By on February 21, 2018

Porsche created a small problem for itself when it released the updated 911 GT3. The model was just as powerful as the current RS version of the car. While the race-focused model maintained its edge just about everywhere else, Porsche knew it looked bad on paper. An upmarket model should have upmarket specs across the board.

Fortunately, the company solved its problem by making the new 911 GT3 RS the most powerful naturally aspirated Porsche ever to grace public roads.

Its 4.0-liter flat-six now puts out 520 horsepower and 346 lb-ft of torque. This helps it rush to 60 mph in just three seconds flat, which is 0.1 seconds quicker than the outgoing RS. However, the best addition to the car has to be the NACA ducts on the hood. The GT3 RS isn’t exactly a subtle-looking vehicle, and the aero inlets add further visual flare while reducing drag and improving brake cooling.

That heat management helps go toward bringing the RS back from it’s top speed of 193 mph swiftly and predictably. Sure, it doesn’t crest the 200 mph mark like some other high-performance models in its price range but it’s not exclusively about blasting down the expressway at high speeds. Instead, Porsche is providing a street-legal maniac that’s optimized for track use. The Euro-spec car can even come equipped with a roll bar. Of course, that won’t make revving the 911 up to its 9,000 rpm redline any less fun on a stateside highway onramp.

It’s easy to get fixated on a vehicle’s engine, but Porsche has also given the RS a chassis to die for. Rear-wheel steering has returned to the model, along with some upgrades the automaker promises will further improve handling. Also present is Porsche’s active suspension management system, active engine mounts, and fully variable electronic locking rear differential with torque vectoring. The brakes come in two flavors: cross-drilled grey cast iron rotors measuring 380 mm (15 inches), or an optional ceramic composite setup with 410 mm (16.1-inch) rotors at the front and 390 mm (15.4-inch) rotors at the rear.

The interior is distinctively RS, meaning there isn’t much there in terms of creature comforts. But buyers won’t mind some missing features as they are paying for lightness. Back seats are gone, rear and side windows are made of lighter glass than on a standard 911, and the door pulls have been replaced with lightweight vinyl loops. There’s also less sound insulation. It not totally devoid of niceties, however. Climate control remains available and the seats look supportive.

If that’s not enough, Porsche is offering an optional Weissach Package that replaces the roof, sway bars, steering wheel trim and paddles shifters with carbon fiber variants. That translates to additional 13 pounds of weight savings for only an extra $18,000. For another $13,000 the GT3 RS can also be had with magnesium wheels — saving another 25 pounds.

Alright, so it’s very expensive. The base model starts at $187,500, plus another grand for delivery. But you’re getting a upgraded performance all-star with some visual touches the outgoing model lacked. In addition to the NACA inlets, Porsche gave the 2019 exposed carbon fiber on the trunk lid and fenders and a new set of tail lamps. Compared to some of its rivals, the RS looks to be a bargain… relatively speaking, of course.

The only real drawback is the complete absence of a manual transmission — which is nothing new. Fortunately, Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK transmissions are always phenomenal and the manufacturer specifically tuned the standard seven-speed for this car.

Orders for the 2019 GT3 RS have already begun and deliveries should begin in the fall. However, if you just can’t wait to see one, it’ll also be on display at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

[Images: Porsche]

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16 Comments on “The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Track Ready, Street Legal...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Garish and iterative. IDK. Cars like this don’t excite me anymore.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would drive one to the moon and back given the opportunity. But it almost feels like they aren’t even trying anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      tylanner

      I have no hesitation appreciating this for what it is….the it-car of the 21st century.

      Porsche has managed to create arguably the most desirable modern sports car using a design language that hasn’t changed in a meaningful way in at least 20 years.

      Iterations of a diamond are just fine with me.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    No antique agricultural boxer engine for me.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Awesome. I’m drooling already.

    In typical fashion, I’m guessing that the 3.0 0-60 is probably more like 2.7 sec 0-60.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Probably all spoken for already, right?

  • avatar
    DearS

    I did not expect them to get 514HP out of their Flat-6 engines. Hell 500PH was something big. I’m loving the improvements, been following them since the 996. If a tuner can get 150HP per liter like a Honda engine, 600hp. Who has ever had lighter more power high revving NA engine in a factory car? No one! and I don’t even like Porsche as a company.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Horsepower is easy since its a function of RPM and on a good 4v DOHC engine you don’t even need some pro-stock level camshafts to make the power. The 9k redline isn’t just dong wagging by Porsche either since that is how they are making that power and as a bonus in combination with VVT the engine should be fairly tractable with a broad powerband which is nice with a PDK equipped car but not really nesscary.

  • avatar
    someoldfool

    25 years ago i had an SHO. The Yamaha engine was good for 9,000 rpm easily but was redlined (and governed IIRC) at 7,000 to protect the water pump, alternator, power steering pump and…. Street cars have to consider the accessories too.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    >>>
    making the new 911 GT3 RS the most powerful naturally aspirated Porsche ever to grace public roads
    <<<

    Porsche Cerrera GT had about 600 HP naturally aspirated horses and was legal on public roads.

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