Opinion: Why the Porsche 991 GT3 RS doesn’t excite me

Since becoming the first website in the world to reveal the 991 GT3 RS back in April, our exclusive spy shots have become one of our most read stories this year. You guys obviously can’t wait to see the latest incarnation of the revered Rennsport 911.

However, I can because the upcoming GT3 RS, due to launch next year, is just not getting my pulse racing right now. Before you grab your pitchforks and start lighting the bonfire though, hear me out.

Recently I drove the 991 GT3 on track and, as you can read in the current issue of Total 911, I loved it. Its chassis and steering were superb, with the latter probably being the best I have ever experienced in a road car (hydraulically assisted or not).

Porsche 911 GT3 RS Ring 5
The internet seems to love the 991 GT3 RS, and it hasn’t even been officially unveiled yet.

In fact, as a piece of engineering, the latest GT3 is more impressive to me than the 991 Turbo. Porsche has managed to turn something that was previously the preserve of the hardcore enthusiast into a 911 with a Jekyll and Hyde character.

Whereas the new Turbo is simply wonderful at shortening the boundaries between entire countries, the 991 GT3 can amble around town before being unleashed as the ultimate Porsche track day weapon, providing a duality I have not encountered before in any 911.

But, the Porsche 991 GT3 RS is going to change this. It’s going to become ‘more focussed’ and ‘more raw’ all in the pursuit of better lap times. The Rennsport is going to lose the usability that the ‘softer’ GT3 currently enables. And for what?

991 GT3 in car
Josh found the 991 GT3 to be driving perfection. But will making it ‘better’ actually be better?

For 99 per cent of drivers, the 991 GT3 is plenty fast enough on both the road and track. In fact, on the former, the upcoming RS is likely to feel completely benign without engaging warp-like speeds that are likely to see your licence rack up points faster than pinball machine.

This is a dangerous line I’m attempting to navigate because I’m effectively arguing that the constant progress Porsche is making in terms of horsepower, grip, and gearbox shift times are pointless.

That’s a dangerous line of thought because without progress, where would the 911 be? In all honesty, it would probably have been resigned to the scrap heap as its rear-engined philosophy wouldn’t have been able to keep pace with every other manufacturers’ sports cars.

Porsche 991 GT3
The latest 911 GT3 is already incredible poised. The GT3 RS is likely to take the 991 chassis to new extremes.

So, I’m not anti-progress. But I still don’t get excited by the thought of yet more grip (thanks to stronger aero that is unlikely to make a jot of difference on a British B-road) and a rumoured 500hp output from the 3.8 DFI engine.

The last few generations of 911 have been growing so fast that they are starting to lose a sense of driver engagement when driving at road legal speeds. The 991 GT3 RS will be the zenith of this, with mind-blowing performance that may win you bragging rights down the pub but won’t enamour you with the local constabulary.

And that’s all without touching on the fact that the GT3 RS is due to grow even larger, utilising the Turbo’s body shell. Surely ‘Rennsport’ should be synonymous with lightweight thinking. Putting on an extra few inches around the waste seems counter intuitive to this philosophy.

911 Carrera RS Lightweight
A modern lightweight may not be achievable, but surely its spirit can live on, argues Josh.

Sure, modern regulations will mean that we’ll never see a car as feathery as a M471-optioned Porsche 911 Carrera RS but does that mean we have to go down completely the opposite route?

For the sake of my own personal enjoyment, I hope not. I don’t necessarily need my cars to be faster, bigger, or louder than the competition to have fun. I just want them to engage me and that doesn’t need to involve a Top Trumps battle.

Do you agree with Josh. Is the 991 GT3 RS a step too far? Or do you admire Porsche’s continuing pursuit of automotive excellence? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages to join the debate.

Porsche 991 GT3 RS 2
Yes. It will probably be awesome. But what do you think?

Comments (6)

  • Elliott Skeer

    The way I see it is if you want a track car that works on the street, get the GT3. If you want a racecar for the street, get the RS. They have both for a reason.

  • Ae Neuman

    all 991’s not just the gt3 are too big

  • Konstantinos-Dimitrios Kalamar

    …if it will get down a B road faster than the normal gt3, then it does the job for me!

  • souheib

    Do you remeber how geat the 997 GT3 was, and then when we thought it can’t be better Porsche suprised us with the RS, and again with the RS 4.0, then the 991 GT3 came and was even better?
    I’d say the same story will go with the 991 GT3 RS

  • Konstantinos-Dimitrios Kalamar

    It is better than the current gt3, so it does the job! …it is not 10kg lighter, it is 40kg lighter when you delete the optional half cage that does nothing to the chassis rigidity! The Standard gt3 doen’t have it either, so you don’t need it! Maybe it is not a huge step from the normal gt3, but it is Special enough to make you want it more than the Standard Car!

  • Ahmad Al-Ajeel

    You made a mistake, 991 GT3rs is a 4.0 DFI engine. The standard GT3 is 3.8. Porshe WAS originally planning on using the 3.8 from the GT3 on the RS but ran into some trouble extracting more power from the 3.8. The GT3 was already getting the max power out of the 3.8 with 475hp. So porshe decided to go with 4.0. I think so race engineers can still have more wiggle room to play with, cause from what i hear, this engine is so great, that now all the factory RSRs and GT cars are getting this engine. Its a great engine and its just as powerful as the old mezger engine.