Opinion: Does the current Porsche 911 range need a GT2?
One month before I joined Total 911, a news story emerged in the Update section of issue 104 showing exclusive first spy photos of a 991 GT2 testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. That was 15 months ago.
Since then, the rumours of a turbocharged rear-wheel drive Porsche 991 have switched away from the GT range and moved onto the humble Carrera as Zuffenhausen supposedly looks to up performance and reduce fuel consumption of the next 911 generation in one fell swoop.
The silence surrounding the 991 GT2’s absence is far from deafening (no doubt aided by the excitement for the mooted upcoming release of the first Rennsport 991: the new 911 GT3 RS) in the Spring of 2015.
However, there are still many Porsche enthusiasts who have expressed disappointment that the current neinelfer line-up will be the first to feature a ‘widowmaker’ model since the GT2’s inception on the 993 generation in 1995.
Yet, is there a need for a 991 GT2? After all, with the 560hp 991 Turbo S able to sprint to 62mph in under three seconds, is it even possible for Porsche to make a rear-wheel drive 911 that at least matches this while beating the 997 GT2 RS’s 620hp power figures?
The Porsche 911 GT2 concept has always been about extremes, making a supercar out of the everyday sports car. Yet, increasingly they have become nearly undriveable on public roads under ‘real world’ conditions.
Having spent some time in a 996 GT2 on a damp road last year, I can confirm that Porsche’s ultimate turbocharged 911s have probably been too fast for the roads since 2001. They’re certainly a world away from the usable sports car that Ferry originally imagined.
The GT2 was originally envisaged as a way of homologating a race car so that Porsche could go racing internationally. That need vanished almost as soon as it arrived with the return of the naturally aspirated RSR during the 996 era.
With its ultimate raison d’être defunct since the turn of the millennium, the 911 GT2 was kept on to satisfy Porsche fans who wanted a rawer turbocharged experience (one maybe more akin to the original 930s).
But, with the 991 generation, Zuffenhausen’s focus appears to centre around practicality, comfort and usability. The new 991 GT3 is a case in point. Would the GT2 concept synergise properly with the 991 concept? I don’t think so.
A 991 GT2 would struggle to beat the current 991 Turbo S around a track while remaining viable as a road car and it would probably come with PDK as standard, alienating traditional GT2 fans.
If it can’t be faster, if it’s not needed for motorsport homologation and it doesn’t fit in with the 991 ethos, is it really needed? With the Porsche 991 GT3 RS on the way to satisfy hardcore 911 fans, I’d wager we won’t really miss the GT2 at all.