911 GT2 RS Prototype Ride
Andreas Preuninger, Porsche’s Director GT Model Line, has a two hour window in his busy schedule and he’s going for a drive. Decently he’s invited me along for a ride, a hastily arranged flight seeing me arrive at Weissach just in time to meet Preuninger in the car park. There’s all manner of GT products filing the spaces here, from the latest GT3 to a handful of 911 Rs, but it’s the test-worn, matt-wrapped, tape and rivet fixed prototype we’re getting in.
A GT2 RS prototype no less. It lives. Outwardly it’s immediately recognisable as a GT3 RS, Preuninger admitting that under that black ‘disguise’ is an early Lava Orange car that he and his team have converted to GT2 RS specification. Under that engine cover then isn’t a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated flat-six though, instead there’s a 3.8-litre bi-turbo unit from the Turbo S. Like its 997 GT2 RS predecessor, then, this new 991 series GT2 RS mixes elements of Turbo and GT3 RS, but Preuninger is very quick to point out that it’s not merely just a remapped Turbo S.
Indeed, the engine’s had some very extensive revisions, particularly relating to the turbos, exhaust and intercoolers. They’re all bespoke to the GT2 RS, the intercooling system gaining water injection which lowers temperatures by as much as 15 degrees, that crucial in allowing the GT2 RS its big hike in power. The internals have been revised for those higher outputs, too, though how much the increase is nobody can say yet. That’s not a dodge, rather a necessity, homologation rules legally tying tongues until figures are officially signed off. Conservatively, though, Porsche will admit to in excess of 650hp and 553lbft of torque. Ample, then…
Those are some big numbers already, and if the rumours are true, they’ll get usefully bigger still. Preuninger admits that the GT2 RS is a reply to some of those people out there who have been critical of the GT department’s recent focus on driver engagement, over raw speed. To assert that status Preuninger admits that the GT2 RS will be PDK only, that uncompromising focus on speed an RS signature, and one that dictates the adoption of Sport PDK. The paddle-shifted transmission also allows the use of an electronically-controlled limited slip differential over a mechanical one, which is all the better for speed, and precision.
Given that focus on speed the GT2 RS will be heading to the Nürburgring, soon, and it will do so with real intent. The promise is that the GT2 RS will better any of its competition on its lap around Germany’s most famous ribbon of tarmac. It is no surprise then when Preuninger discusses the suspension and points out that the ball-jointed suspension is essentially the same as that of a 911 Cup racer in Nürburgring specification. There are upside-down race dampers front and rear, spring rates double that of the GT3 on the front axle and significantly up at the rear.
The GT2 RS also borrows the rear-wheel steering system from the GT3, which, like all the chassis and electronic traction and stability systems, have been tuned to suit the different characteristics that the turbocharged engine put upon them. The tyres are also specially developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s in 265/35 ZR20 and 325/30 ZR21 sizes – front and rear respectively. Like its predecessor those rear wheels do all the driving, the loss of the Turbo S’s four-wheel drive dropping around 50kg from the kerbweight. That RS badge demands weight savings elsewhere, so there’s extensive use of carbonfibre inside and out, exotic materials in the exhaust and elsewhere.
Preuninger says it’ll weigh a good deal less than 1500kg, though adds that with all the power on tap it’s not been necessary to strip out every possible gram of weight. If mass is an obsession for you then it can be some 30kg less again if you choose the optional Weissach package. Do so and you gain a titanium roll cage, magnesium wheels and carbon fibre elements in the suspension, while the magnesium roof borrowed from the GT3 RS is replaced by a carbon fibre one that’s lighter still. Weissach-equipped cars will also gain a slightly different look outside. Even without the Weissach pack Preuniger says it’ll be an overt looker: “If you compare it to sportsmen this is the Vladimir Klitschko, whereas the GT3 RS is more like the Usain Bolt. It should look powerful, in a positive way, intimidating, it should inspire awe and respect, because it needs to,” he says.
That’s dictated by its aerodynamics, most of which will be exposed carbon, to the big wing on the back you can add a huge front splitter, a diffuser under the rear and those NACA ducts on the bonnet that feed cooling air to the standard PCCB brakes. Preuniger promises the GT2 RS will shout, ‘here I am, I’m the king, I’m the alpha animal’, to which it’ll have performance to match it. The 0-62mph benchmark will arrive in under 3.0 seconds, 124mph in under nine seconds and the top speed will be in excess of 211mph. During an all-too-brief, but still revealing passenger ride the GT2 RS underlines that searing pace, it rock- steady deep into three figures on the autobahn and absolutely monstering the country roads around Weissach.
It also sounds magnificent, with overtones of old 930 Turbos of 911 past. There’s even civility to the ride, even if the tarmac around Germany is more often than not glass smooth. There’s more to come, admits Preuninger, who says in the final few months of development the last 20 percent or so gets put right. If that’s the case then the GT2 RS will not reassert its top-dog status not just among the 911 range, but of all of its competition, too. Job done, I’d say, but we’ll find out sometime soon in the correct seat…