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How Can Porsche Improve On The 991.2 GT3 RS?

« This is the most track-focused, surgically precise, lightest, most downforcey 911 that you can buy, » Farah begins. The stance and aerodynamic additions leave nobody guessing what this monster is meant to do—as will the exhaust note. At 9,000 rpm, the scream the 4.0-liter makes sounds like Armageddon—the good kind. We’re all familiar with the car, which is admittedly meant for smooth, fast circuits—so how does it handle Los Angeles canyons?

Anyone who’s owned a vintage car can attest to the difference the mildest increases in girth make. As these latest 991 Carreras are bigger around the midsection, they are noticeably larger. Every additional inch of width and length make any car feel harder to place, but the 991’s (GT3 RS, especially) incisive front, rear wheel-steering, and relatively short overhangs compensate for its greater size. Looking at the direction change as Farah descends through the switchbacks (4:25), we see that the car is as easy to place as anything.

Fortunately, a communicative front end is only part of this beauty’s appeal. The less confident, less skilled driver could still get all their jollies pulling a few gears through a tunnel and bask in that end-of-days shriek (5:29). Few road-going cars make a sound like the GT3 RS, and in many ways, this is a road-going car that lives up to the moniker « racing car for the road. »

A sight every GT3 RS owner relishes.

For that reason, it is more a weekend car than a grocery getter. It’s a lot of car for a public road, and it lacks the softness that’s reassuring over fast, bumpy, read-world roads. Not to say it isn’t compliant or stable, but it is firm. Also, the 265-section tires in front make the slightly darty; tramlining is just part of driving this car over crowned, pockmarked streets.

These mild criticism can’t dissuade a real petrolhead from loving all of the raw pace and involvement this car offers, and that’s no surprise. With a wide road to stretch its legs, the GT3 RS is totally electric. There’s no question about its rightful place in the pantheon of great road-going track cars, but it’s not something that is at home from stoplight to stoplight. Like putting a leash on a cougar, it’s just wrong; this machine needs to roam.


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New 991.2 RSR Spied Testing at Monza—With a New Exhaust Note

A large part of the 911 RSR’s charm is the sound it makes. The sublime climb from a throaty growl to a screaming crescendo is something anyone can appreciate, provided their eardrums are functioning. For that reason, some will be disappointed to hear the Ford GT-esque bark the latest RSR emits from its side-exit exhausts. After a few laps, it becomes more interesting, but its comparatively dull exhaust note leaves something to be desired. In the video below you can see the new model testing alongside two examples of the one that Porsche has been running for two years.

The performance is impressive, however. This evolution of the Porsche GTE/GTLM car is compliant over the curbs and composed exiting Monza’s first hairpin. No wheelspin and remarkable stability at speed can be attributed to some of the visual changes from the previous generation. Lightly widened haunches cover wider rear wheels, a revised rear diffuser helps with more downforce, new larger intakes on the flanks feed a lot more air, and different skirts with integrated side-exit exhausts. It’s likely the diffuser pushed the exhaust away from the rear axle, just like it did the motor, which has been oriented midship in the 991 RSR.

Though the sound might not reverberate as nicely off the trees, the widened body is much prettier than the last.

The new tone is reminiscent of the 996 RSR, and a mild muffling has some wondering whether the new car is turbocharged. However, there aren’t any telltale whistles, flutters, or pops—just a flattened note. It might not be as pleasing to the ear, but it powers a car that is stunningly fast in all types of corners.


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Porsche Debuts Production-Ready 911 Speedster At New York Auto Show

We knew it was coming, we knew it would be limited, and we knew what it would look like, but it’s still a joy to see the 991.2-generation Speedster finally in production-ready trim. Only 1948 examples of this open-top 911 will be built, and it’s likely that its most of the way to being sold out by now, if it isn’t already. What you’re looking at here is basically a two-seat convertible version of Porsche’s successful GT3 model. It’ll have the same 502 horsepower 4-liter flat six that revs to 9,000 rpm, and it’ll be shifted exclusively through the glorious 6-speed manual gearbox found in the GT3 Touring and 911R. It even has the same chassis components and specially calibrated rear-wheel steering. The major difference between the 911 Speedster and the GT3? Well, aside from the fact that it doesn’t have a roof, the Speedster features individual throttle bodies!

0 to 60 miles per hour happens in just 3.8 seconds, and the top track speed is 192 miles per hour. The 2019 911 Speedster is planned to be available for order on May 7, 2019 and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019. Word has it that the Speedster will set you back a whopping $274,500. It is likely that this will be the final iteration of the 991.2-generation chassis as Porsche production makes way for the new 992.

The Speedster will feature the lower and more rakish windshield and speedster humps we’ve become accustomed to through the original 356 speedster, 1989 911 Speedster, 964 Speedster, and 997 Speedster. It’s an evocative shape that brings the old world to mind immediately. The lightweight manually operated convertible top will likely spend most of its time stowed under the rear lid, but will help keep the car’s iconic hunchback look.

Porsche makes extensive use of carbon in the construction of the Speedster to keep it as light as possible. With the front and rear lids, and front fenders made of carbon, as well as standard PCCB carbon rotors shed quite a few pounds. The lightweight poly bumpers help as well. Air conditioning is omitted as standard, but can be optioned back in for no cost (though I’ll take a stand right now and say you’re a coward if you option A/C. Don’t be a coward.). The 2019 Speedster weighs just 3230 pounds, which is just 209 pounds more than the much vaunted king of lightweight 991s, the 911R.

If you’re so inclined, you can also order a matching watch with your Speedster. The Porsche Design 911 Speedster Chronograph is a Flyback with Werk 01.22 movement developed in-house by Porsche Design. The Speedster Chronograph features a carbon fiber dial, a rotor modeled on the Speedster’s center lock wheels. The black strap and red stitching are taken directly from Porsche’s interior crafters.

Exclusively for owners, Porsche Design has created a 911 Speedster Chronograph timepiece. The high-performance Flyback-Chronograph with Werk 01.200 movement developed in-house features Speedster specific design elements such as a carbon fiber dial, and a rotor modeled after the Speedster center lock wheel in both design and color. Genuine Porsche interior leather and thread are also used for the perforated black leather strap with red stitching. Pricing for the watch was not mentioned, but Porsche Design Chronographs start in the $6,000 range.

My takeaway? By limiting this to just 1948 examples, investment speculators have already put in their orders and we’ll see fools parting with half a million dollars to buy these on the second hand market. They’ll all be optioned with air conditioning, and hardly any of them will be driven. Additionally, the concept looked much better with proper throwback cues. I wish they’d offer the wheels and mirrors as an option, at least.


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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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R v GT3 v Carrera T: Revival of the manual 991s

What a difference a few short months can make. For a time it looked like the 991 generation was threatening the very existence of a manual gearbox in a Porsche 911 altogether. Unwanted alterations to the new stick shift, twinned with the prominence of PDK, lead some to believe the company was at one point shaping up for a future solely dedicated to auto-shifting sports cars, similar to events at some of its rivals.

While this ‘death of the manual’ movement has raged like a fire through the workshops of other automotive manufacturers, nobody really expected the flames to be fanned as far as the doors of Zuffenhausen. After all, a Porsche has always been about style over outright speed – exemplified by the company’s time-honoured tradition of placing the tachometer and not the speedometer in the centre of the 911’s five dials. It’s how you get there, not how fast.

And yet, as is well documented, it was the 991 generation which began to change the 911’s relationship with the manual gearbox from the get-go. Upon launch at the tail end of 2011, enthusiasts found the six-speed stick shift in the 997.2 replaced by an all-new gearbox for the 991.1, which featured an additional seventh ratio. Conceptually something of a modern-day overdrive gear, this seventh ratio was exceedingly tall, intended for cruising on motorways or the Autobahn, all the while keeping engine revs low and thus improving the new 911’s MPG return.

On paper these changes made sense, but in reality enthusiasts struggled to adapt to the feel of the seven-speed shifter, it unnecessarily clunky and lacking a directness through each gate which the 997’s unit had mastered so wonderfully. Somewhere beneath that protracted H-pattern, Porsche’s slick stick shift had seemingly been lost.

Then the arrival of Porsche’s first 991-generation GT car in 2013 gave rise to another revelation. The GT3 was presented for the first time with a PDK-only transmission, Porsche telling Total 911 in issue 99 at the time: “There’s no chance of a manual gearbox in the future.” The PDK-only GT3 RS that followed went some way to hammering home the point, which left many enthusiasts wondering what future lay ahead for the manual gearbox in a Porsche.

Alas, we know how the script developed from there. A wave of appreciation for manual gearboxes (some might even have called it a public outcry) brought about the Carrera S-engined Cayman GT4 in 2015, before the emphatic arrival of the 991 R in 2016 as the 911’s saviour of the stick shift.

The R proved Porsche’s GT department was prepared to listen to its customers, yet the car’s exclusivity (just 991 were produced worldwide)
meant only a few could benefit from this significant U-turn in company policy. Porsche again listened, unveiling the 991.2 GT3 last year with PDK but, crucially, a six-speed manual gearbox was available as a no-cost option.

The company went further still. For those who couldn’t get their hands on this latest prize GT car, Porsche presented the Carrera T: essentially a pared back and driver-honed version of its base Carrera 911. The line-up was thus complete, with stick shift available, at last, throughout the entire contemporary model range.

So, these are the crusaders; reviving the spirit and flair of the manual gearbox, this the crucial ingredient in any sports car that wishes to be associated with any notion of an analogue, purist drive. The big question, of course, is what is the driving experience on offer from all three?

For the full article, including expert buying tips for each 911 Cabriolet model, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 168 in shops now or get it delivered directly to your door via here. Alternatively you can download the issue to any Apple or Android device. 


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