Porsche 997 GT3 RS vs RS 4.0: Rennsport Masters

Rennsport: it’s a fabled and oh-so evocative Porsche designation that evokes a heady assemblage of unrelenting, motorsport-derived excitement at the wheel of a sportscar.

Quite rightly, the ‘RS’ sits at the pinnacle of the 911 bloodline: it is the quintessence of automotive finesse in a road car, the rawest, purest instance of breathtaking performance on four wheels. And right now, I’m pedalling one of the best.

My hands are clasped to an Alcantara-lined steering wheel as I point the 997 GT3 RS toward London. In true RS style, the driving experience is best described as raw.

Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8

There’s no radio or air conditioning in here (saving six and 20 kilograms respectively) and the source of all noise is behind me: thanks to a perspex rear screen, the factory-fitted titanium exhaust resonates poetically back into the cabin at even gentle acceleration past 4,000rpm.

Even on this fairly smooth blacktop, the GT3 RS’s ride is still firm. PASM (standard equipment here) is always selected when the engine is started, with switchable ‘Sport PASM’ providing shock absorber tuning for what Porsche describes as ‘high driving dynamics’.

That’s not needed just yet, but the variable suspension system nevertheless selects the appropriate damping level for each individual wheel according to a variety of parameters and conditions.

Porsche 997 GT3 RS 4.0 v 997 GT3 RS

It’s the same policy for the GT3 RS’s engine mounts with variable damping (PADM), which ranges between an almost rigid setting and a decoupling of sorts of engine from body.

As a result, every permissible camber and crevice in the road is keenly felt; even running over cat’s eyes when changing lanes throws up a distinct ‘bump and shudder’ body sensation normally only encountered in classic 911s.

Want to read on and find out how the Porsche 997 GT3 RS 3.8 stacks up against its iconic 4.0-litre Rennsport sibling? Pick up issue 125 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche Rennsport Masters

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