2018 Porsche 991 GT2 RS first drive review

It has smashed the Nurburgring production car lap time, the 6 minutes 47.3 seconds it monstered around Germany’s most famous track a high bar indeed. Riding on suspension virtually unchanged from a 911 Cup racer in Nurburgring specification the ball jointed, adjustable race dampers and the addition of rear-wheel steering inevitably played a huge part in that time.

Then there’s the 700hp on offer from its heavily reworked, water-spray intake cooled 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six. Then there’s the fact it’s sandwiched between a huge rear wing and some underbody aero. The net effect of that, as well as the pouting, posturing aero up front that allows over 450kg of downforce at 211mph – more if you play around with the big wing’s angle of attack.

Senior stuff, but then the GT2 RS has always been a bit unhinged. It’s Porsche’s GT department’s riposte to those commentators who say they’ve lost the focus on speed over purity. And it’s an unequivocal one, the GT2 RS the most powerful, fastest production 911 ever. It reaches 62mph in 2.8 seconds, 124mph in 8.3, passing 186mph at 22.1 seconds and not letting up all the way to its v-max.There’s rear-wheel drive, less weight, and fast-shifting PDK, the RS badge dictating all of those, it a visual as well as a physical assault on all of your senses.

That near racecar specification should result in calamitous manners on the road. It just doesn’t, the revelation with the GT2 RS not the incredible performance, but the chassis. Taut, controlled, it steers with real accuracy, the GT2 RS’s nose eager to turn in, the wheel weighted beautifully and communicating exactly what those front wheels are doing. That rear-axle steer helps with its sensational agility, the grip huge, the traction mighty. Push it harder and it’s got the potential to be playful, too.

While all that imbues it a pervading sense of menace, as is correct for a GT2 RS, for all its lunacy there’s civility, or, more correctly sophistication. The GT2 RS is a car that works on the road, allowing, where possible, to use its performance. The engine’s power is relentless, the physicality of its force in the laugh out loud and swear sphere.

Yes, it lacks the exotic high-revving nature and aural appeal of its naturally aspirated GT stable mates, but counters with any rev punch, eye-widening pace and a bass-rich soundtrack that fills the stripped, caged cabin. As Andreas Preuninger says: “it’s the alpha 911,” and he’s not wrong. For the most comprehensive review of the GT2 RS from anywhere on the newsstand, pick up issue 160 of Total 911, in shops November 29.

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