Track Test: 2019 911 GT3 RS
We’ve been testing cars for almost 40-years now. And, over that time we’ve drivensome remarkable Porsches. And while expanding their lineup has certainly been a priority in recentyears, the venerable 911 has not only continued to evolve, but continue to amaze us as well. So, pardon us if you’ve heard this tune before.
Track days with a Porsche 911 are what we live for around here. And when it’s something truly special, like this 2019 911 GT3 RS; well, we call that living the high life.
The la vida loca starts with a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter flat-6 that revs like its mechanical bits insidearen’t constrained to the normal rules of physics, although we all know that’s not the case. But whatthe Weissach wizards have done, is add a new titanium exhaust system and applied a software update, to get 20 more horsepower out of it, for a total of 520, making this 991 variant the most powerful naturally-aspirated road going 911 ever. Torque output is 346 lb-ft. Its sound is raspier than what fans of the V8 rumble may crave, but it’s music to our ears. Under fullthrottle there’s a distinct intake noise that combines with the exhaust note, for an intoxicating blendthat can be overwhelming in all the right ways.
Even on a freezing track day, with standard 7-speed PDK in launch mode, the RS streaks to 60 in 3.1-seconds. Automatic shifts fire off like mythical clockwork, and the ¼-mile is over in 11.1-seconds at128 miles-per-hour. Now we get that it’s getting harder to keep track of all of the numerous 911 models, but whatseparates the RS from the standard GT3; is while it remains rear-wheel-drive, it’s wider, and comeswith rear axle steering and Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus electronic rear differential.
Further additions are by subtraction of weight, with the use of lighter-weight plastics for the fascias,carbon-fiber for the front fenders and trunk lid, thinner glass for the rear windows, and magnesium for the roof. Minimalist door panels inside, as well as the elimination of sound deadening, gets it under 3,200-lbs.
Diehards, or just those just looking to spend extra dollars, can go even further with a Weissach package to take out another 13-lbs.; yes, at Porsche there’s always an upgrade.
Suspension gets a thorough stiffening; not exactly, but very close to Cup Car standards.
These wheels are the Lizard Green-lined upgrade, center-lock 20s in front; 21s in rear, sporting 325/30 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
The yellow brake calipers behind, indicate you’ve upgraded to the ceramic brake system.
So, enough details, time to reveal what we learned after a few days lapping Georgia’s Roebling RoadRaceway. Porsche has a fantastic way of keeping tech mostly behind the scenes, even though we could spend an entire road test describing all that’s happening without your control, or consent. In short, Porsche is one driver’s car that hasn’t eliminated the driver; having you at least feel like you’rein total control at all times.
Balance is superb. Though the weight is highly rear-biased, all of the aero enhancements have doubled the amount of downforce the car creates; taking grip to astronomical levels, helping that rear stay planted at all times.
No manual transmission is available, but we didn’t miss it at all; it’s just one more inefficiency that Porsche has eliminated. Shifts are so jarringly quick, that it almost rattles you for a moment.
It’s a beast of a car; abundant power, and carbon fiber seats that hold you tight no matter how high the g-forces.
Steering is ultra-fast with terrific feel and feedback from the tires. Brakes were very confidence inspiring, bringing us down from speeds of over 170 miles-per-hour lapafter lap, with no signs of fade.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 15-City, 19-Highway, and 25-Combined.Spending $188,550 on a car is not a necessity of course; and whether you think this one is worth it or not, will mostly be determined by what you’re looking for in a performance car.
If you’re looking for true race car performance that you can possibly even set a few track records with, as well as drive on the street every day, then the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS is your ticket to ride.Yes, it looks like a race car; but more importantly, it drives like one too. And, we can’t think of a better way to hit the track and street.
- Engine: 4.0 liter
- Horsepower: 520
- Torque: 346 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 11.1 seconds @ 128 mph
- EPA: 15 mpg city / 19 mpg highway