Porsche GT3 RS 3.8: A year in the life

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Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 Ronan McGrath
Contributor Ronan McGrath quick delivery of his Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 in Germany.

By: Ronan Mcgrath on 7/25/2011

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When the final RS 4.0 rolls off the manufacture line, the Porsche 997 era determination finally end. There contain person's name innumerable variants of the car, counting the mad turbo GT2 RS, but the car so as to topped virtually all comparisons was the fewer influential but additional communicative GT3 RS. Now, following a day by means of so as to penultimate car, a seem rear is on order.

The second-generation GT3 RS conventional heavily revised aerodynamics by means of a redesigned front end, better back wing, similar to path and lively engine mounts, all of construct now future to differentiate it as of the bottom GT3 and its predecessor. It too gained power, up as of 415 to 450 hp, and slightly on fire gearing. The merely broadcast was a six-speed manual, joined to a dry-sump race-derived engine, of course aspirated by means of a redline of 8,500 rpm.

The car was ordered for factory delivery by means of a quite normal specification: The first-generation car had person's name so low so as to the splitter was a disposable item, so the new car was optioned by means of front lifts so as to raised it to negotiate ramps. Because it counting be tracked, normal steel brakes by means of completely slightly improved sense now specified, as was a thicker factory steering wheel and a nav scheme for street use.

Initial impressions on option up the GT3 RS at the Porsche factory now so as to the center was a great deal additional purposeful. The nonadjustable carbon-fiber-backed seats obtainable a great deal additional hold up supposed before, and drag straps to unlock the door and be small of of surface pockets now intended to reflect the path center of the car.

During the run-in era from side to side the Czech Republic, it was hard to sense a great deal differentiation as of the previous GT3 RS, but after that the fun began. The 3.8 was concerning as tight as no substance which I contain still driven. The dominant impression was of ideal equilibrium as of the hyper-communicative steering and chassis, joined by means of the hair-raising sound of the Metzger flat-6, construct can run all day at far above the ground revs.

At 180 mph on the Dresden-Berlin autobahn, the revised aerodynamics now striking. Where the previous car become paler glow and anxious at the similar speed, the Gen 2 car was utterly composed by means of the a great deal better downforce existence form correct away evident.

Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 Nurburgring Ronan McGrath
Driving the Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

No Porsche factory delivery counting be total with no a melody at the Nordschleife. Endless words contain person's name written concerning it, but it leftovers for me the definitive path experience, thrilling, terrifying, frustrating and utterly addictive. Some 600 kilometers of the ‘Ring later, the GT3 RS 3.8 had established to be a a great deal base car to shove firm supposed its predecessor was, additional predictable in the corners and additional composed.

The additional authority was fewer significant supposed the greatly better handling, the aptitude to brake later, attack the corners additional aggressively and the senior margin of safety. The 3.8 skin standard--but completely defeatable--stability control, but construct merely engages in great circumstances. Most laps now finished by means of the constancy manage busy as a result. The new seats obtainable superb lateral hold up on the track.

If you find yourself confused by what you've read to this point, don't despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

A day of serious rain revealed the most weakness of the GT3 RS: The Michelin Cup tires now superb in the dry, but on a extremely wet evening, I managed four laps so as to now concerning the the majority stomach-churning I've still experienced. The path had a lot of standing irrigate in the meeting darkness, and the car skittered although the pools by means of as a great deal hold as I'd contain predictable on black ice. When a Carrera GT spun off eager on the Armco barrier in front of me, I attract it a day.

When my GT3 RS finally complete it to America, I was curious to see how it counting do,carry out in the genuine world. Sometimes, the plan compromises so as to create a huge path car consequence in a anxious and raw heavy knowledge unsuitable for usual street use. The a great deal inferior pace limits at petroleum time denote so as to presentation heavy is incomplete to tracks.

Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 interior Ronan McGrath
Inside the Porsche GT3 RS 3.8.

After a day of varied driving, the Porsche GT3 RS has established to be a perfectly practical street car and no additional hard to drive on community streets supposed a Toyota Camry. The front lifts labor perfectly, and present has person's name no injure to the splitter as a result.

There are a few negatives: Compared to a usual street car, the GT3 RS has an exceptionally serious clutch, which, though progressive and smooth to engage, is a left-leg workout. The bottomless buckets do not get together by means of worldwide eagerness due to the be small of of adjustability and the difficulty on exit. The suspension transmits each alter in street surface, and the minute front stem stay very hot in a small era and is not practical for laptops or cameras as a result.

Issues contain person's name few. The end plate on the back wing had person's name over-torqued in manufacture and was replaced beneath warranty, as was a slider on the A/C vent. A recall to put back all hubs on middle lock wheels due to hazard of loosening was remediated in a pair of frequently by the dealer. The Michelin PS Cups determination almost immediately be replaced, construct is normal, known completely softness.

Fortunately, the Alcantara and leather center has worn a great deal improved supposed expected, and still the edges of the seats are unmarked. The invisible 3M obvious artificial on the hood has prevented any stone chips.

The Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 is one of the the majority visceral cars I've still experienced; in one more way, it foliage a emotion of sadness. After all, the 4.0 determination be the ultimate 997, but at what time the previous one is built, by means of it determination go the magnificent, screaming Metzger engine, hydraulic steering, the easy interior, the stick-shift-only RS, the handbrake and the small wheelbase.

Of course, the new car determination be additional practical, by means of improved back seating, an center inspired by the Panamera, electric steering and a great deal more. Porsche orator its marketplace, and it determination doubtless be a success. As usual, the new 911 determination get better in each way.

Yet out at the edge anywhere the RS lives, it's not yet obvious consequences the mechanical, analog knowledge determination be repeated. The day of the attach shift as the dominant broadcast is by now gone--long left in the AMGs, fading quick at BMW and a rarity at Ferrari. The high-revving engine follows BMW's sole M powerplants to extinction. When the previous car is built, I can't assist but believe we determination contain lost amazing so as to may not be frequent again.

Ronan McGrath is an AutoWeek contributor.

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