Envy is an ugly mistress, but when confronted with rich folk, the hackles inevitably raise and reasons not to like them rise to the surface like helium bubbles. Usually it's when they start braying about holiday homes, private schools or how they've kept their Blahnik-clad feet on the ground.
The owner of the Edo Competition GT2 RS is clearly so loaded with cash his biggest problem is counting it. Though he sounds like cool company.
The Russian owns a huge quarry and is one of the biggest suppliers to the construction industry. So when he watched Edo Competition's one-off Porsche decimate the competition at the annual Tuner Grand Prix, he wrote a check for 240,000 euro (that's $300,815) on the spot and this quite spectacular machine was all his. Fuel consumption probably didn't come into consideration.
Now it's a weekend hobby car. Race engineer turned ace Porsche and supercar tuner Edo Karabegovic (pictured above) preps it, trailers it to the Nordschleife, and this daring millionaire risks life and limb for fun before heading back to work-while his equally fast daughter drives a 993. He was more than happy for Patrick Simon to take the wheel at the old Nrburgring, though, and the racer, with just one lap to do it in, hurled this beast round the lethal track in 7 minutes, 15.63 seconds-setting a new record for street-legal cars in the process.
It didn't go down well with Porsche, which had tested for months with its $560,970 Carrera GT supercar and rally legend Walter Rohrl, intending to take the record from its own 996 GT2.
The production car guise could rankle some, as this car was barely street legal and, in reality, is a racing car with registration plates. The Zakspeed Viper crew that takes customers for high-speed laps of the 'Ring in their fully-prepped GT (at 500 euro or $626 a pop) politely asked the owner to stop passing them so frequently.
The near-weightless bodywork proudly wears the stone chips of battle, the bolt-action gearlever lies in the middle of the bare metal flooring; you climb through the roll cage into the car and there's more insulation in the Gobi Desert. And as I wedge myself close up to the readout, flick on the three electric fuel pumps and push the big black button in the middle of the sparse dash, the sheer violence of a race engine shaking the car and the ground beneath drives home just how serious this machine is. The black-and-yellow warning colors should have given it away from the start.
At low revs, the Edo Competition GT2 RS sounds like a pair of wet, gravel-filled sneakers in a giant clothes dryer. The grating noises don't sweeten before the boost kicks in, by which time I'm concentrating on cars flying back towards me like suicidal insects. Karabegovic fitted titanium pistons, engorged turbochargers and a sport exhaust system he designed himself (as well as remapping the engine) to come up with 612 bhp and 580 lb-ft of torque, which is quite a lot. That much kinetic energy going off behind your head tends to sharpen the mind, but the clutch and lightweight gearchange all make it feel rather simple-in the parking lot at least.
It hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, 125 mph in 9.5 seconds and 187.5 mph (300 kph) in 22.5 seconds. The word 'explosive' just doesn't come close. It's like riding a missile as the turbos spool up into an ear-piercing whine against the background of a transmission that sounds like its being murdered and a flat-six 3.6-liter cranked up to Death Metal volume. It's an aural, sensual and visual assault; expletive-clad adjectives simply fall by the wayside like distance markers at the side of the road.
And it doesn't run out of steam until it passes through the 212 mph barrier. With taller gearing, it will do 240 mph, but the 996 GT2 RS is set up for punching out of the corners as well as top-end speed. It also runs on just one bar of boost, so the engine won't dump its oil with boring regularity. Wound up to the skies, as less scrupulous tuners tend to do, you'd need salt flats to find its limit.