Porsche 996 GT3 RS: performance icon

Unlike the standard GT3 on which it is based, the 996 GT3 RS’s banshee-like howl is likely to be the only noise that you’ll hear emitted from the dual tailpipes.

The reason for this is two-fold. The uprated Mezger engine in the RS model only makes one sound, whether at 1,500rpm or 7,000rpm. Even if it did have the ability to make different noises, you wouldn’t experience them because, as a driver, the GT3 RS always urges you to wring its neck.

If you step up to the challenge, the 381bhp engine’s tone is orchestral. Nonetheless, it isn’t the sound that makes this car a must-have.

Porsche 996 GT3 RS interior

GT3 RS models are often described as ‘more focused’ editions of their standard GT3 brethren. However, the 996 ‘Rennsport’ isn’t focused; it is distilled. It is the very essence of driving involvement, packaged in an iconic white and red or blue livery.

The steering wheel is a weightier affair than the GT3, increasing the illusion that you are in the cockpit of a bespoke racing car, not a road-legal grand tourer. The additional camber on the front wheels is the culprit, increasing feedback, yet this isn’t a negative trait.

On every inch of tarmac, you always know what is going on. The sensation of this all-enveloping involvement is incredible.

Porsche 996 GT3 RS engine

Turn in is immediate, providing huge levels of confidence, even on the damp and rutted roads of the Northamptonshire countryside here. Once into the corner, the archetypal 911 understeer is non-existent – always on the heading that you, the driver, intended.

As you apply the power hard, the GT3 is liable to sit back on its haunches, creating an unnervingly light steering wheel. The stiffer springs and dampers on the RS decrease the level of squat (reducing weight transfer to rear wheels), providing a more consistent level of front grip.

To read more about the Porsche 996 GT3 RS, as well as a host of other cars in our ‘Performance icons’ feature head over to the Imagine Shop to order your copy of issue 107. Alternatively, you can download a digital copy from Great Digital Mags.

996 GT3 RS performance icon

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