Walter Röhrl presents the Porsche 991 GT2 RS

We’re only just into July, and 2017 has already been quite the year for Porsche. First came the launch of the 991.2 GT3, setting the automotive world on fire with news that its most faithful sports car could once again be ordered with a manual transmission. Then came the surprise outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the 919, and now the worldwide premiere and return of one of the world’s most fearsome supercars – the 991 GT2 RS. Any other brand would sell its soul for the publicity associated with just one of these events, but at Porsche its business as usual.

Porsche chose the Goodwood Festival of Speed to make the grand unveiling, and Any Given Reason was there to inspect the new machine. And what a machine it is. The new GT2 RS continues the tradition of mating Porsche’s most powerful turbocharged engine package with its lightest and most focussed chassis. Oh, and the red interior returns as well.

The twin-turbocharged engine is a developed version of that found in the Turbo S, with new turbochargers and new water-to-air intercoolers producing an additional 120bhp, taking the total to 690bhp and 553lb ft of torque. That power is sent through a seven speed PDK gearbox (no manual option, unlike the 991.2 GT3) to the rear wheels only, making what must be an unruly driving experience in the wet. The 0-100 dash drops to 2.8sec, thanks to the relatively scant 1470kg kerb weight, just 40kg heavier than the lightweight GT3 RS. Porsche are notorious for overstating their acceleration figures, so there’s every chance that the GT2 RS could be even quicker still. Whatever the case, it is clearly the fastest series production 911 to ever be built. 

The aero kit is somehow even more aggressive than that of the GT3 RS, something many doubted as even possible. The rear spoiler is larger, the intakes bigger, and colour and contrasting materials are increasingly used to differentiate the various elements. The bonnet, front guards, rear air intakes and various other components are carbon composite.

Porsche’s PCCB carbon ceramic brakes are standard, the wheels are staggered in size (20/21″ front/rear) and the rear tyres are an incredible 325 section in width.

The red suede wheel and headlining won’t suit all tastes, but there’s no denying that this is an outlandish car and the interior trim certainly suits that persona. And it does carry the tradition from previous GT2 models, which have quickly become some of the rarest and most desirable Porsches of recent times.

The half cage is now made from titanium and features some of the most perfect welds you’ve ever seen. The side and rear windows are made from a thinner and lighter type of glass, continuing the finest of RS traditions started decades ago.

Porsche are proud of the GT road car department’s close connection to the motorsport team and seem to be increasingly promoting the link. Whilst the Zuffenhausen region of Stuttgart has long been the home of Porsche and is where their ‘regular’ cars are built, Porsche Motorsport is housed near the Weissach test track in the village of Flacht, 25km away in the German countryside. Only the really serious stuff is made in Flacht.

The optional Weissach pack is where things get cool in the name of saving weight, but in reality it’s difficult to imagine many GT2 RS’ ordered without this pack. If you’re going this far, why not go all the way?

Similar to that available in the 918 Spyder, the GT2 RS Weissach Pack uses exotic materials to further save weight. Various carbon composites are used for the sway bars and other suspension pieces, carbon components join the magnesium roof skin assembly, and the wheels are now magnesium.

Walter Röhrl was on hand to answer questions, and to give the GT2 RS its dynamic debut with a few runs up the famed hillclimb. To do this he was gifted a specially painted helmet celebrating his world rally championship wins, something he was quite proud to show the waiting media.

A scruitineering sticker was acquired and applied and the RS was ready for its first run in the public eye. The 9000rpm wail is gone, replaced by a guttural turbocharged bellow that sounds like evil personified and bears more than a slight aural resemblance to the heavily turbocharged Porsche racers of the Eighties.

From the video you can clearly see the power, and Röhrl has said that at the limit it has the handling and braking capabilities to back it up. Just don’t try and do doughnuts in it, especially not in front of thousands of people and on a worldwide live stream. The failure probably strengthens the notion that these cars are built to perform around a circuit, not to showboat for crowds of onlookers.

And anyway, having your car that won Le Mans outright just a few weeks prior run up the hill still covered in its race dirt and battle scars reinforces brand values better than a burnout ever could.

The Australian list price has been revealed at $645,000, and there is no price yet for the Weissach pack but it will likely tip the total to over $700k. It’s all a bit of a moot point though, as the entire available production run is already sold. Best go and speak to your Porsche dealer now about placing an order for the next one.

Words and photos by Andrew Coles.

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2 Comments

  1. Michael Myllynen July 15, 2017 Reply

    Completely agree about winning LeMans building a brand more than Ford's Mustang burnout brake-lock system ever could.

    With a business owner in my office building regularly parking his 918 or his GT3 RS outside my office window, I wonder how long it will be until I get to see one of these up close.

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