The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS: Track Ready, Street Legal

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
the 2019 porsche 911 gt3 rs track ready street legal

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]

Join the conversation
5 of 16 comments
  • Someoldfool Someoldfool on Feb 21, 2018

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Feb 22, 2018

      Design has come a long way in 30 years, and a lot of accessories have gone electric.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Feb 21, 2018

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

  • Jeff S Corey--We know but we still want to give our support to you and let TTAC know that your articles are excellent and better than what the typical articles are.
  • Jeff S A sport utility vehicle or SUV is a car classification that combines elements of road-going passenger cars with features from off-road vehicles, such as raised ground clearance and four-wheel drive.There is no commonly agreed-upon definition of an SUV and usage of the term varies between countries. Thus, it is "a loose term that traditionally covers a broad range of vehicles with four-wheel drive." Some definitions claim that an SUV must be built on a light truck chassis; however, broader definitions consider any vehicle with off-road design features to be an SUV. A [url=]crossover SUV[/url] is often defined as an SUV built with a unibody construction (as with passenger cars), however, the designations are increasingly blurred because of the capabilities of the vehicles, the labelling by marketers, and electrification of new models.The predecessors to SUVs date back to military and low-volume models from the late 1930s, and the four-wheel drive station wagons and carryalls that began to be introduced in 1949. The 1984 [url=]Jeep Cherokee (XJ)[/url] is considered to be the first SUV in the modern style. Some SUVs produced today use unibody construction; however, in the past, more SUVs used body-on-frame construction. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the popularity of SUVs greatly increased, often at the expense of the popularity of large [url=]sedans[/url] and station wagons.More recently, smaller SUVs, mid-size, and crossovers have become increasingly popular. SUVs are currently the world's largest automotive segment and accounted for 45.9% of the world's passenger car market in 2021. SUVs have been criticized for a variety of environmental and safety-related reasons. They generally have poorer fuel efficiency and require more resources to manufacture than smaller vehicles, contributing more to climate change and environmental degradation. Between 2010 and 2018 SUVs were the second largest contributor to the global increase in carbon emissions worldwide. Their higher center of gravity increases their risk of rollovers. Their larger mass increases their stopping distance, reduces visibility, and increases damage to other road users in collisions. Their higher front-end profile makes them at least twice as likely to kill pedestrians they hit. Additionally, the psychological sense of security they provide influences drivers to drive less cautiously. the above definition of SUV any vehicle that is not a pickup truck if it is enclosed, doesn't have a trunk, and is jacked up with bigger tires. If the green activists adhere to this definition of what an SUV is there will be millions of vehicles with flat tires which include HRVs, Rav4s, CRVs, Ford Escapes, Buick Encores, and many of compact and subcompact vehicles. The green movement is going to have to recruit millions of new followers and will be busy flattening millions of tires in the US and across the globe. Might be easier to protest.
  • Sckid213 I actually do agree that most Nissans are ultimately junk. (I also think many BMWs are also). I was talking challenging the 3 in terms of driving dynamics. Agree all were failures in sales.
  • THX1136 More accurately said, we are seeing exponential growth in the manufacturing capabilities in this market. Unless, of course, all those vehicles are sold with customers waiting until more a produced so they can buy. Indeed, there are certainly more EVs being purchased now than back in 2016. Is demand outstripping manufacturing? Maybe or maybe not. I sincerely don't know which is why I ask.
  • ToolGuy The page here (linked in the writeup) is ridiculously stupid, seriously stupid, e.g., A) Not sure that particular Volvo is killing the planet as quickly as some other vehicles we might choose. B) A Juke is "huge"??? C) The last picture shows a RAV4 Hybrid?