GOODWOOD, U.K. – Porsche has taken the performance potential of the evergreen 911 to spectacular new heights with the unveiling of the ’18-model-year GT2 RS at the Goodwood Festival Of Speed here.
Powered by a revised version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8L horizontally opposed 6-cyl. gasoline engine used in the latest 911 Turbo, the new coupe packs a heady 690 hp, or some 79 hp more than its 7-year-old predecessor to make the new Porsche the most powerful road-going 911 ever.
Also endowed with a stout 553 lb.-ft. (750 Nm) of torque, Porsche claims the new rear-wheel-drive 911 GT2 RS is capable of accelerating from standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) at an official 2.8 seconds, 0.1 second faster than the all-wheel-drive 911 Turbo S.
A claimed 211 mph (340 km/h) also sees it match the 918 Spyder on top speed, making it not only the fastest-accelerating but also the joint fastest-series-production Porsche model yet.
Set for North American delivery in early 2018, the new competition-grade 911 is the first GT2 model to be launched since 2010 and the fourth to see production since its addition to the Porsche lineup in 1995. The RS (Rennsport) designation in its name signals the new model hails from Porsche’s Motorsport department .
Official photographs reveal the design of the new 911 GT2 RS closely follows that of the recently facelifted 911 GT3 RS. The changes from other recent 911 models mostly are functional in nature, with cooling requirements and the generation of additional downforce taking clear priority over stylistic concerns.
A wide central indent within the hood and roof and 2-tone paint scheme provides the German automaker’s latest sports car model with visual links to earlier competition-focused air-cooled 911 models from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
Up front is a uniquely-styled front bumper with three large air ducts and a prominent splitter element within the lower edge. Further low-drag NACA-style ducts are integrated into the hood, with a series of vents concentrated with the upper section of the front wheel wings – the latter of which are used to lower air pressure within the front wheelhouses for reduced lift at speed.
Farther back are beefed-up sills underneath the doors and newly styled elements incorporated within the air ducts in the rear wings to increase air flow to the rear-mounted engine. The engine lid also receives additional two cooling ducts, an integrated ducktail-style spoiler and a large adjustable rear wing, all reminiscent of those already seen on the 911 GT3.
The rear bumper is restyled with a black plastic lower section housing a trio of air vents and two large round tailpipes.
In a bid to trim weight, the hood, front wings, exterior mirror housings and many of the air duct surrounds are fashioned from carbon fiber. In line with weight-saving initiatives brought to the 911 GT3 RS, the new 911 GT2 RS also receives a magnesium roof.
At 3,241 lbs. (1,470-kg), the new 911-series model is 221 lbs. (100 kg) heavier than the previous 997-based 911 GT2, although it is 3.6 ins. (91 mm) longer.
Mirroring the strategy taken with the 918 Spyder, buyers can order the new Porsche with a so-called Weissach package that brings an additional 66 lbs. (30 kg) of weight saving through various measures, including the adoption of a carbon fiber for the roof and roll bars and magnesium for the wheels.
Power for the fourth-generation 911 GT2 comes from an extensively re-engineered version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8L flat 6-cyl. engine used by the latest 911 Turbo.
Among the developments are larger turbochargers with water-to-water intercoolers to reduce exhaust-gas temperature at high revs for improved combustion efficiency and added top-end power. There’s also a titanium exhaust system that weighs 15.4 lbs. (7 kg) less than the standard unit and boasts a new routing that is claimed to enhance the exhaust note.
Peak power is increased 118 hp beyond that of the 911 Turbo S at 680 hp, endowing the new 911 GT2 RS with 79 hp more than its twin-turbocharged 3.6L flat 6-cyl.-powered predecessor launched in 2010 and a weight-to-power ratio of 4.7 lbs./hp (2.1 lbs./hp) in standard trim. Torque remains the same as the 911 Turbo S at 553 lb.-ft. (750 Nm), or some 37 lb.-ft. (50 Nm) more than the previous 3,020-lb. (1,370-kg) 911 GT2 RS.
The heady reserves are channeled to 21-in. rear wheels wearing the same 325/30 dimensioned tires as those seen on the earlier 911 GT3 RS via a revised version of Porsche’s ZF-sourced 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and mechanical locking differential. Described as a custom component, the gearbox receives new ratios and revised final drive among other changes to take full advantage of the increased power and torque.
Porsche claims a 0-62 mph time of 2.8 sec, placing the new 911 GT2 RS comfortably ahead of its predecessor, which boasted a time of 3.5 seconds, on pure straight-line accelerative ability. It’s also 0.2 seconds inside the time quoted for the all-wheel-drive 875-hp gasoline-electric-powered 918 Spyder.
Porsche has yet to reveal the full technical specification of its new range-topping 911 model but confirms it retains the all-wheel steering system from the 911 Turbo and comes standard with carbon-ceramic brakes. Also included is a uniquely calibrated stability-management system, with a sport mode described as being “tailored to provide optimal driving dynamics.”
Inside, the 911 GT2 RS serves up a combination of black leather and red Alcantara upholstery as well as carbon-fiber trim elements. A sport steering wheel with paddle shifters is allied to carbon-fiber-backed racing-grade seats. Standard equipment includes a Porsche Communication Management system, which groups the infotainment functions, including a Porsche Track precision app, into a central touchscreen-based unit.
An optional Chrono Package expands the Porsche Communication Management function to include a performance display which can be used to display, save and record track times.
To commemorate the launch of the new 911 GT2 RS, Porsche Motorsport has teamed with Porsche Design on the development of a new chronograph watch, which will be offered exclusively to buyers of the new 911 model.