TTAC Breaks Embargo With Exclusive 911 GT3 RS 4.0 First Drive

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

I never thought it would happen, particularly after a long few years of mercilessly criticizing every overpriced, cynically-conceived, cost-cut piece of garbage Porsche has released in the past few years, but as I stepped off the plane in Frankfurt this morning for a completely exclusive, embargo-busting preview of the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 in the Black Forest, followed by a full-throttle attack of the only racetrack in the world that really matters (the hallowed Norfschleifegarten) I knew that all had been forgiven and that I would be able to share all the details with you about the fastest, finest, just plain best 911 in the nameplate’s storied history: the awesome 2012 911 GT3 RS 4.0.

Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this exclusive “First Look” before commenting. Thank you! — JB

The 997 GT3 RS was already known as the uber-911, the amazing racecar-for-the-road that provides supercar performance at a fraction of the cost of competitors such as the Ferrari 458 Italia, the Corvette Z06, and the Nissan GT-R Egoist Edition. Everything about the GT3 RS, from its “center-lock” wheels to its exquisitely-painted half-cage, screams “GO KART PERFORMANCE!” The only fly in the soup was the power, which wasn’t totally dominant of its competition. With the new four-liter engine, Porsche has literally urinated on the dying corpses of the competition as it drives over their families like Ferdinand’s own “King Tiger” tank given a chance to do battle on a perfectly flat, dry battlefield with convenient fuel stations nearby and a couple of those crappy old PzKpfw IVs around just in case somebody loc’s up with the ol’ bazooka.

We are talking five hundred horsepower here. Not since the 2003 Viper has a supercar dared to offer exactly five hundred horsepower. To make this technological miracle happen, Porsche’s engineers have performed a daring surgery on the existing block, increasing the stroke by four millimeters. Until now, the laws of physics prevented such a thing from occurring, but after close consultation with the marketing department, Porsche has managed to find a company that could create the so-called “eighty-millimeter rod.” According to Andreas Pfreuinginger, head of stripe and sticker engineering at Porsche AG,

To increase the stroke is not good for a high revving car usually, but this one was better because we changed a lot of other things. There are different rods and heads and we’ve lowered the compression ratio meaning you can use a more aggressive ignition curve.

Exactly. So banish all thoughts of the old three-liter Porsche four-cylinder, which didn’t have any of that stuff except probably the lowered compression ratio. This is a four-liter six-cylinder and it develops literally TWICE the power of that old engine at a price that, adjusted for inflation, is barely more than twice as much.

After a dinner consisting of food I didn’t recognize, Porsche set me free with the four-liter RS on the backroads of the Black Forest. I immediately pushed to the eleventh tenth, showing the Germans how people really drive in Germany. I was amazed at how I could immediately tell the difference between this new RS and the old one. To begin with, this one has more stripes. Also, it’s much faster. As the kilometers passed, the line between man and machine blurred until finally I was brought to halt by a police roadblock. A stern-looking German polizei approached.

“Vat is los?” he said, or something like that. “Ja, we have just stopped you for the purpose of congratulating you on your outstanding driving. You are a credit to the German race.” I nodded silently and beeped the RS 4.0’s horn, which contains three percent less plastic for a lap-time improvement of some 0.0075 seconds.

The next morning, I was taken by helicopter to the famous “Green Hill” where Jackie Stewart famously lost an ear before continuing to win the 24 Hours of The Nurburgrings and earning the title “Sauron, Lord Of The Rings.” After a quick four-hour presentation on the RS 4.0’s new sticker package, I was permitted to unleash hell on the unsuspecting racers. Following a quick excursion into a sandy test area of the “Flugplatz-Forst”, I tightened the laces on my complimentary Pilotis and began an earnest assault on the seven-minute barrier.

Almost immediately I began a deadly duel with a fellow Ring driver. This seasoned veteran played cat and mouse with me for what seemed like hours. I would use all five hundred horsepower of the GT3’s mighty new engine to pull ahead on the straights, but he would attack to the inside on the braking zones. Somehow I couldn’t shake him, but in the Karussell I made a move that stuck and accelerated away down the Pfantgarden. I asked a fellow journalist to use one of his seventeen different camera/lens combinations to photograph my adversary for the historical record, and so you would know that I wasn’t making it up. Although my colleague was too busy stuffing a German sausage down his throat at the time to take a shot, he was able to get it on the following lap.

It’s the bigger one. Like I said, a tough adversary who knew the ‘Ring like a combination of Sabine Schmitz and Sabine Reck. Before we knew it, our Ring time had ended and we were escorted into a small room where Porsche marketing engineer Horst Wessel gave the final summation on the 4.0.

“With this revolutionary new development in long-stroke engines, Porsche has created the ultimate send-off to the ultimate version of the ultimate sportscar. What’s always surprised about RS 911s is that the excellence they demonstrate on track doesn’t translate to a car that’s impossible to drive on the road. So, despite its serious track car credentials, the GT3 RS 4.0 is no one-trick pony. Rather, it’s a first class road and track car. The best car of 2011 so far? It might just be.”

Then he came around to make sure that we’d written it down just like he said it. For those of who were bloggers, he had some Internet Engineers (Clickandjerkenjagermeisters) help us enter it into WordPress. When all our first drafts were submitted for review by the Porsche Marketing Department, we were offered a delightful choice of evening entertainments: free wine in the bar, a complimentary “long-term tester” Cayenne for our families, or a chance to participate in “ze most dangerous game” where a homeless Untermensch would be released into the Black Forest and we would use dogs to track down and kill him. The editor from AutoWeak demanded to be allowed to hunt the homeless man in a Cayenne so a squad of welders began cutting a new Turbo apart to accommodate a special plus-width hunting chair, but as a humble blogger I elected to drink in the bar.

When I woke up I discovered a headless, nude prostit Once again, Porsche has raised the bar with the 911 GT3 RS 4.0. And the handling. Oh, boy. The steering is sharp and absolutely loaded with feel. It has lots to communicate because this isn’t a car that clings to a neutral attitude. Your inputs and the tightness of the curve dictate whether there’s understeer or oversteer, and the little suede-clad wheel keeps you hardwired into it all. Both the front tires and the 325/30 ZR 19 rears relinquish their grip with early, progressive warning, so you can do something to sort it out. This awesome car is surefire collectors’ gold.


* * *

Disclaimer: This week, Porsche will purchase international flights costing between one and four thousand dollars and expend several thousand dollars more per head to provide a selection of journalists with exclusive access to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a car which has apparently been completely pre-sold to the dealers. What’s the point? There probably is none. It amounts to a long, slurpy fluff of the chumps who have proven malleable enough to let Porsche dictate their stories for them in the past. And obviously TTAC wasn’t invited. So we have nothing to disclose, except that the entire article above is a fabrication…

…except for a few parts which were lifted verbatim from “first drives” published elsewhere. What’s fake, and what’s real, is an exercise left to the always-brilliant B&B. Love, Jack.

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2 of 34 comments
  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jul 12, 2011

    Jack - you're wrong about the 996/986s - I have a 1981 911 SC which admittedly still runs like new, and the interior despite being 30 years old is absolutely incredible. But I also own a 986 and while the interior hasn't aged as well its been far more reliable and had far less issues than any of my friends air cooled cars, yes, even than the 993s. My friend has a 996 and other than brakes, tires, and oil changes his car has needed nothing. Not to mention it is ridiculously fast. Although I will give the air cooled cars the edge in depreciation - my 30 year old 911 is worth as much as a 10 year old 911, whereas a 993 is still worth ~$35,000 - but I attribute that more to snobs and purists than to any actual real value over the other cars.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jul 13, 2011

    So, if I decide, as Steven Lang put it, to blow my financial brains out on German performance iron, Porsche is "better" than BMW?

  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.