DRIVEN: Porsche 911 GT2 RS PDK defies physics

Porsche 911 GT2 RS d
Porsche 911 GT2 RS d

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CAPE TOWN, Western Cape – Veins of violet light up the dark grey cumulonimbi spanning the skyline. One alligator … two alligator … three alligator … thunder. As dictated by physics, since light particles travel at a speed far greater than sound, here, at a safe distance from the storm, you first witness the spectacular display of lightning before hearing the rumble of thunder. However, on a cold and wet winter’s day on a winding road in the Cape Winelands, it’s the flat-six bellow echoing from the mountains you hear first, before – one alligator … two alligator … – you see the bolt of Racing yellow on the horizon. The most powerful production 911 Porsche has built to date, the 991-generation GT2 RS defies physics.

Seated snugly in the carbon-fibre bucket seat (the Porsche’s seating position is arguably unparalleled; it’s inch-perfect), you place your right foot on the throttle pedal, firmly depressing the brake pedal with your left. The tachometer needle ascends the analogue dial which, in true 911 fashion, is sited dead middle of the instrument cluster. The VTG (variable turbine geometry) turbochargers spool up to 1,55 bar. The sculpted rear haunches squat down on the tarmac. Breath in.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The 991 GT2 RS has a drag coefficient of 0,35.

Exhale; simultaneously releasing the brake pedal. The rear-mounted 3,8-litre twin-turbocharged motor (an uprated version of the previous Turbo S’s) sends 515 kW and 750 N.m of torque, the latter available from a mere 2 500 r/min, to the aft axle via Porsche’s seven-speed PDK.

One alligator …

The rear shimmies subtly as the dual-clutch ‘box imperceptibly shifts to second gear. You instinctively tighten your grip around the Alcantara-clad, carbon-fibre steering wheel to keep the rear end in check. Your eyes are locked on the horizon. Just below your eyeline, the digital speed readout, displayed on a small screen sited within the tachometer, indicates “40 km/h”.

Two alligator …

You take a quick glance down at the digital speed readout: “80 km/h”.

Three alliga …

Before you can turn your eyes back on to the road ahead of you and finish counting alligators, the analogue speedometer’s needle edges the three figure marker: “100 km/h”.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
515 kW from the twin-turbocharged inline-six makes for the most powerful production 911 to date.

Environmental conditions permitting, the 991-generation GT2 RS’s claimed zero to 100 km/h acceleration time of 2,8 seconds seems entirely possible. And were you fortunate enough to have had access to an ungoverned stretch of tarmac, “200 km/h” would have been indicated 5,5 seconds later (Porsche claims a zero to 200 km/h acceleration time of 8,3 seconds) as the speedometer needle continues ticking towards the “three-tonne” (300 km/h) marker which, from standstill, is achieved in 22,1 seconds, Porsche claims.

(Will the 991-generation 911 GT2 RS be able to best our tested 2,82-second zero to 100 km/h time of the 992-generation 911 Turbo S, which we tested in the January 2021 performance issue, to be crowned the quickest accelerating motor vehicle CAR has ever tested? Be sure to grab a copy of the July 2021 issue of CAR magazine to find out.)

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
No faux air vents here. Note the 410 mm, six-piston front carbon-ceramic discs.

In addition to its rapid off-the-line acceleration and immense maximum speed (at 340 km/h, the 991 GT2 RS has the highest top speed of any production 911 in history and – at only 4 km/h slower than the 918 Spyder – the second highest top speed of any production car ever built by Porsche), the 911 GT2 RS’s in-gear acceleration is absolutely astounding. Depress the throttle and power and torque are delivered to the rear 21-inch wheels, wrapped in 325/30-size tyres (the front items measure 265/35 ZR20), in a near linear fashion as the Porsche accelerates between the 20 km/h increments.

Speaking of speed, the 991 GT2 RS is not only the most powerful production 911 to date but the quickest Neunelfer to ever lap the testing Nürburgring Nordschleife. The 911 GT2 RS completed the 20,6 kilometre lap in a mere 6 minutes and 47,3 seconds, beating Porsche’s own target of “less than” 7 minutes and 5 seconds by 17,7 seconds, and breaking the lap record for production cars. The Porsche now places third. The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ recorded a time of 6 minutes and 44,97 one year later. Mercedes-AMG’s GT Black Series now holds the title, with the Three-pointed Star’s most-powerful V8 supercar registering a time of 6 minutes and 43,61 seconds.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Fire extinguisher and roll cage (sited behind the occupants) included in the package.

So, how is it to pilot the most powerful and fastest road-going 911 Porsche has built to date? Absolutely exhilarating. On a wet, winding road, the 911 GT2 RS provides for a thrilling and, if you’re not careful, an equally frightening driving experience. You have to keep your wits about you.

Approaching a corner, you take your right foot off the throttle and gently start depressing the brake pedal. The 410 mm, six-piston front and 390 mm, four-piston rear ventilated carbon-ceramic brake discs bite hard. Speed is reigned in at a remarkable pace. Consecutive shifts on the left-hand steering wheel-mounted carbon-fibre paddle shifter swiftly engages third and then second gear. Turn in. The Porsche’s Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres provide sufficient grip.

Mid-corner, you return your right foot to the throttle pedal, keeping in mind that, on a day like this, it’s best to remain cautious of the amount of throttle input when exiting a bend. Correct throttle input calculated, you depress the throttle. The GT2 RS bolts towards the horizon at the speed of lightning, accompanied by the sound of thunder coming from the horizontally opposed six-cylinder. You realise there’s zero chance for counting alligators. You’re in the eye of the storm. And before long, you arrive at the next corner, which is soon followed by the next. It’s an adrenaline rush.

The most powerful production-series 911 to ever grace our roads, the 991-generation GT2 RS is a marvel of engineering. It provides for a driving experience like no other. It’s so intoxicating, you’ll want to climb behind the wheel and head towards the eye of the storm again and again and again.

Model:Porsche 911 GT2 RS PDK
Price:R5 510 000
Engine:3,8-litre, flat-six, twinturbo-petrol
Power:515 kW @ 7 000 r/min
Torque:750 N.m @ 2 500-4 500 r/min
0-100 km/h:2,8 seconds
Top Speed:340 km/h
Fuel Consumption:11,80 L/100 km
CO2:269 g/km
Transmission:Seven-speed dual-clutch
Maintenance Plan:2-year/120 000 km drive plan
Notes:*Although all Porsche 911 GT2 RS units have been sold, the model sampled here is available on the second-hand market through Porsche.

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