Most powerful Porsche 911 ever made lands in New Zealand
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Being the biggest or best at something can have varying degrees of meaning. Being the quickest in the world to chug a 'Longest Drink in Town' thick shake, while impressive, has little real significance.
Being able to boast that you're the quickest Porsche 911 ever produced, however, is very significant news indeed.
Almost 12 months to this day (no, really), the Porsche 911 GT2 RS was revealed at E3 in Las Vegas. Details were initially thin on the ground, but Porsche eventually confirmed some numbers. And they were quite impressive.
The 0–100km/h spring takes just 2.8 seconds, with a supporting top speed of 340km/h. These figures come off the back of a twin-turbo 3.8-litre flat six that develops 515kW and 750Nm, mated to a chassis with rear-axle steering, torque vectoring, and one of the fastest transmissions ever built.
But the most impressive number was only made clear in September, when the GT2 RS claimed the Nürburgring record for fastest rear-wheel drive car — landing a shattering time of 6min 47.3sec. Quicker than the 918, quicker than the Lamborghini Performante, and beaten only by China's all-wheel drive and fully electric NIO EP9 (by a skint margin of less than two seconds).
Now, the first GT2 RS has arrived in New Zealand. It was on display at Porsche's 70th Anniversary celebrations at the Auckland Viaduct over the weekend, sitting quietly as 199 of its brethren and their owners parked up nearby having travelled over the Harbour Bridge in convoy (more on that later in the week).
Pricing starts at $580,000 — on the expensive side for a 911 but a bargain for a car that would run rings around many bonafide race cars. This model came to Aotearoa equipped with the Weissach package that includes extra weight savings, scatterings of extra decoration, and extra price.
Weight was clearly one of the GT2's major factors. One of the first impressions seeing it in the metal was making note of just how much carbon fibre Porsche had incorporated; from the enormous rear wing, mirrors, and front bonnet, to the rear air intakes and various panels and parts in the interior. Note that the carbon bonnet is a Weissach exclusive.
And yes, unlike the Suzuki Swift Sport, you can probably expect this carbon fibre to actually be real.
It's a handy exercise in branding, too. Porsche logos and RS logos are plastered almost everywhere — from boot-lid to brake caliper. But you can't blame them for doing that, given the hype and mechanical investment that's gone into the GT2 RS project. There's a reason why Porsche's faithful are among the most dedicated in the world after all.
The gaping front vents work to make this 911 look more distinctive than the last. That's a valid concern for some, given how similar today's 911s look when compared back-to-back with previous generations.
The 911 has always been a case of function over form, and in this case all the vents are functional parts that push and pull air into areas of cooling and out of areas of turbulence.
Ironically, given all the visual drama of the RSs exterior, the interior remains spartan. Save for the jungle gym of roll bars, and the intricate Weissach-trimmed carbon-fibre seats, it looks largely like the interior of any other 911.
Drinking in all of the aerodynamics and tech, it's hard to quite fathom where the 911 goes from here. How can Porsche possibly make it quicker than this? Does the GT2 RS' story-line finish at this point?
Perhaps the answer lies in electricity or hybrid technology. Porsche obviously already have experience with the latter, and they're currently toying with the former through concept cars like the Mission E.
For now though we have this — a car based on one of the world's most plentiful sports cars that can (on paper) give any hypercar a taste of its own medicine, and quite possibly the 'Widowmaker's' end game.