Two words: Racing Sport. Say no more. The RS nomenclature dates back to 1973 when Porsche first introduced the Carrera RS 2.7
The positioning of RS-badged cars is simple: It’s meant to serve as halo cars for cutting-edge technology which will subsequently make its way into the other models within the fleet.
At last month’s Geneva Motor Show, Porsche rocked up to the party with an all-new 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The GT badge on any Porsche signifies that it has been bred for speed. Add an RS suffix to its name and that car suddenly elevates to the status of a dastardly fast machine that obliterates the competition.
All the design elements you see on the new 911 GT3 RS are deliberate and calculated. The carbon fibre hood has NACA ducts that not only cool the engine and brakes but also flush air towards the windscreen to create additional downforce. The body panel of the car is made from a carbon fibre, magnesium and aluminium. The car is kitted with iron brakes as standard, though we’d suggest going with the optional carbon-ceramic units which are 50 per cent lighter than iron ones. On the RS model, you get bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber that can well cope with a driver pushing the machine to its limits.
Floor the accelerator and the car will burst forward with the glorious engine screeching, howling and barking all at the same time. After all, there’s a 4-litre flat six that’s been dialled up to maximum attack mode. This is the third GT car to emerge in the last year and the most powerful aspirated engine ever stuffed into a 911 – it’s good for 520hp. That’s 20hp more than the last GT3 RS.There’s also 346lb ft of torque generated and it’s fed to the rear wheels using Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission – no luck for those who were hoping that the manual transmission from the GT3 would make its way into the new RS variant. It can rev all the way up to 9,000 rpm making it the highest revving GT3 RS model ever. It will catapult from 0-60 mph in 3 seconds, a tenth of a second quicker than the previous GT3 RS, and keep going until it hits a top speed of 193mph or 310kph. The carbon fibre bucket seats with reinforced backrests keep you locked in place should you want to attempt to verify those numbers.
Porsche is selling the new 911 GT3 RS hard not just on the amount of power under the hood, but specifically on the downforce that it now creates. A tough rigid manually adjustable carbon fibre rear wing creates enough downforce to keep it pinned to the road. A larger lip on the front spoiler, larger side skirts and the reworked rear diffuser, means that at 124mph the GT3 RS achieves twice the downforce of the current GT3. In fact, the downforce generated is so much, that Porsche had to reconfigure and strengthen the suspension as well to balance the downforce.
As an RS model, you get rear-wheel steering, torque-vectoring electronic rear differentials and dynamic engine mounts as standard trims. Additionally, some markets will also have the car fitted with a titanium roll cage. The interiors have a combination of micro suede upholstery and carbon fibre, keeping things minimal though classy.
Like the GT3 non-RS model, here too the rather inconvenient rear seats have been removed which helps in cutting down its weight. To further reduce its weight – the 911 GT3 RS weighs just 1,430kgs – Porsche has added lightweight glass panels in the rear and sides, the door panels are fitted with nylon door-opening strap and there’s much less sound deadening material used in the car – but then again you would want to hear that beautiful engine sing at the top of its voice, won’t you?
The car is priced starting from $188,550. If you’ve got deep pockets – and we’ve never come across Porsche owners who don’t – opt for the Weissach package that includes more carbon fibre sprayed across the car from the roof and steering wheel to the paddle shift and anti-roll-bars that cost an additional $18,000. For $13,000 on top of that, you could get ultra-light magnesium alloy wheels to have a bit more fun out on the track.There’s a sense of nostalgia to be had with this car. It might well be the last naturally aspirated GT3 model. While we cannot predict the future, the 911 GT3 RS reminds us that it’s all about living in the now – and having a blast while you’re at it.