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911 GT3 RS 4.0 – 500 ch [2012]

Rare 997s: six special editions

For some, it’s the ultimate generation of the Neunelfer: melding that classic 911 design with modern-day performance and sophistication, the 997 has it covered. While the earlier Gen1 cars brought back equilibrium for the 911’s aesthetics and build quality after six divisive years of 996, the arrival of the Gen2 in 2008 improved on reliability, usability and performance. Gone was the troublesome IMS bearing and bore scoring that had plagued the M96 and M97 engines. The new 9A1 engines had direct fuel injection, which offered better power with economy. Porsche also said goodbye to the Tiptronic gearbox, an archaic transmission by this point, replaced by the swift and intelligent dual-clutch PDK transmission still utilised in 911s with two pedals today.

Revered by enthusiasts and automotive journalists, the 997.2 has forever been thought of fondly, never suffering from the negative press incurred with the 996 or 997.1 (the latter thanks to question marks over its engine’s reliability). Of course, the ultimate barometer of success is to be found in sales figures, which were positive given the global financial meltdown in which the Gen2 cars were born into.

You could argue that Porsche itself looked auspiciously at the 997 era of production. With what was an all-new generation of 911 in the 991 firmly on the horizon, the company sought to celebrate this era with a series of run-out models that would truly leave their mark. Over a period of 730 days between 2010 and 2011, the company released no fewer than six special editions, all a consummate raid of the parts bin at least or, at best, a truly unique car, courtesy of the Exclusive department. Not since the 964 or 993 generation had the throng of special-edition 911s rolling off Porsche’s production line been so rich.

Just seven short years later, Total 911 has gathered this stellar sextet with Hexagon Classics in a world first. Most are worth far more than list price – incredible for a Neunelfer less than ten years old – and all are now appreciating. This is their story and brilliance, and why they were sure to be deep-rooted to the Porsche 911 hall of fame from the moment they rolled off the production line…

To read the full story, het your copy of Total 911 issue 162 in stores now. You can also order your copy direct to your door here, or download to any Apple or Android device. 

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Porsche 997.2 W.C. GT3RS Build by GMG Racing

This Porsche 997.2 GT3 RS has got the full GMG World Challenge street/track car make-over. For those of you who are unaware of who GMG Racing is, they are currently what factory Porsche racing is now as to what ANDIAL was to Porsche racing back in the 70’s and 80’s  The two shops even happen to reside next to each other in Santa Ana, California. Now, if you are unaware of who ANDIAL is, then it’s quite possible that you are just not a Porsche guy. Fair enough. Let’s just say that Porsche has recently bought ANDIAL as their very own AMG, or M division, just to give you a smidgen of an idea. GMG races in the World Challenge series, which is North America’s premier sprint racing series with cars competing from such manufacturers as Porsche, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Cadillac, Ford, Aston Martin, Volvo, Corvette, Mercedes, plus more. GMG has been successfully campaigning Porsche GT3 Cup cars in this series for several years now and even captured the 2010 Manufacturers Championship title for Porsche. Who then better to modify your GT3 street car for the track than a shop that wins races with them?  Enough said for now, let’s just take a moment for a break and let the pictures speak for themselves […]

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Throwback Thursday: Porsche 991 GT3 RS vs rivals

At its most reductive, the idea that certain activities can “make you feel alive” is a peculiar one, especially when you consider the flipside; I have certainly never done anything that has made me feel dead. Yet this supposedly tangential notion is never more evident to me than when I am out on a racetrack, pushing a car to its limits.

The often delicate and sometimes brutal dance on the edge of adhesion from corner to corner is enough to get thousands of petrolheads’ pulses racing. It is a sensation that is intrinsically woven into the fabric at Zuffenhausen and it is, therefore, the key ingredient in what is undoubtedly the 911’s most exciting and renowned subdivision: Rennsport.

Based near the race teams in Weissach, Andreas Preuninger’s GT cars department are the current custodians of this legendary moniker. This crack squad of engineers has proven that they truly understand what is needed to create an enthralling Neunelfer experience, with a track-focussed character that is equally captivating out on the open road.

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Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 997 generation of GT3 RSs. From the 3.6-litre, first generation iteration to the instantly iconic 997 GT3 RS 4.0, Preuninger’s team never missed a beat between 2006 and 2010, somehow managing to improve on perfection with each revision

The culmination of this work was the aforementioned 4.0-litre Rennsport – a car that we concluded in issue 125 was “the king of kings”. Now though, the RS ranks have been bolstered with a new 3,996cc pretender to the RS 4.0’s throne.

The 991 GT3 RS is, on paper, the antithesis of the 997’s analogue thrills: a PDK gearbox in place of the lauded six-speed manual shifter, a flat six based (loosely) on the Carrera’s 9A1 engine rather than the motorsport-derived Mezger, and rearwheel steering in place of the previously passive back axle.

These changes have made the latest RS devastatingly effective – our first drive in issue 128 proved as much – and hugely coveted, just like its 4.0-litre 997 forebear.

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That was in isolation though; context is key here, which is why we have gathered both 4.0-litre Rennsports (as well as both previous generations of the 997 GT3 RS) together for the ultimate test on track and road.

As a supposed standard production model, the 991 is intended to be the successor to the 3.8-litre 997.2 GT3 RS. However, I’m going to start with the RS 4.0. After all, to paraphrase De La Soul, “four is the magic number”, especially in the world of water-cooled Porsches.

When it was released in 2010, I couldn’t believe that the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 was road legal. More so than any Rennsport before it, it looked like a race-ready 911. Those dive planes and that rear wing (taken straight from the 997 GT3 Cup car) have never failed to catch my attention. Yet, sat alongside its successor, my gaze is very quickly diverted towards the 991.

To read our Porsche 991 GT3 RS vs rivals group test in full, order your copy of Total 911 issue 136 online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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Sales debate: How will the 991 R affect the GT3 RS 4.0 market?

With PDK gearboxes now mandatory in the latest GT-badged 911s, Porsche enthusiasts have had to turn to early variants to get their self-shifting thrills. This has had a knock-on effect on the market, with values of 997 GT cars rocketing.

The undisputed king of this rise has been the 997 GT3 RS 4.0, marketed by many specialists as the last manual performance 911. However, then Porsche decided to launch the 991 R, so has the RS 4.0 had its day?

“Unless you would like to sell your RS 4.0 to me right now,” jokes Paragon Sales Executive, Jason Shepherd, “I think that if you have one of these cars it may be best to sit tight for a little while.”

Shepherd doesn’t see any major movements in the RS 4.0 market in the immediate future and nor does JZM’s Sales Director, Russ Rosenthal, despite “the 991 R throwing a spanner into Porsche’s PDK-only product planning.”

Porsche at Knockhill race circuit. Photo: James Lipman / jameslipman.com

So why are they both so sure that the GT3 RS 4.0 won’t be affected by the latest (possibly greatest) manual Neunelfer? Shepherd puts it down to the number of people interested in the 911 market right now:

“I believe that there are still enough wealthy people in the world to support the value of both cars,” he explains. The Paragon man also identifies that both cars are “worlds apart”, and both Shepherd and Rosenthal point out that the 997 GT3 RS 4.0 will still be seen as the last in a legendary line of RSs.

As Rosenthal puts it, “an end-of-the-line moment that we will never see again, in a similar vein to how the low production 1974 3.0 RS was desirable in a different way to the 1973 Carrera 2.7 RS.”

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JZM’s Sales Director also feels the premiums charged for GT3 RS 4.0s will be protected by the 991 R’s own entry into the used market, with “prices for good, left-hand drive 4.0s some way below where we expect the 991 R to debut,” according to Rosenthal.

Where does he feel that price will sit then? “Our current best guess is around the £350,000 mark to start and then settling slightly over time.” Shepherd is more cautious though, believing the R will hit the market “at £100,000 over list price.”

The Sales Executive at Paragon feels north of £200,000 will be the likely asking price “in the early days, assuming the numbers are as low in the UK as we are led to believe.”

It looks, therefore, that if you’re a GT3 RS 4.0 owner, you have nothing to fear from the 991 R. And, if you’re lucky enough to be on the list for the latter too, you will have a garage home to two of the best 911s around (and two of the safest investment-wise, too).

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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Video: How you should treat your newly purchased 997 GT3 RS

In this day and age of ever-inflating Rennsport prices, you’d be led to believe many on the internet that everyone who now goes out and buys a Mezger-engined Porsche 911 GT3 RS is planning to keep it stowed away in an air-conditioned garage, never to see a road (let alone a track) again.

However, that is not always the case, as this video from independent specialist, RPM Technik. They recently had a customer purchase a Gen1 Porsche 997 GT3 RS and, within a few days, christen the car at a track day.

And, to prove it, here is some onboard video footage from the 997 GT3 RS as the new owner gives it a proper hiding around the Oulton Park circuit. He’s certainly not hanging about. Enjoy.

For all the latest and best Porsche 911 films, check out our dedicated video section now.

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