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Porsche 991.2 911 GT3 RS (2020) Review: Flacht of fancy

The nature of the business makes many a motoring journalist numb to the ‘wow’ factor present in many cars, but every now and again, a car comes along that leaves an impression that remains with you forever. For me, personally, that car was the 991.2 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. I drove one a year or so ago in the Western Cape and recently, I was allowed to take one home for a few days, and live with what is regarded by many a journalist as one of the sharpest driving tools yet produced.

Published: 28 September 2020, 14:20 AUTOTRADER

Arriving at the Porsche showroom in Johannesburg I was greeted by a GT Silver 991.2 911 GT3 RS which I had access to for a few days. The RS is an even more hardcore take on the GT3, which in itself is marketed as the track day enthusiast's 911, a car made for the sole purpose of setting lap times and then having the ability to be driven home afterwards. Having previously driven a GT3 RS and indeed a GT3 with a six-speed manual gearbox for a few hours, it was interesting to feel what it is like to use something so purpose-built on a daily basis.

When first approaching the RS, the massive carbon fibre rear wing, an increased emphasis on aerodynamics and, in the case of the test unit, a carbon fibre roof and carbon fibre bonnet as part of the Weissach Pack really grab your attention. I am yet to test a vehicle that has garnered as much attention as the RS, people simply love how much it resembles a motorsport machine, but also appreciate that it wears a number plate and can be used to head off to the shops.

The car certainly makes a visual statement, which extends to the interior too, where the aforementioned Weissach Pack adds racier carbon bucket seats and a titanium half roll cage. It is all very racecar-like, with carbon fibre trim pieces and in the case of the press unit, yellow seat belts, lashings of leather and Alcantara trim throughout the cabin.

There are still creature comforts such as a touchscreen infotainment system and airconditioning, making it relatively usable. As with all 911 models, there is the 'frunk', a small storage space in front that provides 145-litres of storage, or enough space for your helmet, flame-proof suit and racing shoes for the next track day. Unlike other 911 models, there are no rear seats, but a rather fetching piece of scaffolding adding a degree of visual drama while improving rigidity.

Comfort and convenience

If you are buying the GT3 RS for its comfort and convenience features, you are probably going to have a bad time. There are many Porsche 911 models, pretty much all of which are more softly sprung and feature-laden than the RS. To criticise the RS for its lack of comfort and driver assistance systems would be missing the point of the vehicle entirely. That being said, my test unit was fitted with niceties such as cruise control and a Bose audio system while the vital front axle lift system was also specified, allowing me to navigate driveways and speed bumps with greater ease.


Firing-up the motorsport-derived 4.0-litre naturally aspirated motor is about as theatrical as one would imagine. With the typical cold-start bark of an aspirated flat-six before the motor quietens down to its regular idle. The engine really dominates the driving experience in the RS, with 383kW/470Nm, it’s an absolute screamer, with peak power coming in at 8 250 r/min and the rev limiter set to an astonishing 9 000 r/min.

The rather impressive engine is mated to an equally impressive seven-speed PDK gearbox. The combination of the almost unbelievably fast gearbox and the rev-happy motor means that you will get from 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 312km/h. The car is not as brisk as these claimed figures suggest up here at altitude though, however, as I discovered yet again, the figures only tell part of the story, this car is also about the experience.

Driving off in the RS, you are certainly reminded that the car means business, even when swapping directly from a vehicle with which it shares a platform, namely, the 911 T. There is something rather special about listening to the massive throttle body open and close as you blip the throttle. When you’re on-the-go, distinctive clunks and mechanical whines emit from the car at low speeds along with the reassuring sound of the gearbox swapping cogs with a mild thud thanks to the inclusion of a Perspex rear window and the removal of just about as much sound-proofing by the engineers as the marketing department would allow. The bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, rose-jointed suspension and rear-wheel steering are just some of the highlights contributing to the experience.

The suspension is certainly stiff, and borders on being overly harsh on the road, however, the ride appears to improve the faster you go. I’d never try to pretend that I even came close to exploiting the performance potential of the RS on the road, but for what it’s worth, the levels of grip, the feedback, the tangible buzz transmitted from the powertrain to your fingertips as you grip the wheel simply make the car feel as though you’re an integral part of the process while driving it, that your inputs make a difference at a millimetric level, which is a long way from the over-assisted products that are becoming more and more prominent within the performance segment.

The sort of connection that I experienced with this car is quite incredible since many modern cars remove the driver from the experience. Stepping out of the car after a fast spin your entire body is tingling from the vibration of that motor as you chase that metallic rasp only audible between 8 000-9 000 r/min.

Fuel economy

ng an engine that displaces 4.0-litres, the RS has not been designed to tackle extended trips frugally. It emptied its 64-litre fuel tank in 370km, meaning that it consumed fuel at a rate of 17.3 L/100km during my spirited four-day stint.


here's no way to soften this blow, the GT3 RS that I had on test, with options included, was valued at R4.8-million, a rather hefty sum for a car, however, the target market for a car such as this is small as is the local allocation. Porsche don’t appear to struggle to sell these to local consumers and those who understand how special it is.


In an era where we’re progressing towards personal mobility solutions, the electrification of automobiles and indeed, the removal of feel and interaction from the driving experience, the GT3 RS is a wonderful reprieve, an oasis for the petrolhead, an ode to the motorsport-derived cars of its own lineage. I wish that everyone could experience one of these, just once.


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