Porsche 911 GT2 RS: An animal unleashed

It’s not often I drive a car that scares the living daylights out of me, but just over a week ago, that all changed when I jumped behind the wheel of the outgoing Porsche 911 GT2 RS.

Just pulling out of the parking lot and onto Witkoppen Drive in Johannesburg gave me a good sense of what I was in for. The most gentle prod of the accelerator pedal unleashed fury that the cold Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres could not subdue on a slightly damp road surface. Thank goodness for modern traction and stability control programmes or I’d have ended my time with the GT2 RS all too quickly – in a hedge, not 50m from my departure point.

These are the figures. A 4.0-litre, turbocharged flat-six petrol engine – producing 515kW and 750Nm – sits over the rear axle, driving just two wheels through a PDK gearbox that’s largely based on the one in the 918 hypercar. It revs to 7,000rpm and unleashes fury like no other car I’ve driven. The 0-100km/h sprint is dispatched in 2.8 seconds, which is slower than a 911 Turbo S or Taycan Turbo S, but the sheer noise and violence is unrivalled.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
Role cage and racing seats hint at the GT2’s capabilities.

What’s also unrivalled is the GT2 RS’s in-gear acceleration. Full throttle from about 80km/h appears to reverse time itself as you’re propelled up the road. What appears to be very far away is in fact on top of you with a mere twitch of the right foot. 

It’s not just quick in a straight line either. Get those tyres up to operating temperature and the GT2 RS will attack corners with the same vigour, leaving occupants wide-eyed at the mechanical grip on offer. 

Extensive use of lightweight materials – and a lack of sound insulation – means that Porsche has managed to keep the weight down, weighing in at just 1,470kg –  lowered by a further 30kg with the optional Weissach Pack. That’s achieved through special items such as a carbon fibre roof, anti-roll bars (front and rear) and magnesium wheels. Inside you’re sat in fixed back ‘race’ seats, underneath a half roll cage. Other than that, the interior is largely similar to what you’d find in most Porsches.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS
“As a track day tool, I cannot fathom something more capable that’s still allowed on public roads,” says Miles Downard.

It’s well equipped, with an infotainment screen and climate control. It’s actually a fairly liveable interior – if you’re only slightly on the masochism scale, you could drive a GT2 every day. That’s unlikely to be too many people’s normal course, though.

As a track day tool, I cannot fathom something more capable that’s still allowed on public roads. Nor can I fathom getting on top of the car’s capabilities in a short space of time. If I owned one, it’d likely scare me to death for a long while to come. I do question whether the GT2 RS offers a more appealing package than the GT3 RS, though.

In my books, the naturally aspirated GT3 is more engaging, likely because I find its performance window more accessible. Where the GT2 delivers its power in a brutish fashion, the GT3 is more linear – and revs more. That sensation carries across the way the vehicle behaves because you’re always aware of just how lairy things can get when you apply throttle and the turbos get going.

I think this accounts for a lot of the GT2 RS appeal. It’s like a wild animal that you unleash at the turn of a key and a prod of the throttle. It’ll accompany you on your journey, even allow you to play with it sometimes, then provide a sudden reminder that it cannot be tamed. 

Fast Facts:

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Price: R6,000,000 +/-
Power: 515kW/750Nm
Fuel consumption: 11.8L / 100km (claimed)
Top speed: 340km/h
Rivals: Ferrari 488 Pista, McLaren 720S

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