Porsche 911 GT3 RS (2022) Test and Review

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The Porsche GT3 RS, is the ultimate expression of the 911 soon to be regarded as the benchmark, the yardstick by which all other sports cars are judged. But if you look at the numbers, this thing might not be all it’s cracked up to be. Its four liter flat six only makes 525 horsepower. It’s not a 62. Time is a mere 3.2 seconds and it doesn’t even do 200 miles an hour.

So if you’re thinking, this might be overrated, well, you’d be wrong, because there’s much more to this car than just the numbers. The devil is in the detail. The rest is based on the standard GT3, but the car has been thoroughly revised to take advantage of almost every aerodynamic trick in the book. All other 911’s have three radiators under the bonnet. This has just one in the sensor which frees up space on either side for movable flaps that can add or remove front downforce. There is no bonnet for storage. Instead, these boomerang elements divert air from that radiator outwards and away from the body of the car and work in conjunction with fins on the roof, ensuring only cool air flows into the single engine air intake on the rear deck. Spoilers help shape the air around the front wheel while vents on the fender are cut out. Section behind the wheel and reshaped doors help reduce pressure in the wheel arch preventing lift. The last pieces of the aerodynamic puzzle are the diffuser and an active rear wing so enormous it sits higher than the roofline of the car. As a result of all this aerodynamic trickery. The GT3 RS generates a total of 860 kilograms of downforce at 177 miles an hour, and that can only mean one thing.

Grit loads and loads of grit. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drive a car with downforce, it’s basically having the ability to throw it into corners and frankly, stupid speeds and then just mess with it. 860 kilograms at 177 miles an hour. I mean, that’s more than a McLaren Senna makes. It’s as much as a fully grown giraffe. I’m thankful today, the Oval Office. Luckily, there aren’t any corners where you have to go quite that fast. But even at 125 miles an hour, it still makes well over 400 kilograms.

There’s plenty of mechanical grip to the car, has wider wheels and tyres to seven fives instead of 255 sw up front and three three fives instead of 315 at the rear. So grip is impressive in both high and low speed corners.

The other advantage is that because it’s an active wing, it serves as a drag reduction system. Ordinarily, it works automatically. You just floor it and the wing does everything for you. But you can actually take matters into your own hands by pressing the dress button on the steering wheel. Okay, I’m on the big long straight now. Let’s see what that feels like. Dress. You can see it open in the wing mirrors and it does add a useful amount of speed. You’re like an F1 driver. Helps you remove speed as well. It comes with steel brakes as standard, but for six and a half grand extra you can get carbon ceramics, 410 millimetres up front, three eighties at the rear.

The steering response is lightning quick, even more so than the standard GT3. The bigger front wheels and 29 millimetres wider front track play a huge part here, helping it change direction with race car aggression. The extra grip afforded by the larger tyre contact patch means understeer is well contained and oversteer when you want it. It’s predictable and controllable. The extra grip does not sacrifice fun in the slightest.

About the engine, it uses the same four liter flat six as you find in the standard GT3 but the fiddled around with the counts and now it makes 15 HP extra, a little bit less torque than before. But those aren’t the important numbers, the most important number. It’s 9000 rpm on the red line. This thing flies higher than pretty much any other engine that I’ve experienced. The next one is probably eight and a half thousand PM.

The GT3 RS lets you adjust the rebound and compression damping of the suspension front and rear so you can choose the ride characteristics of each axle individually to match the characteristics of the racetrack. If you have brand new tires and a smooth track, you might want to go a bit harder on the dampers. Or if you have a bumpy track or you want to ride the curves with a bit more aggression, you can dial in more softness.

It’s also a switch that lets you adjust the differential. So if the back end starts to get a little bit squirmy under braking, you can add some diff on coast. If your tires have gone off, for example, and you find the back end moving on you, when you’re accelerating out of the corner, you can tighten up the diff. Just to make it feel exactly like you want it to feel. And you can do that quarter by corner. It makes you feel like a racing driver. I won’t lie. It’s very, very complicated and a lot to think about. But it’s so much fun. Of course, it’s not all about downforce or mechanical grip. If you want to get playful.

The GT3. RS feels like a landmark moment, a significant milestone in sportscar evolution. It proves that outright power is only part of the story. It’s a masterclass in handling with the precision and adjustability of a race car, yet with a playfulness. That means while it may take time to master, it’s always incredibly easy to enjoy. This is the very definition of serious fun.

People use the term racecar for the road. Usually it’s nonsense, but in this case. It’s absolutely true. This is a serious, serious piece of kit. And it’s so rewarding as well. I don’ file i exagerate, stating it’s the best car I’ve driven this year.

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