PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS
Text and Photos: Reinis Babrovskis
The ultimate modern super-car, one of the fastest accelerating road vehicles on the planet, the widow maker or as we know it: The Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The 911 has always been the pinnacle of the motoring world. It is a vehicle one could take to a Monaco casino in the evening, whilst in the morning take it round the green hell in Germany, and it would feel at home on both situations.
WIDOW MAKER NO MORE
The latest generation 911 GT3 RS (technically the correct term would be 991.1) returned to the market in 2015. It was first presented to the general public at the Geneva International Motor Show in February. Despite the amazing stats, performance and beautiful design a lot of motoring journalists felt the car lacked something. What else one of the world's greatest cars had to offer, one has to ask? The GT3 RS no longer tried to kill you. The modern electronics and engineering along the racing aerodynamic package was finally capable of managing the wild beast for you. This is something a lot of modern manufacturers do with their latest models. Is the safety and drivers well-being concern by the manufacturer really killing of the raw fun?
Well I don't think so. There is always a time and a place for raw car fun, but public roads are not one of them, and let's be honest, this is exactly where the limited production 991.1 will spend most of it's time and it only makes sense that the ludicrous GT3 RS will do anything possible to protect some of the lesser skilled drivers. Let's be honest nobody wants to die. Similiar to the Nissan GTR the Porsche 991.1 will be capable of outperforming the biggest majority of the vehicles on track, be it the electronics or the driver that is doing it, it doesn't matter. For all we care - it is fast and amazing,
So let's have a look of what the latest generation GT3 RS had to offer.
The body of the 991.1 is shared with the younger brother - the 911 turbo, with added improvements of course. To begin with the wider track both at the front and rear has been achieved with the new beefier wheel and tires combo. Despite the similar styling with the GT3, the RS model possesses more evil look thanks to the massive wheels and humangus rear spoiler. The car brake and engine cooling has been improved with the front fender louvers both front and rear.
The RS has also been on a diet - the 991.1 features a CFRP front and rear lid and wings, polycarbonate rear and side windows, magnesium roof with double bubble recess, and a lot of aluminium elsewhere. Even the exhaust system was made out of titanium. The end result might be just a 10kg loss, but don't forget the car offers a lot more than its smaller brother. The car weighs a little over 1.4 tonnes in total which is impressive for any standards. It is one of the most impressive supercars that provides both luxurious and sporty design. Porsche really didn't disappoint.
The devil is in the details... Porsche really demonstrated a beautiful craftmanship on every panel of the vehicle, both inside and outside. You really do witness the passion from Porsche when building each of these vehicles.
The most noticeable difference from the previous generation models can be seen in the sharper lines of the vehicle, most noticeably at the rear of the car. The rear taillights have been reduced in size and received a much sharper design.
Whereas the front lights have retained oval enhancing the classic Porsche 911 style
First of all you will notice the quality. The build quality is second to none, and you are reminded you are sitting in a luxurious high performance vehicle, not some stripped out race car that fills your nostrals with the smell of petrol and smears your suit with oil.
The steering wheel is still oval (not flat bottomed) and luckily not overfilled with controls like that of an F1 vehicle. Far too many manufacturers have tried to squash every vehicle control on their wheel recently. The centre 12' o clock line is an optional extra, coming in at £180, a bargain if you ask me.
You have the luxury of beautiful finishes on every gauge and panel, you also get carpets and audio at no extra cost. I know the purists might stop me there - how very dare Porsche put it in a race car, but you know what, these cars can be used as daily driven vehicles as well.
Without a doubt the most beautiful part of the vehicle is it's ultra wide bucket seats based on the 918 model, finished in black faux-suede. The ultra wide and low seats were designed with a helmet use in mind. Smart...
Once you have got passed the Porsche luxuriousness you actually are reminded this is a high performance track beast that wants to kill you. You ask me what makes me think so - ermm, well when you look at the back you notice a roll cage.
The interior also faces lightweight fabric-loop door pulls stand in for conventional pieces. Porsche really have tried hard to diet the GT3 RS and they claim a 22 pound loss over the GT3 model.
Another reminder from Porsche that this vehicle was designed for a track use rather than a means of transport to a boring business event is the Sport Chrono Package. The timing system uses a Porsche Track Precission app using a GPS technology to measure and record the drivers perforamce and lap times that can be synced with a smartphone. No more telling your mates you did the ring in 5 minutes but your camera failed.
Lastly, can I just say the most wonderful thing found in the interior of the 991.1 GT3 RS were classic mechanical measuring gauges. People really have forgotten how satisfying it is to watch the needle of the gauge move instead of a digital dashboard that now resides in every vehicle including a Prius. Porsche, I salute you!
SUSPENSION, WHEELS, BRAKES
The 991.1 RS completed the "Green Hell" in 7 minutes and 20 seconds (5 seconds faster than the GT3 model) and it really seems this is the ultimate Porsche to date. With every test driver impressed with the levels of grip handling and rigid body what really keeps it on the road?
The car came equipped with the widest wheels and tires ever fitted to a 911. The GT3 RS is equipped with beautiful 21" alloys dressed in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. The car stops in no time thanks to the large optional carbon ceramic brakes.
The wheels also featured center-lock as seen in the racing cars. A subtle, yet beautiful engineering masterpiece in already track oriented beast.
The 991.1 is equipped with a fully adjustable suspension, allowing tweaks of camber, caster and anti-roll bar settings. It also features a rear axle steering and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus system, with a fully variable rear axle differential lock (PTV Plus) as well as Porsche Active Suspension Management. It really seems the GT3 RS is no longer a widow maker, rather a true race car encouraging the driver to push it even further beyond the limit.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
And now the desert - the pinnacle of the Porsche 911.1 GT3 RS: it's engine. In the world of the turbo obsession and electric hyper power Porsche decided to retain true to itself and retain a beautiful naturally aspirated engine that screams all the way up to 8800rpm.
The engine derived from the previous 911 GT3 direct injection 3.8 litre petrol engine and was stroked further 4mm achieving a 4.0 capacity. The engine also received brand new pistons, as well as a crankshaft that is built froma super-steel alloy that was also used in the 919 hybrid LMP1 race car as well as in several F1 vehicles.
The power unit produces astonishing 500 horsepower for a vehicle weighing in at just 1420kg with 339 pound-feet of torque. The Porsche 991.1 has been one of the fastest road going and accelerating vehicles since the first model was released in 1963, so understandably the top of the range model GT3 RS has always been that extra bonkers. It takes 3.3 seconds for it to reach a 62mph marker from standstill (0,6 seconds faster than the previous generation) and it takes the GT3 RS another 7.3 seconds to reach the next 62 mph. The top speed is claimed at 193.
Having the luxury of being naturally aspirated means the engine really loves the higher revs and screams in every gear. It really is a masterpiece and the music coming from the twin exhaust is majestic.
The power to the rear wheels is delivered via a 7 speed PDK gearbox. The gearbox is mounted to a double clutch system similar to those seen in race cars with sequential manual gearbox.The 991.1 model also offers declutching via the paddle neutral option, meaning it functions similar to pressing a clutch in a conventional manual gearbox.
I really do not care if motoring journalists believed the previous generation models were more fun and raw, I firmly believe this is one of the best vehicles ever to drive on our Earth surface and just pray that some day we, the mortals, all get a chance to be behind the wheel of one.
ON A SIDE NOTE
The Porsche photoshoot was a joint venture with the Northern Ireland's leading car autocare company "PMG Autocare". A lot of times the car owners spend a lot of time and money on expensive body parts, wheels, suspensions and other bits; however, they neglect the most important part of the car - the paintwork. If you want your car to look at its finest "PMG" located in Belfast are the masters of the trade and will make your car paintwork get back to life and more importantly protect it for the future. The Porsche received a full paint correction and enhancement and was sealed by the GTechniq crystal serum. For more info on how to get your car to look best visit PMG Facebook Page.