Driving report: Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Heavenly Striker

So much sportiness has its price and it's handsome: exactly 229,517 euros.

Driving report: Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Heavenly Striker

So much sportiness has its price and it's handsome: exactly 229,517 euros. But now it's time to be quick, because the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS of the 992 group will be even more popular than the freshly issued Porsche AG share last week. The Porsche 911 GT3s have always been hot, but when the people from Zuffenhausen decided in 2003 to give the GT3 the letter combination RS, it got terrific and got better with every generation. Now the sixth generation of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS raises the bar even higher, because it is able to sniff corners almost as well as a long straight, regardless of the weather conditions. Slight changes to the aerodynamics and chassis work wonders for the experienced driver in the motorsport wheel.

Little has changed on the engine itself. The well-known six-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 4.0 liters has two modified camshafts and an individually adapted throttle valve system that increases the engine speed by 100 to 8,500 rpm, as well as direct injection taken from motorsport, which leads to a slight increase in output to 386 kW / 525 hp and 465 Nm maximum torque at 6,500 rpm. The sports exhaust system, derived from the GT3, has also been modified and shed an impressive ten kilograms while offering an even more immersive sound experience. The overall ratio of the proven seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with cooling air intakes in the underbody of the vehicle has been reduced compared to the GT3 without the RS suffix, so that the 1,450-kilogram racer is noticeably slower than the normal 911 GT3, which manages more than 310 km/h.

The main reason why the changes to the chassis were made was to make the 911 GT3 RS more suitable for the race track. The double wishbone front axle has been stretched by 29 millimeters and the longer links have been given teardrop profiles to increase downforce. At the same time, the front ball joint of the lower trailing arm has been lowered, which contributes to less pitching under braking. Work has also been done on the rear axle so that ride height, camber and stabilizer stiffness can be individually adjusted. With a car that accelerates to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and almost touches the 300 km/h mark, the brakes are more important than ever. Compared to the GT3, the piston diameters have been increased from 30 to 32 millimeters and the disc diameters from 34 to 36 millimeters. The standard light-alloy forged wheels with central locking feature street-legal sports tires measuring 275/35 R 20 at the front and 335/30 R 21 at the rear. The tire pressure monitoring system has a special motorsport function that makes it possible to take into account at the start of a race track that the tires are cold and have lower air pressure.

The main difference in the interior compared to the GT3 is the new steering wheel and the increased adjustment options that come with it. Customers who opt for the Weissach package get magnesium paddle shifters and a carbon fiber rear roll cage, which weighs six kilograms less than the steel cage. The Chrono Package comes standard with an analogue stopwatch, a digital stopwatch function and an additional performance display, while the race track app enables analysis and comparison of lap times on a smartphone.

But these are only the technical framework conditions. But on the Silverstone race track, despite changing weather conditions, the racing car already shows its full potential in a few corners. The first laps show that there are now dry sections on the track - these have to be exploited. And the Porsche 911 GT3 RS makes it easier than you think. The shift assistant helps invisibly to optimize upshifting. The higher the engine speed, the brighter the two yellow bars next to the rev counter become. The testosterone-laden exhaust sounds menacing from just above idle to just under 9,000 rpm, where it gains some hallucinating frequencies that catapult you into other realms.

No matter how fast you are on the road – the driving behavior and especially the traction are gigantic and don't have to hide behind a real GT racer with a starting number. After all, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is one too. It seems as if an invisible hand is pressing you to the ground, even in the hot borderline area, just as you did with toy cars in your own childhood. This is how the 525 hp roaring bolide finds grip where none should have been for a long time and brings its enormous suction power to the roadway just as shamelessly as it does impressively. Porsche has given its sportiest GT a new cockpit so that the driver can concentrate fully on the track and on his or her own skills. A grippy Alcantara control of familiar design and additional rotary knobs for driving programs, air flow, dampers and traction control, which can be completely deactivated if the pilot so desires. Corresponding information is reflected on the digital cluster behind the steering wheel. Everything in view – everything under control. Maybe not pretty, but form follows function. After all, it is a racing car and excellent racing seats are no longer enough. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is a high-tech projectile of the latest design - and perhaps the last of its kind with a naturally aspirated engine. So just enjoy a few more laps - and dream - but only in the pit lane.