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By Miles Downard
Porsche’s Reinn Sport division (or RS for short) is probably the most revered high performance division of any motor manufacturer. Over the last 25 years since its inception it’s created a line of tweaked Porsches that are world beaters.
The Cayman GT4 was one of those, which I tested approximately 2 years ago and found it to be one of the best sports cars I’ve ever driven. Porsche wasn’t done though, quietly working in the background on this, the GT4 RS. What they’ve created is the culmination of everything great in their extensive toy box.
The highlights package is a front axle from the 991.2 GT3 RS that suits an overall wider track and lower stance. It has bigger front brakes and GT3 rear brakes, or carbon ceramic items if you so wish. NACA ducts in the bonnet feed air to the brakes for cooling, without impairing the car’s drag coefficient. Downforce is added through the angle of attack of the rear wing (manually adjusted in three stages). The same is true of the front diffuser, which can be adjusted in four stages using mechanical sliding elements. Tracking, camber and anti roll bar are all fully adjustable.
The engine is the 4.0 litre naturally aspirated 6 cylinder unit found in the 911 GT3, in this application producing 368kW and 450Nm, mated to a seven speed short-ratio PDK dual clutch gearbox. Incidentally it’s the same engine that’s used in Porsche’s GT3 Cup race series. At just 1,415kg in kerb weight thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics, that output gives a rather tasty power to weight figure and a 0-100kph of just 3.4 seconds.
The question is, what’s the thing like from behind the wheel? Well, Porsche was kind enough to throw me the keys and send me off into the mountains of the Western Cape to find out.
The answer is simple. The Porsche GT4 RS is a weapon. There is no car better suited to carving up a mountain pass than this one and the sheer theatre of how the GT4 RS goes about it cannot be matched.
The first instance of full throttle acceleration, through to the 9000 rpm limit, was a mind altering experience. The GT4 RS might boast the same engine as a GT3 but with it sat right behind the driver in its mid engine orientation, and with carbon air intakes in place of the rear windows from a plain GT4, the intake sound is like ingesting thunder through your ear canal. I still get shivers down my spine thinking about it now.
Carving through the Cape’s winding landscape, up and down mountains and the open expanses in between, I felt as though the GT4 RS had become a part of me. Its steering is so good it’s not so much a matter of thinking about the steering wheel but rather allowing your eyes to spot the next turn in point, apex and exit and the car simply follows as though acting on telepathy.
But it’s so much more going on under the skin than steering. The mid engine layout offers perfect balance and those suspension tweaks and bits borrowed from the GT3 all culminate in the ultimate road and track weapon.
Then you accelerate again through a few gears, exploring the rev limit over and over, the feeling of thunder emanating through the pores of your skin and you realise that in that moment life doesn’t get much better. Just you and a truly remarkable piece of machinery completely submerged in the task of arriving at the next corner in as short a time as possible.
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