It was like experiencing an extremely vivid dream after a very rich and satisfying meal with a few glasses of wine at a trendy new restaurant. Driving through a surreal desert landscape, I was behind the wheel of what seemed to be my own 997.2 GT3. Things were totally realistic and believable, but on the other hand, I had the sense that something was just not quite right. Most everything was familiar and where it should be, however, the Alcantara seat inserts, parts of the steering wheel, hand brake lever and door handles were a “wild” shade of red. The driver seat felt comfortable, but tighter with less padding, so I looked towards the empty passenger seat and noticed that these were the folding carbon-fiber sport buckets that I should have ordered. This was all very strange.
Continuing along the challenging, undulating road at a moderate pace I could feel the motorsport-derived suspension working perfectly to keep the car stable and flat, as well as providing amazingly communicative feedback through the steering wheel; perhaps even better than I remembered. The shift linkage was familiar too; quick, short throws with a precise and slightly heavy mechanical feel, making every gear selection a joy. And when on the brakes, I found a hard, satisfying pedal that provided the confidence and control I’ve come to expect from modern high-end German sports cars. Inside the cabin, my ears discerned that the engine note was very slightly muted; again, I wasn’t “flying,” but the sound was completely pleasing and recognizable, much like a GT3 fitted with a factory exhaust system while cruising along below 4000 rpm.
Just then I glanced down into the familiar five-pod circular instrument cluster and took notice of a digital boost gauge. This was the point when I knew for sure that I wasn’t in my GT3, and that this was no dream. I then eased out of a slow on-camber hairpin in Second gear and progressively rolled deep into the throttle. The throttle response was immediate and positive, as the revs quickly climbed the car was effortlessly catapulted down the long straightaway with unbelievable force. With this, the engine note changed to a ferocious and frenetic roar. I snapped into Third gear and continued at an insane rate of acceleration until the upcoming corner appeared in the distance and better judgment ruled that I get on the flippin’ binders. With such mind-blowing acceleration on tap, this was certainly no normally aspirated “GT” 911. Indeed, it was the new and sensational GT2 RS.
The GT2 RS is touted as a 620-hp twin-turbo monster encased in Porsche’s best handling road-going chassis ever, the current GT3 RS. After my full-on experience over the mountain roads of the High Sierras near Reno, Nevada, I would completely agree. This new GT2 RS does not disappoint. The first of many things that one is amazed with is the fact that it can be driven around as tamely as any garden variety Boxster, Cayman or Carrera. No fuss, no muss; just supremely smooth drivability at a crawl or canter. Dipping gently into the throttle, however, provides an indication of the “Mr. Hyde” personality that lurks behind you; torque is everywhere. In addition, the throttle response of this 3.6L turbocharged masterpiece is nothing short of astonishing. Turbo lag? Doesn’t know the meaning of it!
With power up by 90 hp over the previous 911 GT2, and 170 hp more than the current GT3 RS, acceleration is brutal and relentless. An on-ramp run (a very long and straight one at that!) up through the gears and well into Fourth gear provided thrills to the senses beyond measure. The exhaust fury sounds spectacular inside the car and out through the titanium muffler supplied by Akrapovic. Factory figures claim that the GT2 RS accelerates from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds, 0-124 in 9.8, has a top-track speed of 205 mph, and it laps the Nürburgring-Nordschleife in a scorching 7 minutes and 18 seconds. In order to accomplish these merits, Porsche engineers reworked the twin intercoolers, intake, ECU and flywheel (now single mass) and increased the maximum boost pressure to 23.5 psi, an extra 3 psi over the GT2.