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2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - The Five Greatest 911s

By MOTOR staff, 24 Aug 2018 Features

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Five Greatest 911s feature

Utterly berserk rear-drive turbo 911 not for the inexperienced

Porsche took a 911 Turbo, fitted a pair of larger variable-geometry turbochargers and upped the boost to 1.55 bar (22psi) to create a 3.8-litre flat-six engine with a 515kW output.

But then, in an apparently stark-raving-mad move – but one true to the DNA of this beastly machine – the engineers took out the front driveshafts so that the task of transmitting all that power fell only to the rear tyres. Presumably they then cocked their heads back and laughed maniacally.

They called their creation the 991.2 GT2 RS, not just the fastest production 911 in history around the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife (with a lap time of 6:47.3), but also the fastest-lapping road-going Porsche road car ever around that circuit, quicker than even the 652kW 918 Spyder hypercar (6:57).

The 991.2 GT2 RS is the latest in a 911 dynasty that has earned a frightening reputation as “the widow maker” for combining truly enormous amounts of turbocharged power with rear-wheel drive. The first GT2, not an RS, arrived with the 993 in 1995, built as a homologation car for the GT2 category of motorsport.

MOTOR Feature: Setting the lap record at The Bend with a GT2 RS

Just 57 were made, seven in right-hand drive, and these days command an awesome premium to own.

Two more GT2 iterations followed – 996 in 2000 and 997 in 2007 – until Porsche cooked up the first RS, in 997.2 guise, in 2010. With 456kW and 700Nm transmitted through two tortured rear tyres – this is an animal that would bite up to the elbow – the 997.2 GT2 RS stormed to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds on to a 330km/h top speed. All with a manual transmission.

For the 991.2 you see here, the latest in this line of wicked 911s, Porsche decided a manual transmission was too cuckoo and fitted the lightning-fast Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) twin-clutch transmission instead. Basically out of the 918, the beefed-up auto helps the latest GT2 RS hit 100km/h in 2.8 seconds, 200km/h in 8.3 seconds on to a top speed of 340km/h. Sub-10 second quarters? We’ve heard of this car doing them.

That’s thanks to launch control and fat, 325mm-wide gumball rear tyres (either Dunlop Sport Maxx Race 2s or Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s) and putting physics to work, the exaggerated squat of a rear-engine 911 pummelling the rear tyres into the bitumen the harder you accelerate.

According to legend, all-wheel drive was briefly considered early in development, but quickly dismissed, the inherently strong rear-engine traction considered sufficient.

Back behind those rear wheels, it wasn’t just bigger turbos and more boost Porsche used to get that epic power figure, but also lower compression pistons (by 0.5) permitting the GT2 RS to rev to 7200rpm.

There’s also a reshaped carbon fibre air inlet, improved filter and freer-flowing ultra-lightweight titanium exhaust. A water-to-air intercooler set-up is complete with nozzles that spray the radiators to reduce charge temperatures by a further 20 degrees, supposedly a bit of a secret weapon for achieving that Nürburgring lap time.

Obviously the rest of the car has received the GT Divison treatment. Every suspension joint is solid mounted. There's rear-steering that subtly steers against the front wheels at low speeds for spooky agility; or with the front wheels at high speeds for a long-wheelbase-like stability.

There are helper-springs on the front MacPherson struts and also at the rear, a signature Porsche GT-car upgrade. Suspension height and camber is adjustable, as are the anti-roll bars.

Plainly, this is a car that advertises its intent in the way it looks. The huge front bar openings are required to meet the equally huge cooling requirements. Bonnet NACA ducts send cool air to the front brakes.

Grab the optional Weissach Package and you’ve got yourself the most extreme and focused 911 ever. Carbon fibre is everywhere, including suspension components, and forged 20/21-inch magnesium wheels from the 918 contribute to a 30kg weight saving.

All a bit stark raving mad? Welcome to the GT2 RS.

There are 911s, and there are the Greatest 911s.

Engine: 3800cc flat-six, twin-turbo
7-speed dual-clutch 

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