The 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS Is A Mind-Bender
The original Porsche GT2 was more race car than road car with its rough-looking (I wonder where RWB got their “unique” style…) exposed-bolt-on fender flares slapped on top of the already bulging body of the 993, and every iteration of the marque’s ultimate 911 road car since then (barring the GT1 of course, but that’s likely not coming back anytime soon given we have the 918 now), has been just as radical.
Perhaps none have the same presence as the got-lost-on-the-way-to-the-track look of the first version, but none have left one wanting in the performance department. Not even close. It’s almost more than anyone could ever need; always rear-wheel drive, always twin-turbo’d, and always with the ability to literally scare the sh*t out of its pilots, the GT2 badge is not to be taken lightly. A GT3 is a track-oriented car that a banker can drive pretty well after a few days at Skip Barber or a couple of weekends spent in any other high-perf classroom, but there’s something about the GT2 that resists being tamed. Okay, it’s not just “something,” it’s the ridiculous power figures of the 911 Turbo wrung out even further, and it ditches that car’s nanny called all-wheel drive. It really seems like a car that nobody can handle, and it’s just plain radical that Porsche is finally building another one.
This time around, they say it is a more comfortable and usable GT2 RS. Okay Porsche, if anyone can render carbon fiber fixed-back seats and 700hp through the rear 325mm tires “comfortable,” it’s probably you guys, but if you’re driving this chimera and looking for comfort why not just get a Turbo? Oh yeah, because then you can’t giggle at the fact that you’re in a GT2, a car that exists again in the modern age of hybrids and safety systems replacing human awareness. I haven’t driven it, but do you really doubt that this is a car that requires concentration, constantly? It’s going to be the kind of machine that you get out of soaking wet and shaking and smiling every time. It’s being released with a watch too, because you’ll surely want to track the timing of how quickly it can rip your face off.
It’s hard to write about the design of a modern Porsche without treading that ground of “evolution vs revolution,” but the new GT2 RS is kind of both. It’s clearly drawing from the past in the overall shape and the essential underlying elements like the headlights and taillights, but it’s gotten to the point now where the scoops and wings are so sculpted and so engorged that it looks more like a new species when compared to the narrow-bodied 911s that brought the name into existence. Even versus the recent generations like the 996 and 997, this car seems separate. And it looks like what you’d hope it would given it’s performance. The elements of style and speed combine, it really is function and form instead of one following the other. Titanium exhaust, carbon fiber seemingly everywhere, magnesium wheels (on the Weissach Package, as if there was more to squeeze out of the spec-sheet), and that glorious wing; all of it serves to enhance the look and the performance in equal measure. And speaking of measure…
Stats are usually pretty boring and hard to get anything out of unless you can actually experience them, but in this case I can’t help listing them out. Porsche is making its own math now it seems. 700hp and 553ft-lbs from a 3.8L water-injected twin-turbo flat-six, a seven-speed dual clutch ‘box that can bring the 3,241lb thing to 211mph, and these bonkers acceleration numbers that seem like cheating given it’s rear-wheel drive: 0-62 in 2.8s, 0-124 in 8.3s, 0-186 in 22.1s. On the handling aspect, it’s up to us to trust in Porsche’s ability to continually slap physics in the face with what it can make a rear-engined car do until we can drive it, but know that it has rear-wheel steering now to add to the list of little tweaks that’ve been steadily integrated into the dynamic handling of the 911.
Do you remember not just ten or twenty years ago when 8.3s was an adequate time to 62mph in a sports car? It’s hard to imagine how much faster things can get—we’re in an age now when adding more power doesn’t really do that much, it’s all about utilizing it through super-advanced systems written on computers instead of built in workshops with metal. And that’s not a bad thing, because we already have the latter, that era existed and we can still revisit it with the classics. When the cutting edge is this badass how can we not celebrate that too? Mutual exclusivity is a myth when it comes to cool cars. And the GT2 RS is a damn cool car.