Time for a couple of fast, physical and illuminating hours on MIRA’s Dunlop handling circuit next, before we strike north for the evening. I start out in the GT3 RS, in anticipation of big things. But however high your expectations of this car may be, I doubt you could get out of it with your mind and your senses intact. It really is that good.
The crispness and immediacy of this car’s cornering manners are truly astonishing. Unexpected, too, because the Porsche rides with
a gentleness that you just wouldn’t imagine possible.
The RS flits towards an apex with a magnetic kind of nonchalance; its every response comes more quickly than those of the regular GT3. On the limit of grip, it has to be mastered with a quick pair of hands, but it’ll tolerate any driving style you like: fast and smooth, or more wild and unfettered. You decide. Want to nudge those 325/30 ZR21 rear tyres into a 70mph, third-gear sweep of lift-off oversteer? Just think it, lift your right foot and it’s happening.
The 675LT feels a bit less at home on the tight, technical Dunlop circuit. In its own way, it’s still brilliant and fearsomely potent, but it’s neither as obliging nor as adjustable as the RS.
McLaren’s rebalancing of the 650S’s suspension and steering systems has paid dividends and sharpened the car’s reactions to a fine point. There is a limpet-like, confidence-inspiring front end to lean on, along with huge reserves of lateral adhesion. After back-to-back drives in both cars, I’ve now no doubt that a P Zero Trofeo R is a stickier tyre than a Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2. Which is saying something.
But here on track, when you’re likely to be after a more varied driving experience than full-bore qualifying pace alone can provide, even the 675LT feels slightly one-dimensional – much as the 650S did. A softness in the accelerator pedal prevents you from tapping into those huge reserves of horsepower with quite the precision that you’d
Meanwhile, McLaren’s decision to stick with an open differential continues to restrict your options during hard cornering and can adversely affect the 675LT’s controllability on the limit. It may even be that there’s simply too much grip here for the car’s own good.
Read the full Porsche 911 GT3 RS review
When Woking launched the MP4-12C, it said the car didn’t need an E-diff. We disagreed. It said the same about the 650S; again, we disagreed.
Now along comes the 675LT, still without the telling item of mechanical specification now common on sports cars at less than half the price asked for this one. Hear us this time, please, McLaren. Because a torque-vectoring ESP system is still no substitute for the uniquely rewarding, relationship-building sensation of a sports car being both driven and steered by its rear wheels.
Monday, 8.39pm: A169, Saltergate Bank, North Yorkshire Moors
A long day juggled between two steering wheels is drawing to a stunning close. England’s M42, M1 and A1M motorways haven’t been quiet, but 120 miles on them has provided a few insights into what real-world use of these cars would be like.
The first is that, even when battling through a sweaty rush hour with no air conditioning, questionable all-round visibility, an unintuitive navigation system and bucket seats almost as tight as your three-year-old’s safety seat, driving a lime green supercar can only ever make you smile.