The finest Porsche ever to wear a number plate

Our Verdict

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 2010-2012

Genuinely thrilling and engaging to drive, even on the road

What is it?

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of this last and loudest laugh of the 996/997 series of Porsche 911s, you should know its run of 600 units is dictated not by demand, but that thereafter its parts supplies will dry up; and at a price of £128,466, Porsche will make no money from any of them.

Think about that. What you are looking at is the greatest version of the greatest sports car ever built. Porsche knows it could have made thousands and charged half as much again for everyone. But it chose not to.

Instead it is what Porsche calls a ‘thank-you’ to its most loyal customers, the only people with a hope in hell of getting a sniff of one. Most will have already owned at least three GT3s.

What’s it like?

What they will find is so much more than an RS with a bit more poke. Instead it is a heady confection of Porsche’s most extreme road car, the GT2 RS, and its all-conquering racers, the GT3R and RSR. The Rose-jointed rear suspension with its helper springs is pure GT2 RS, the engine courtesy of the race cars, their long-throw crankshaft stroking the unit out to 3996cc, making this the largest engine ever to sit in the boot of a Porsche.

A new suspension tune has been achieved thanks to bespoke spring rates, but much of the car, including the gearbox, its ratios, the steering, brakes and tyres are carried over from the ‘normal’ GT3 RS. Myriad weight saving measures including the carbon bonnet and front bumper from the GT2RS, meaning a base-spec car wearing optional ceramic brakes weighs just 1360kg, about 10kg less than a 3.8-litre RS.

A new aero pack provides more downforce than any previous RS, those natty front winglets essential to balance the extra rear grip provided by that new rear wing with its 9deg angle.

The result? The car we named last year’s best driver’s car in Britain, the 3.8 RS, has not been made to stand aside. It’s been blown off the road.

Look at the stats like the 0.1sec knocked of the 0-60mph time and it’s hard to see why. But drive the 4.0 RS and it’s blindingly obvious. Despite it’s extra 50bhp, it’s not the power you notice, nor even its additional 22lb ft of torque. It’s where that torque is that makes all the difference.

One fault common to all GT3s is their unorthodox blend of a peaky engine and wide gear ratios. With the new motor, those gears finally make sense. On the road you can just park it in fourth gear and go anywhere from shopping to prison. On the track you have to rewrite your mental circuit notes because almost every corner is now a gear higher. It’s faster, yet easier.

Its composure in fast turns something you’d not credit a car with a tax disc, yet even if you turn off all the electronics it remains fundamentally forgiving, something you’d never say about the more expensive, flawed and less-enjoyable GT2RS.

Is it perfect? That car has still yet to be built and you’ll find the 4.0 RS keen to understeer in slow corners and its ride merely impressive rather than exemplary over the worst British B-roads.

Should I buy one?

Ask if there is a car on sale today I’d rather drive on a combination of road and track over the course of the next 20 years and I’ll tell you that if there is, I haven’t driven it.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Price: £128,466; Top speed: 193mph; 0-62mph: 3.9sec; Economy: 20.1mpg; CO2: 326g/km; Kerb weight: 1360kg; Engine type: 6cyls, 3996cc; Power: 493bhp at 8250rpm; 
Torque: 339lb ft at 5750rpm; Gearbox: six speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
24

2 June 2011

[quote Autocar]

Is it perfect? That car has still yet to be built and you’ll find the 4.0 RS keen to understeer in slow corners and its ride merely impressive rather than exemplary over the worst British B-roads.

[/quote]

All something on this car you can dial out with your own set up on this car.

I really really want one of these.......

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

2 June 2011

[quote TegTypeR]

I really really want one of these.......

[/quote]

Agreed

Can we assume from the article this is only being offered to existing owners or do the great unwashed have a hope?

2 June 2011

[quote Autocar]...you should know its run of 600 units is dictated not by demand, but that thereafter its parts supplies will dry up[/quote]

I hope that none of the owners prang theirs if there are no major spare parts available.

jer

2 June 2011

If you wanted one and had only previously owned only 2 GT3s you'd not be happy.

If it comes off the same line as the GT3 then I don't believe that Porsche won't make any money, it depends on how you account the time and cost of the fettling. I don't think the "we're doing our customers a favour" at charging only 128k is one I'd accept on any purchase rational or not.

Still a belting car no doubt.

2 June 2011

[quote suman]I hope that none of the owners prang theirs if there are no major spare parts available. [/quote]

Could be a little embarrasing for Porsche.

I would imagine that Porsche will have some special reserve stock of the unique parts to this model that will be un-available to the normal 'oiks' who own GT3s and GT3RS models.

2 June 2011

I am sorry,but Andrew is a very big 911 fan,this sounds like a load

of hype and double spin to me,big time !

Will make no money on each car,no major spare parts available,tell

me about it,the sea is red !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Just another update,and as i said more hype

3 June 2011

Not bad for a Beetle.

3 June 2011

[quote The Special One]Not bad for a Beetle.[/quote]

I agree. Like the Ferrari Italia, which isn't bad for an X/19. And the Mercedes SLS convertible, not bad for a 190SL.

3 June 2011

[quote kdwilcox]

I am sorry,but Andrew is a very big 911 fan,this sounds like a load

of hype and double spin to me,big time !

Will make no money on each car,no major spare parts available,tell

me about it,the sea is red !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Just another update,and as i said more hype

[/quote] I think it's unfair to dismiss this car as hype since it's clearly a great driver's car. But I wonder how much of a difference it's potential owners will notice over the standard GT3 RS on public roads.

And I agree with you on Frankle forever salivating over 911s. Frankel loves Porches, likes Mercs and dislikes BMWs and his tests of those manufacturers' cars almost always reflect that.

3 June 2011

Overdrive;

I am sorry,it seems i did not get my point over very well ,

what i had hoped to get over but did not was the hype about

Porsche making no money on this car !

The 911 Turbo costs £110k,this car as we know makes a clear profit

of £50k,so the car costs £60k to make,the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 costs

some £128k to buy,£68k more than the Turbo,and yet makes no profit,

come on,who can believe that,not me,thats a fact.

As for the car,yes,a good car to drive,mind i am far from sure its as

good as we are told,the Turbo like the GT3 RS 4.00 suffers from understeer

after so many updates that problem should have been taken care of a long

time ago.

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