2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS First Drive: Incremental Gain

Twenty-four seconds. That’s what the changes to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS add up to. Around the Nürburgring, of course, those 24 ticks of the stopwatch’s second hand are incredibly significant. They make the new RS into a sub-seven minute car, recording 6 minutes 56 seconds around Germany’s Green Hell. That’s fast. Ridiculously so. Surprisingly, too, even to Andreas Preuninger, Director of the GT Product Line at Porsche, who reckoned it’d gain 10, maybe 15 seconds over its predecessor, a car that nobody would ever describe as slow.

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2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

First Impressions

RSs have always been about a collection of incremental gains, but with this new 911 GT3 RS the resultant whole seems greater than the sum of its parts. The power grows, slightly, a 20-horsepower gain seeing the peak output increase to 520 hp achieved at 8,250 rpm. The engine is essentially that of the GT3, a naturally-aspirated 4.liter masterpiece that revs with tearing enthusiasm to a heady 9,000 rpm, and breathes here through a different intake, the exhaust being lighter and freer-flowing.

There’s improved aerodynamics, this RS achieving the same levels of downforce with less drag, largely down to those NACA ducts on its bonnet. They cool the brakes, too, the RS a definition of the performance-car efficiencies that add up to greater speed. It’s...