RS owners pull into the pits much more often than before, just so they can show off the race-car style, speed-limiting gadget to friends.
Porsche admits that despite featuring a magnesium roof panel and using carbon fibre reinforced plastic panels for the engine cover and front bonnet, the RS shaves just 10kg from a GT3s kerbweight.
However, it points to the RS wider tyres and increased front and rear track, as well as a collection of wings and spoilers that wouldnt look out of place on a Eurofighter Typhoon, all of which is said to improve downforce and cornering speed. Like the GT3, its rear axle is able to steer ever so slightly, aiding agility, and it uses a limited slip differential and Porsches Torque Vectoring Plus traction system to give maximum drive out of a bend.
Inside, there are the carbon-backed seats from Porsche’s 918 Spyder supercar , and those that want to drive their GTS RS on track some would say shame on those who don’t can order a Club Sport package, which includes a roll cage behind the seats, six-point racing harness for the driver, preparation for a battery cut-off switch and a fire extinguisher, should this really be the sports car to set the drivers trousers on fire.
Porsche says buyers will be given driving tuition at the Silverstone-based Porsche Experience Centre – the ideal time to also get to grips with Porsches smartphone app which logs the cars performance and allows the driver to review and share it with other users – and all models benefit from an anti-theft tracking device.