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Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS is a road car that thinks it’s a racecar

The Porsche lineup is like a Russian doll. Traditionally, the company has offered the 911 GT3, as well as the GT3 RS, a hardcore version of that hardcore version.

Yet while previous GT3s had a reputation as aggressive track rats, to many fans’ chagrin, the latest model is much more refined. So where does that leave the GT3 RS?

Unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the new 911 GT3 RS continues to walk on the wild side.

Rumor has it that Porsche will soon turbocharge most of the 911 lineup, but the GT3 RS remains proudly naturally aspirated. Its 4.0-liter boxer-six produces 500 horsepower and 338 pound-feet of torque.

Porsche claims it’s the most powerful naturally aspirated 911 engine ever put into production.

So it’s probably not surprising that the GT3 RS is wicked fast.

Porsche says it will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, run the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds (the same as a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat), and blitz the Nüburgring in seven minutes, 20 seconds.

All of that power is harnessed by a model-specific PDK dual-clutch transmission (no manual is available), with a “paddle neutral” feature for declutching, and even a Pit Speed limiter like the ones used in today’s race cars.

Maybe that’s to keep drivers from getting too exuberant in the Starbucks drive-through.

As previously shown in leaked photos, the GT3 RS features extensive aerodynamic modifications that either make it look like a racecar or a refugee from the set of Fast & Furious, depending on your point of view.

A generous front-lip spoiler and rear spoiler are joined by air vents in the front fenders, which Porsche says increases downforce over the front axle.

The GT3 RS uses the wider body from the 911 Turbo, but with some weight-saving measures, including a magnesium roof and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic engine and luggage compartment lids.

All of this saves just 22 pounds over a standard GT3, but Porsche says the lighter roof in particular helps lower the car’s center of gravity.

On the inside, the GT3 RS isn’t exactly a stripped down racer. It’s got the same array of buttons as other 911s, but with the addition of bucket seats based on the ones in the 918 Spyder supercar.

As part of the optional Sport Chrono pack, the Track Precision app allows drivers to record data such as speed and lateral acceleration with their smartphones.

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is available for order now, with U.S. deliveries set to begin in July. Prices start at $176,895, including destination.

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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