911 GT3 RS

991.2 GT3 v 991.1 GT3 RS: which is better for £150k?

The ever-changing nature of the Porsche marketplace often throws up some interesting conundrums for the 911 buyer. As values of separate models fluctuate, they often combine to bring about new scenarios for those in the market to consider: ‘What’s around for my £100,000?’ for example. Right now there are many different choices of 911s available at many different price points. As a case in point, for £40,000 you could choose anything
from a G-series classic, to a 996 Turbo, to a 997.2 Carrera S right now. The market’s constant evolution means different cars move in and out of the equation, whatever your budget. It’s what keeps things interesting, in many ways.

As another case in point, only five years ago we ran a head-to-head road test in this very magazine asking which was the better Turbo for your £60,000: 993 or 997.1? Today the 993 is worth at least double that, while a 997.1 can be had for £50,000.

Market circumstance has dictated the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS have been trading hands for roughly the same money for a while now, so the question we’ve routinely found levied in our direction in the past year is thus: ‘Which is the better buy for my £150,000; a Gen2 991 GT3 or Gen1 991 GT3 RS?’

Really, there are multiple answers to the question, and it all comes down to what you’ll do with the car. We’ve therefore assessed both the 991.2 GT3 and 991.1 GT3 RS over three practical categories, investment potential, track day use, and on the road, which covers all possible ownership intentions.

For the full article on the 991.1 GT3 RS v 991.2 GT3, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 174 in shops now, or get the issue delivered direct to your door via here. You can also download our hi-res digital edition, featuring bonus galleries, to any Apple or Android device. 

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991 GT3 RS road trip: Man’s best friend

When it was launched in 2015, Porsche’s 991 GT3 RS moved the Rennsport game on substantially from its predecessors. Equipped with a 4.0-litre flat six engine producing 500hp in a body that generated more than double the downforce of the 997 GT3 RS 4.0, the 991 also boasted rear-axle steering, a seven-speed PDK gearbox and huge 21-inch rear wheels borrowed from the 918 Spyder.

The caveat, of course, was the biggest, widest and heaviest RS ever, but that didn’t matter. The car was quicker, faster and more efficient than ever before too, with a ‘Ring lap time of seven minutes 20 seconds to endorse it as the most accomplished Porsche Rennsport of the time. Even works driver Nick Tandy has said it’s the nearest thing to a Cup car that you’re ever likely to get. The 991 GT3 RS is a monster of a sports car – and therein lies its biggest problem.

Topping out in second gear sees 73mph register on the RS’s speedometer, which is enough to break the maximum UK speed limit. Redline in third takes you past 100mph, which will guarantee the loss of your driving licence if caught – yet the RS still has another four forward ratios to go.

It may well come with licence plates affixed to its front and rear bumpers, but the reality is you won’t even begin to tap into the 991 GT3 RS’s capabilities on a public road. This is a race car, born and bred, and a race car needs a race track to call home. Or does it?

If I were to proffer the idea that a suitable playground for Porsche’s latest RS awaits just the other side of a ferry ride from the UK, to a challenging public road that can have disastrous – perilous, even – consequences for those who get it wrong, then you may well assume I’m talking about the Nürburging Nordschleife.

And, while it’s true the ‘Ring is a happy hunting ground for many a GT3 RS, on this occasion our destination lies on a ferry east of the UK mainland, not west. I am, of course, talking about the Isle of Man.

Home to the famous TT motorcycle race held annually since 1907, its 37-mile course is made up entirely of public roads around the island, which is a self-governing territory with British Crown dependency. For two weeks per year in either May or June, these roads are closed to the public, respawning into a world stage for two-wheeled speed freaks to test their talent and nerve on a timed run of the circuit.

For the other 50 weeks, however, the roads are just that, helping to transport some 83,000 inhabitants around the island. Much of the motor-racing paraphernalia remains though, and as for the speed limits, well, out of town there aren’t any.

What’s more, the course offers plenty for the driving enthusiast by way of challenges. Longer than the Nürburgring by some 24.1 miles, Isle of Man’s TT has plenty in common with it: there are a number of surface changes throughout, its weather is as famously interchangeable, the track varying in altitude by some 1,400 feet, while a vast array of corner types and cambers are thrown in along the way. In short, it’s a proper driver’s playground, surely the best place on earth to take a 991 GT3 RS outside of a track – and that’s exactly where we’re headed for our latest Total 911 adventure.

To see how we got on with the exhilarating 991 GT3 RS along the Isle of Man TT course, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 160 here or alternatively you can download the digital edition to any device via Newsstand for Apple or Android. 

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991 GT3 RS Duels With Caterham at Dijon

Often, automotive battles in the style of David and Goliath tend to stage tired duels between overweight muscle cars and anemic featherweights with predictable results. However, what happens when two talented drivers take similarly focused machines—albeit with their own advantages and disadvantages—to the track?

In this instance, a heavier GT3 RS and a one-off Caterham spar at the demanding, high-speed Dijon. While the GT3 has 500 horsepower to push some 3,120 pounds around, the 1,300-pound Caterham’s staggering power-to-weight ratio means it easily outruns the RS with just 310 horsepower. Advantage to the shed-built roadster.

With their immense acceleration, these two have no problem dispensing with a 458.

There are a few other significant differences between the two. The Porsche benefits from considerable downforce—365 pounds of downforce at 93 mph and 770 pounds at 180 mph—the wingless Caterham does not get gripper as speeds increase. However, its poise and precision at low speed are greatly enhanced by a set of slicks, whereas the Porsche wears barely treaded Trofeo R tires. As shown by the footage below, the diminutive Caterham is dartier in the slower sections, but not by much.

Aside from the obvious straightline advantage, the Caterham seems to enjoy less understeer in the quicker sections, but its nervousness at speed allow the aerodynamically stable Porsche to reel it in, no matter the gap eked out on the preceding straight. Of course, the driver factor ought to be considered, but considering how our cameraman is using lines taught to him by Porsche factory driver Kevin Estre, chances are he’s doing the right thing.

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Onboard a Manually-Shifted 991.1 GT3 RS

 

For those who don’t appreciate the precision, unfathomable shift speed, and ease of PDK, there is the option of swapping a 911R gearbox into a 991 GT3 RS. Of course, the 991.2 GT3 is available with a stick-and-clutch option soon, but some people are just plain impatient.

One of those restless souls is Rob Janev, a Porschephile irked by the fact he couldn’t find a 991 RS which would fit into his stable of manually-shifted Porsches. So, he contacted John Teece, the owner of Florida’s BGB Motorsports, who was able to source a 911R transmission from Suncoast Porsche once it was included in their catalog.

Janev giddily scribbled out a check for $22,000 and waited for the gearbox to arrive at BGB, which was quickly becoming his new second home. With enough extra parts to fill a small home, BGB started working once the gearbox arrived four months later and quickly tacked on another $23,000 to the tally; getting the auto-blip feature, the gear counter, the electric parking brake, and the GT3’s rear wheel-steering and traction control systems to work with the new transmission took a herculean effort.

Ever the perfectionist, Janev ordered plenty of interior pieces—including a custom gauge cluster, a new shifter boot, and a few buttons—to make it seem as if stick-and-clutch assembly was a factory option. Hats off, Mr. Janev.

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Onboard Manthey’s 991 GT3 RS Snagging a 7:09.5 at the Nurburgring

 

With magnesium wheels dropping roughly 25 pounds of unsprung mass from Manthey’s GT3 RS MR, the most obvious improvements with this mildly-tuned RS are in ride quality and compliance over the innumerable bumps and cambers at the Nordschleife. Additionally, the car wears a set of KW coilovers quite similar to those used in the GT3 R, better brake pads, an underbody cover for improved aerodynamics, an extended cage, and a serious 3.5° of camber at both axles.

This package—which costs a staggering $41,280 dollars—allows the driver to crash over curbs without retribution. The car looks remarkably composed and almost clinical over the course’s undulations, and according to test driver and sport auto editor, Christian Gebhardt, « The Manthey GT3 RS MR is much more precise and remains perfectly balanced during the entire deflection process. » It’s also « less sensitive to load changes » and suffers from less steady-state understeer. This purple monster is quite the scalpel.

Much to my surprise, the car doesn’t enjoy any modifications to the powertrain—only refined footwork, improved rigidity, and a mild aerodynamic tweak, and a very talented driver amounted to that sensational time of 7:09.59.

The post Onboard Manthey’s 991 GT3 RS Snagging a 7:09.5 at the Nurburgring appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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