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Week at the wheel: Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.

Week at the wheel: Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Sod objectivity, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the best sports car money can buy.

   



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| Week at the Wheel | Porsche 911 GT3 RS |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

Nothing is superfluous. Especially not with this specific GT3 RS, which goes the whole way does without a radio and air conditioning. Add lightweight headlamps (no washing system), a pair of sports bucket seats at 3,130 and Porsche's yellow-callipered PCCB composite ceramic brakes for 5,800 and this about as hardcore spec as is possible in the already pretty focused GT3 RS.

From the scaffolding-raised rear spoiler to the road-scraping chin spoiler, everything about the GT3 RS is about finding that extra per-cent of driving pleasure. We're not sure about the decals, and if we were buying it we'd have the air conditioning back. In every other way the 911 GT3 RS is exactly how we like our cars; intense and demanding.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

The 3.8-litre flat-six in the RS has real racing pedigree, but its racing roots don't mean recalcitrant response and narrow, high-rev power outputs. It's hugely flexible so the flat-six is surprisingly docile and easy natured in traffic. Naturally, it's at its best when charging a bit harder: with its peak 444bhp arriving at 7,900rpm and maximum 317lb.ft delivered at 6,750rpm it's wickedly rapid in the upper sweep of the rev-counter's needle. Sixty-two mph arrives in four seconds dead and it'll top out at 193mph. Both of those numbers feel conservative.

The manual gearbox is a bit reluctant at first, but with some heat through the six-speeder's cogs it's a sweet, mechanical feeling shift that's quick and precise. Only a high brake pedal makes heel-and-toe shifting tricky on the road. It's worth the effort though, as the physicality of the noise, the snick-click accuracy of the downshift and the engine's quick-revving response are so fantastically rewarding you'll never tire of it all.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

Given its focus, the RS rides with remarkable composure; its ability to glide over even the rubbish surfaces that pass as roads in the UK is deeply impressive. Naturally it feels a bit firm at lower speeds, but on faster roads it's supremely controlled and supple. A wider track adds alertness to the already eager front end of the 911, the RS turning in with no delay and the steering rewarding with a rich flow of information.

It's so exploitable too, the RS allowing you to carry tremendous speed with ease. There's very little understeer, the GT3 RS's natural poise seemingly neutral, though that can be quickly overcome with some judicious throttle use to provoke oversteer. Do so and for something so potent, it's incredibly friendly and exploitable. Every drive is a learning experience, so deep is the lightweight 911's ability. Every drive is also an exercise in chin-spoiler scraping avoidance, the RS' nose so low it'll scuff the ground on even moderate inclines, such as ramps and driveways.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

This 911 GT3 RS has just four cost options on it and they add up to 9,164. They include lightweight sports bucket seats, carbon ceramic brakes, coloured seatbelts and floor mats. We could live without it all, though the brakes might win us over for lots of track use. We'd pop back in the air conditioning and stereo to make trips to the track more comfortable, and make the RS a more useful daily driver. Its list price of nearly 107,000 might be out of reach of most of us, but given the performance and pedigree on offer it's an absolute steal.

Overall: star star star star star

Driving doesn't get much more rewarding, involving or exiting than the 911 GT3 RS. Its roots might be in racing, but it's a hugely enjoyable road car. Even at sane road speeds it delivers more excitement, more information and greater performance than all but a handful of specialist machines. That it retains the classic 911 user-friendliness in the process is nothing short of incredible. Certainly there are a few compromises to be made, but they're well worth it for one of the best sports cars money can buy.

Kyle Fortune - 18 Nov 2010



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2010 Porsche 911 specifications:
Price: 106,870 on-the-road (test car with options totalled 116,034).
0-62mph: 4.0 seconds
Top speed: 193mph
Combined economy: 21.4mpg
Emissions: 314g/km
Kerb weight: 1370kg

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.



2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Image by Porsche.
 






 

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