Given how rare hardcore supersports cars with manual gearboxes have become, it would have been a bigger risk for Porsche to stick with a manual here than to move the GT2 RS onto paddles, especially since this car’s PDK gearbox is no ordinary dual-clutch transmission.
There’s a typically efficient launch control mode to use on track, as you’d expect. But, as with the current GT3, the GT2 RS also has a ‘paddle neutral’ function that allows you to fully disengage whichever clutch is selected by pulling both paddles simultaneously and holding them in – to re-engage it the instant you release them.
That means you can have the fastest possible getaway if you want, or you can switch out the car’s traction control, dial up some extra revs and spin up the driven axle if you’d rather, as part of what feels like a more manual, interactive, analogue process than most paddleshift supercars offer.
Even with plenty of practice with that ‘paddle neutral’ mode, however, you can forget about improving on the standing-start pace conjurable using Porsche’s launch control system. Although the GT2 RS’s power delivery feels appealingly linear through the middle of the rev range, this car will happily spin up its huge 325-section rear tyres in the dry and keep spinning them into fourth gear if you let it.
Reined in and perfectly electronically governed, it hit 60mph from rest in a two-way average of 3.0sec and 100mph in 6.1sec. Both a Huracán Performante and a 720S will dip under 3.0sec for the former and 6.0sec for the latter; and as much as carbonfibre supercars might seem like unfair competition for any 911, that’s the water Porsche is swimming in with this £200,000 special.
From behind the wheel, the GT2 RS feels very rapid indeed, although perhaps not quite in the ultra-quick performance league it aspires to. As much as the engine’s outright potency impresses, the progressiveness of its thrust and its near-perfect throttle response both seem equally remarkable for what’s a very highly stressed engine of significantly oversquare cylinders.
That there’s no sudden rushing wave of force erupting through the wheels as the crankshaft hits peak torque might take the edge off your perception of the sheer violence of the car’s acceleration – but it also makes the car feel more precise and less thuggish than you might have expected it to be; at least until you start switching off electronic aids.