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GT2 RS

Is The 2020 Porsche 935 More Than A Pretty Face?

Porsche’s current king of the hill, the track-only GT2 RS-based 935, is the kind of thing that dreams are made of. With just 77 units built for worldwide consumption, not many of us will get the opportunity to wring this car’s neck. Especially when you consider the massive price tag that it comes equipped with. The big wing and slicks machine is race ready for a number of series around the world, including the SRO’s GT2 world championship, or just to be used as a rich person’s track toy, or tucked away in a collection never to see the light of day again. The third of those would be the greatest shame of all.

So what makes the 935 so great? Consider, if you will, that the rear wing is a little over 6 feet wide to provide the ultimate downforce. Or that the tail has been lengthened considerably to assist with downforce and aero efficiency as well. Look how much width has been added to the car! That translates to big grippy tires. Sure, it’s a visual throwback to the 935s of old, but it’s pretty damn cool taken on its own, as well.

Here’s a closer look at the 935 to give you a better idea what it looks like inside and out.

And if you’re so inclined to see what the 935 is like in a drag race against a McLaren 720S and a Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro, you can see that in the video below.

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Bringing the 959 and 911 GT2 RS Together: The Pinnacle Of Porsche

Even thirty two years on the little details of the 959 can make other 911-based cars seem pedestrian. Where the GT2 RS is a wild machine covered in scoops, wings, and hyperbole, its floor is mere metal. The 959 separates its occupants from the pavement with nomex. Point, 80s dream machine. It seems that every other trait about the car is similarly insane. Time may have marched on from its contemporaries, but so much of the 959, at least on paper, seems thoroughly modern and extraordinary. While we know that in every measurable way related to on-road performance the GT2 RS will savage the elderly 959, but Everyday Driver seem to be asking is the new car as compelling?

In a strictly dollars for donuts way, the GT2 RS absolutely is. The GT2 RS cost less than the 959’s recent maintenance. Despite its formidable performance it remains oddly accessible, a trait it shares with the 959. The two cars also share interiors with lesser contemporary 911s. Oddly the GT2 RS and the 959S share a 211-mph top speed.

The two cars of course differ in focus. While the older car may have been developed for Group B homologation, in implementation it fell somewhere between 80s Supercar and ultimate-GT, with a dash of rock crawler thrown in for good measure. The one in the video was street parked in Monaco for many years, and was apparently used regularly. The GT2 RS is a fairly unabashed track car.

Of course, given our focus here at Flatsixes, we’ve talked about the 959 at length. We’ve featured wrecked 959s, 959s Doug Demuro likes, modified 959s, and Brad has ridden in one. We’ve also spent a lot of time discussing the GT2 RS, from heavily-optioned cars, to record setters. While we could crow on about how the 959 is the ultimate expression of Porsche’s transition into a tech-driven automaker, we’ll let Everyday Driver show you. This 28-minute video is an excellent watch.

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GT2 RS Clubsport Provides Sunday Drivers With Cheat Codes

As Porsche’s first track-only 911 with turbos since the 993 GT2, the 991 GT2 RS Clubsport has a lot to prove. Both the 996 and the 997 versions of the GT2 came with the Clubsport option, but both were still street legal and neither received the same level of development over the « base » model. Perhaps that’s for good reason. Those generations were bloodthirsty thugs, while their successor is a much tamer animal. Still a monster, without a doubt, but the 991’s performance is more accessible to the competent driver, and the added downforce and simplicity of PDK shifting simplify the driving experience somewhat. Because this car wouldn’t bite its owners heads off at the slightest mistake, it’s not surprising then that Porsche saw a sizable market for a stripped, slick-shod version of their Nurburgring king.

A full rollcage, forged suspension links, a 115-liter FIA-certified fuel cell, an a Recaro race seat with longitudinal adjustment and padding system offers the driver peace of mind. The extensive aero package—including a carbon underbody—give it stability and inspires confidence at speed. An optimized water sprayer mean the motor’s full 700 horsepower will always be available to the driver; no heat soaking that plagues the roadgoing version and cuts total output after a few hotlaps.

Considering the speed that all that power offers, these are not qualities as much as they are necessities. Especially since the GT2 RS Clubsport is available to any paying member of the public. Fortunately, the car looks almost friendly, and this middle-aged man looks relatively comfortable putting in a respectable lap around Spa Francorchamps in one.

There are no hysterics, no snaps, and no hopping through high-speed corners. Look at how he gingerly navigates Radillon and Eau Rouge and still carries staggering speed. You know the car will offer the seasoned professional more, but there’s an astounding level of performance available to the skilled trackday driver. Though this car’s balance is benign from the start, adjustable traction control, stability management, and anti-lock brakes only make the car more accessible. That’s not a term you often use to describe a 700-horsepower 911.

Even well below the limit, the straightline speed is enough to leave most supercars in the GT2 RS Clubsport’s mirrors. It must be a huge confidence boost to pass cars which are clearly driven at the limit when just pushing six-tenths. With straight-line speed that bests that of some prototypes and makes a 997 GT3 look like an econobox, there aren’t many cars which accelerate like this one. Plus, with a confidence-inspiring chassis, every session with the GT2 RS Clubsport must feel like someone changed the game’s difficulty to easy and turned on a few cheat codes for good measure.

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A Surplus of Tech and Performance: Has Porsche Gone Too Far?

Clarksonian excess is positively joyous on paper, and the items that grab review headlines trend towards both the extreme and the concrete. Everyone with a bit of petrol in their veins knows that 700 horsepower is a lot, and 200 is simply not very many. At the same time, not everyone agrees on what makes a car fun. What works in a headline to bring people in, and what constitutes thoughtful criticism that keeps people reading are not necessarily the same. For that reason the subject of excess in modern Porsches requires further examination. While the sales figures indicate that Porsche has their customer base pretty well nailed, does it necessarily follow that the brand has stayed reasonable and accessible?

Too Fast?

Mr. JWW contends that maybe, for road drivers, Porsche has gone too far. The GT2 RS is designed to work on track, that is part of its very nature. At the same time, the compromises required to make it the fastest production car around the ‘Ring make it almost entirely inaccessible on the street. At its intended purpose the GT2 RS is virtually unrivaled, but on road the edges of the car’s performance envelope become infuriatingly distant.

This isn’t a problem that is unique to the GT2 RS, the GT2 RS is simply emblematic of it. In terms of straight-line speed any 911 will get deep in to triple digits before it feels like it is breathing hard. Despite being significantly more road and comfort oriented than the GT2, both the Turbo and Turbo S still offer more performance in every metric than can be routinely enjoyed out in the world of traffic and rogue deer.

The merits of « slow car fast » are often parroted, but if the majority of your enjoyment comes off-track that does hold a fair amount of water. At road speeds is a GT2 RS more enjoyable than a Carrera Club Sport or a 993 Carrera RS despite how much more performance it offers? Does this prodigious performance mean modern Porsches offer « too much » performance, or is it indicative of users simply refocusing what sort of enjoyment they seek from their cars?

Too Much Tech?

While I am certain that the paragraphs above are going to be somewhat contentious, I don’t think this will: New cars have a lot of tech in them. New Porsches have an extraordinary, and occasionally overwhelming, amount of tech in them. While Porsche clung to their analog roots for an extremely long time, hop in a 996 Carrera and compare the number of toys on offer to a current car, the 992 is a technological marvel of adaptive suspension, rear wheel steering, and programmable drive modes.

While all of these ingredients make the car faster, do they make for a better sports car? Had Porsche not stayed current the brand’s popular sports cars could have become niche curiosities like the eternally-lovable range of Morgans. While many enthusiasts claim to prefer simplicity, the broader market does not follow. The current 911 tries to be all things to all people, and the host contends that in comfort mode the car is decidedly more GT car than outright sports car.

The interior is more complex as well, with an analog rev counter flanked by configurable digital displays at both sides, and a dash-mounted infotainment display of a size that would make an iPad blush. Perhaps all this makes the new 911 more versatile, but does it make for a better sports car? Is it a step too far?

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Chase A Tuned GT2 RS From Inside A Nissan GTR

It’s soothing to know that many owners of the latest GT2 RS thrash the car around the circuit on a regular basis. Perhaps none of these well-heeled trackday drivers is better known than « sebastien vittel« , whose exploits we’ve covered on this site many times before.

Naturally, taking a GT2 RS to a track day puts a big bullseye on the car’s back, since running with a GT2 RS on a track day is barroom boast that’ll earn the teller quite a few rounds. However, unlike most cars, the camera car in this clip is one which actually stands a chance against vittel’s mildly tuned GT2 RS.

His car uses a Manthey alignment, steel brakes, Endless brake pads, and a taller rear wing. Most importantly, vittel uses the new Michelin Cup 2 R tires, which are what Manthey used on their car to outrun the 918 at Portimao.

Despite having 60 horsepower more, the GT-R isn’t as quick as the Porsche on the straights.

The Nissan has been stripped to 3,300 pounds, makes 760 horsepower, and wears Michelin slicks. That’s still about sixty pounds heavier than the Porsche, but it makes sixty horsepower more than the 911 does. Still, it’s the Porsche that’s the quicker of the two in a straight line. The two engines displace the same volume, but the Porsche’s makes 553 lb-ft from just 2,500 rpm. That might help.

The GT-R’s great strength, four-wheel drive, help it find grip off the driving line.

A straightline advantage, strong brakes, and a handy driver help the Porsche stay ahead, but it’s clear the Nissan is faster in most corners. Searching for grip in some odd places, the Nissan uses its four-wheel drive system to deploy its incredible thrust off the well swept driving line and pass around the outside. It’s fitting that it takes such a brazen move to finish this spectacular battle between two giants, which ought to have given the two drivers plenty to talk about in the bar afterwards.

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