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Porsche gt3 rs review feature

2024 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Review

There was a point when Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and McLarens were downright the most desirable things on the road. However, something strange happened in 2004 when Porsche released a flagship, money-no-object hypercar called the Porsche Carrera GT. It introduced a new audience to the brand with the heart, soul, and sound of a racecar. Then, a decade later, the brand followed it up with the 918 Spyder. This car brought hybridity to the world with nearly 900 horsepower and went toe-to-toe with the Ferrari La Ferrari and McLaren P1.

With demand at an all-time high, Porsche followed up these special releases with equally special road cars. I’d pencil in three consecutive releases as the key to growing the current line-up’s desirability.

First, the limited-edition Porsche 911 (type 997) GT3 RS 4.0 which debuted the 4.0-litre engine for the first time and included a 6-speed manual transmission. Second, the Porsche 911 (type 991) GT3 RS which cemented that memory with a similar engine. Finally, the Porsche 911 (type 991) GT2 RS which claimed the title as the fastest road car to lap the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit.

Enthusiasts know that Porsche has been building outstanding vehicles for more than 70 years—the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is often considered the greatest Porsche of all time—but appreciation for these vehicles has struggled outside this strange world of 9XX number systems. With the arrival of these special RS cars, appreciation has hit an all-time high, and the Porsche 911 (type 992) GT3 RS is the latest example.

RELATED: 1,092HP Porsche Taycan Turbo GT is the Most Powerful New Car in Australia.

Porsche gt3 rs rear end 2
Porsche 911 GT3 RS | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

What Does the Porsche 911 GT3 RS Cost?

2024 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Price$537,600 plus on-road costs
Price as tested$689,460 plus on-road costs
CompetitorsLamborghini Huracan STO

The Porsche 911 (type 992) GT3 RS is one of the most desirable cars on the planet right now. It starts at $537,600 plus on-road costs, but most buyers will spend significantly more once options and drive-away pricing are applied. For example, the Signal Yellow painted car seen here is stickered at $689,460 before on-road costs (with $151,860 in options), around $740,000 drive-away.

These cars are offered on an allocation basis, and if you haven’t received a phone call from your Porsche dealer, you’re probably not on the list.

Like me, you probably find comparisons for these cars pointless. If you’re wondering, my only comparison is the Lamborghini Huracan STO, priced at $607,920 plus on-road costs. However, the car I drove for review was priced at $879,760 plus on-road costs, which makes this Porsche GT3 RS look like a relative bargain.

Compared to the rest of the Porsche 911 line-up, the GT3 RS (type 992.1) is now a half-generation old, with the new Porsche 911 (type 992.2) hybrid released towards the end of May 2024. It’s priced from $280,500 plus on-road costs for the standard 911 Carrera Coupé, while the most expensive 911 Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet starts at $437,900 plus on-road costs. The standard GT3 starts from $418,900 plus.

What’s the Deal With That Enormous Rear Wing?

First things first, I have to address the wing in the room. The upper edge of this enormous rear wing is higher than the car’s roof, and it features a fully functional Drag Reduction System (DRS) linked to the drive modes. It automatically flattens during straights and is activated during emergency braking at high speeds, and you can pop it up and down through the infotainment screen for funsies.

Combined with several other aerodynamic measures—including the large centre radiator angled in the car’s nose and positioned where the luggage compartment is typically located—the Porsche 911 (type 992) GT3 RS’s total downforce of 860kg. That’s 60kg more total downforce than a McLaren Senna, a supercar with an equally enormous rear wing.

When you break it down into specifics, the wing helps provide 409kg of total downforce at 200 km/h on the track. That’s twice the downforce of the previous generation Porsche 911 (type 991) GT3 RS and three times that of the Porsche 911 (type 992) GT3.

The aerodynamics don’t stop at the rear wing, and there are several additions made to the RS, including:

  • Inlets behind the front wheels to reduce the dynamic pressure in the wheel arches
  • Sideblades behind the intake to ensure air is directed to the side of the vehicle
  • Air from the centrally positioned radiator flows out via large nostrils on the front lid
  • Fins on the roof direct the air outwards, ensuring cooler intake temperatures in the rear

Openings in the rear side panel are used exclusively to improve aerodynamics and not to draw in ‘process air’. Meanwhile, the rear wheel arches feature an intake and a sideblade for optimised airflow. The rear diffuser is the same one used on the standard GT3 but has been slightly adapted.

Overall, it’s a focused-looking thing that turns heads everywhere. However, it’s also a scalpal, and these aerodynamic adjustments aren’t for show but lap times and getting the most out of the car on track.

Porsche gt3 rs interior
Porsche 911 GT3 RS | Image: Porsche Australia

There’s a New Meaning to Track-Focused Interior

The interior is just as track-focused as the exterior, with standard-fit carbon bucket seats, a six-point racing harness for the driver (an optional six-point racing harness for the passenger for $880), plenty of carbon fibre, Race-Tex (Porsche’s version of Alcantara), and a fire extinguisher to the passenger footwell.

Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without the optional Weissach Package ($76,420) add-ons, which replace the standard-fit steel roll cage with a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic roll cage (6kg lighter than the standard steel version), magnet-infused paddle shifters (a mandatory add-on), and plenty of logos around the cabin.

While most modern Porsches include three driving modes—Normal, Sport, and Track—through the steering wheel-mounted rotary dial, the GT3 RS goes a few steps further. This is the only Porsche on sale that lets you adjust the front and rear axles’ rebound and compression damping settings separately and in eight stages (-4 to +4). There’s also an adjustable rear differential controlled via an additional rotary dial on the steering wheel, totalling four dials on the wheel and a button for the DRS.

You would imagine these racecar features would make the interior an uncomfortable, hardcore, and not-so-nice place to sit after a few hours. However, it’s still a Porsche 911 as far as layout is concerned, and the visibility and technology haven’t been compromised. There’s a high-resolution infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, native satellite navigation, and a quality sound system to boot.

It’s worth mentioning that there’s no luggage space if you’re even considering using this car for longer journeys. “No luggage space,” as in there’s no boot, so you’ll be playing roll cage tetris to squeeze anything into the cabin.

Finally, the door-pull straps are there in typical RS style, and there are gorgeous cut-outs in the carbon-fibre handles, too, but this doesn’t help the overall weight of the GT3 RS, which is up by 15kg over the standard GT3 to 1450kg (DIN). Nevertheless, it’s considerably faster everywhere.

Porsche gt3 rs wing 2
There’s a 4.0-litre flat six-cylinder engine in there somewhere | Image: Porsche Australia

What Powers the Porsche 911 GT3 RS?

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS improves on one of the best naturally aspirated engines ever placed inside a road car by extracting a few more horses. Thanks to new camshafts and cam profiles, the 4.0-litre flat six-cylinder engine now produces 386 kW (525 PS), 15 PS more than the standard GT3. The intake system has been revised with a single-throttle system and rigid valve drives derived from motorsport.

Like the McLaren 750S, the new Porsche GT3 RS takes advantage of lower gear ratios inside its seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission and only sends power to the rear wheels. Not only does this help you enjoy more of the 9,000 rpm redline at street speed, but this also helps improve acceleration.

The Porsche 911 (type 992) GT3 RS can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds (down from 3.4 seconds in the GT3) before a top speed of 296 km/h.

On the rare occasion that you care about fuel consumption while driving this car, Porsche claims 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres of consumption combined using 98-octane unleaded fuel. The fuel tank is 64 litres.

Porsche gt3 rs review
“I wanted to find out how this car would manage on three of Sydney’s best driving roads” | Image: Porsche Australia

How Does the Porsche GT3 RS Drive?

I’ve only had the chance to drive the standard Porsche GT3 on the race track, and with a weekend to learn the ins and outs of the new, more hardcore Porsche GT3 RS, there was no racetrack in sight. As such, this car’s limits were never going to be explored, so I resorted to Plan B. I wanted to find out how this car would manage on three of Sydney’s best (and worst maintained) driving roads to see if the RS is more than a track special.

Step one was navigating the Friday commute back home in torrential rain. I’m probably one of less than ten people who have driven their brand-new Porsche GT3 RS in such weather, but it was a necessary and surprising drive home that proved that no matter how hardcore the vehicle is, it’s still a 911 underneath.

Even with the dining-table-sized rear wing, there’s plenty of visibility for a car like this, and you know everything the car is doing with a steering wheel that provides infinite amounts of feedback at all speeds, even if it’s constantly being yanked at by road camber.

With my phone connected to Apple CarPlay and Waze to avoid potholes, the radio turned off, and my co-driver about to pass out from nervousness, we made it home to the garage.

Sadly, I was rained out on Saturday. I can’t even describe how painful it is to stare at a car like this in your garage, knowing you can’t (or rather shouldn’t) drive it. Nevertheless, I took it to grab a burger and do some groceries because that’s obviously what you do with a GT3 RS.

The weather meant I didn’t learn much about the car that day, but it remains a mental-looking thing, attracts cameras and eyeballs, and makes some people physically weak at their knees. Expect to have a lot of conversations with parents as their kids lose the plot entirely. The Oklahoma smashed fried onion cheeseburger from Eat at RoBs in Balmain lived up to the hype, too.

Porsche gt3 rs in wash bay
No, I didn’t use the brush or soap | Image: Ben McKimm / Man of Many

It was finally time for a Sunday drive in the Porsche GT3 RS, and the weather was perfect. The loop I’d planned was a 300km round-trip and would mix in smooth, flowing corners with bumpy roads.

What stood out the most was the comfort when you, rather hilariously, put the car into ‘Track mode’. This is the only mode that lets you toggle between the damper settings, and by switching the front and rear compression and rebound into their lowest setting (-4), the car became particularly compliant on the poorly maintained roads around Wisemans Ferry.

It’s been over a year since I drove the standard GT3, but with these dampers, the GT3 RS feels more compliant on the street. Wind the dampers up (+4), and it’s still manageable. However, the real sweet spot for smooth tarmac is (0). I didn’t mess around with the adjustable differential much, but it works… well.

Porsche gt3 rs on track
“There’s a constant and painful feeling that you never get more than two-tenths out of the car at road speeds” | Image: Porsche Australia

If I had to point that finger at anything, with such a capable vehicle, there’s a constant and painful feeling that you never get more than two-tenths out of the car at road speeds. Exploring the limits of the GT3 RS on track would be the obvious answer, and Porsche Track Experience can help you achieve this. However, the Porsche GT4 RS did a better job scratching this itch on the street with its ridiculous induction noise and smaller, more playful footprint.

That’s not to say the experience of driving the new GT3 RS is anything but a complete assault on your senses. There’s no hiding from the feeling and sound of the 4.0-litre flat six-cylinder engine as it screams to 9,000rpm, the way the car turns in on a knife edge, and the audible click from the magnet-infused paddle shifters as you change down for a hairpin.

For these reasons alone, people dream of owning the Porsche GT3 RS, and I’m not sure I’d trade that feeling for anything else with four wheels and an engine.

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