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Porsche GT2/GT3

This 991.2 GT3 RS Converts A Porsche Fan For Life

Though Marcus Vandenberg’s Roads Untraveled tends to focus on Japanese performance cars, he occasionally highlights the odd domestic or European car. He’s admitted to having a soft spot for 911s in the past, but they’re not exactly within his wheelhouse.

He’s sampled quite a few turbocharged 911s, and a 991.1 GT3 RS, but this is arguably the wildest of Porsche’s offerings he’s sampled. This 991.2 RS sports a series of modifications that convince its Nurburgring-frequenting owner he’s fulfilled the potential of this Lizard Green RS.

The aptly dubbed Kermit—yes, named after an amphibian and not a lizard—sports an Akraprovic exhaust for a little more power, presence, and noise. Aftermarket coilovers, a Nurburgring-spec alignment, smaller wheels, and Trofeo R tires fulfill the potential of this street-legal track toy. On a cold morning somewhere outside Vancouver, Vandenberg gets to flirt with the limit of this green GT3 RS and a spirited country blast. What a lucky man.

Vandenberg is given to a bit of hyperbole, but it’s still clear that he’s not making a puff piece here. The car’s urgency and directness obviously resonates with him. Along with a brief history of the GT models for the last twenty years, Vandenberg’s describes why the car speaks to him, the merits of natural aspiration, and the  with no shortage of enthusiasm. There aren’t many cars which get people to giggle quite like this one.

Considering his experience with Supras, Lancer Evos, and Skylines making twice the power, he’s still staggered by the straightline speed. These desensitized days, a 520-horsepower Porsche doesn’t raise eyebrows like it used to, but it’s obvious the grunt of the 4.0-liter and the urgency of the PDK leave him smitten.  Needless to say, he’s already saving his shekels for the day he can make one of these his own.

Launching the car puts Vanderberg somewhere in between the realms of terror and ecstasy.

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Le Mans Champ Kevin Estre Gives Us a Wet Nurburgring Masterclass in a GT3 RS

Getting around the Green Hell with the sun shining overhead is hard enough. When the track is sodden, putting 520 horsepower to the pavement and not tapping a barrier is a Herculean challenge. For today’s demonstration, we have Kevin Estre as our guide around the 12.9-mile circuit. The thirty-year-old Frenchman is a Porsche Supercup, FIA WEC, and 24 Hours of Le Mans Champion, and his driving is defined by confident displays of opposite-locking, wheel-dropping, and curb-hopping. Simply put, his aggressive style helps him in wet and greasy conditions.

There’s more than just quick hands at work here. Estre shows us how to pick a line and apply the throttle when the surface isn’t much stickier than an ice rink. The fortunate sebastian vittel, a stellar driver in his own right, can only sit back in his Recaro P1300 carbon bucket and witness Estre’s brilliance from the passenger seat.

Tuned for the Track

From the start of this frenetic lap, the GT3 RS’ rear is obviously unwilling to put the power down most of the time. Though Manthey Racing filled the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires at to 2.2 bar in the rear to generate a little more temperature in the 51 °F conditions, the GT3 still slithers around a bit. Tire pressures were only one of the changes it made to suit the circuit—Manthey also added KW competition suspension designed specifically for the unique demands of the Nordschleife. Along with a new aero kit composed of a GT2 RS MR’s carbon wing, front canard, and GT3 R diffuser, there’s a little more grip on offer—which is a big plus in these greasy conditions.

Searching for Stick

For most of the run through the 12.9-mile circuit, Estre has to rely on a hybrid line and his quick hands to keep the car moving forward. When he does occasionally run over the dry line, like he does in the second half of Flugplatz (1:48), the car begins to slide at worrying speeds. Even the added downforce can’t help him as he runs over the typical out-in-out line, which is impregnated with rubber that provides grip in the dry, but does the opposite in the wet.

He avoids the apex entirely at Aremberg (2:19) for good reason. We see moments later just how asking too much of the car along the conventional line can cost dearly in these conditions—note how abruptly the rear steps out of line at Adenauer Forst (2:49). Quick hands and coordination can save a driver here at slower speeds, but these antics in quick corners probably result in contact with the barriers.

Only at these lower speeds can Estre get away with full-lock slides which require he take one hand off the wheel.

That said, he can get away with smaller shimmies and snaps at higher speeds as long as he keeps some of his wheels off the conventional line. When crests and elevation changes are thrown into the equation, he has to proceed even more cautiously. Look how he, even after turning gingerly into Wipperman (6:18), has to catch the slithering rear the second he places his inside tires on the conventional line. It’s almost as if he’s driving a rally car here! Only a pro of his stature can pull these stunts off while looking relaxed, but his driving is much more than courage and coordination—it requires circumspection, too.

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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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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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America Runs On Porsche 911 GT3 Donuts

The Hoonigans might not be well known among our readers, but they are one of the biggest automotive YouTube channels around. Their audience is in the millions, and their videos are geared towards the tinkering type of gearheads who dream about high-quality AN fittings and elevate automotive customization to the level of fetish. This naturally dictates their focus; they tend to feature drift cars, muscle cars, mid-tier sports cars. Think Nissan Skyline and BMW M3. That said, the Hoonigans do wander into exotic territory once in a while.

Not that a Ali Falahi’s 997 GT3 is an exotic in the truest sense of the term, but it is a car that resides a higher tier than those usually featured on their channel. Still, it fits in with the Hoonigans’ fleet because most of the cars featured here are highly customized, and this GT3 is no exception. With Recaro Pole Position seats, an OMP wheel, and a BBi rollbar, the interior is all business—save for a few alcantara adornments. The exterior is also no-nonsense, with Cup car additions and a set of BBS center-lock wheels to complete this car’s subdued but unmistakably purposeful look.

Its sound is just as enticing as its appearance. The motor is untouched, save for a straight-pipe exhaust which rumbles at a volume somewhere between intimidating and antisocial. To the Hoonigans, this « grown up » burble is misleading and doesn’t prepare them for the scream the Mezger motor makes at redline.

Despite making « only » 350-400 horsepower at the wheels, the torquey 3.8-liter engine has no problem spinning the rear wheels.

Despite making far less power than most of the turbocharged monsters featured on their channel, the 3.8-liter GT3 holds its own. Without any difficulty, it turns its 325-section Toyo R888 tires into smoke as Falahi draws long black stripes across the Hoonigans’ proving ground. While the Hoonigans might’ve been a bit skeptical of this gleaming GT3 at first, they’re completely convinced and hollering wildly at the end of this demonstration of speed, sound, and agility.

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