First drive: Porsche 911 GT2

* First look at 523bhp 911 GT2 * 0-62mph in 3.7sec, top speed 204mph * Prices from £131,070...

22 April 2008

First drive: Porsche 911 GT2

The GT2 might look like a 911. It might even use the incredible engine from the 911 Turbo. Once you've wedged yourself into the high-sided bucket seats, the dash and controls are all 911 - and that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Power pack

This is very much a track-oriented car that's also pretty usable on the road.

The engine is based on the 911 Turbo's, but changes to the way it 'breathes' - most noticeably with different turbochargers - takes power up to 523bhp from 473bhp, while fuel consumption actually goes down.

The 50bhp increase may not sound much, until you consider the savings made to the car's weight.

A titanium exhaust system and carbon ceramic brake discs shave pounds here and there, those brakes also doing an incredible job of stopping the car in a hurry.

On the road

But this car is more about going - fast - than stopping. You'll pass 62mph in a horizon-shrinking 3.7 seconds, and on the longest straight of your favourite circuit, you'll just exceed 200mph.

In more mundane conditions, the engine's flexibility impresses, although the arrival of the bulk of turbo power at 3000rpm feels a little old school (but still fun), while the electronically controlled suspension is always on the hasher side of firm.

Although the gearchange is slick, the clutch will improve your left leg's muscles.

The GT2 does without the Turbo's four-wheel-drive system and, in dry conditions, has bags of grip, awesome balance and tremendous feel.

In the wet, you'll need to respect all that power - even the traction and stability control might not save you from an embarrassing (and expensive) mistake.

Is it worth it?

Given the raw (and it sometimes it feels it) power and performance of the GT2, £131,070 doesn't seem much to ask.

This is the fastest-ever 911, but others are better all-rounders.

Porsche 911 GT2
Engine size3.6 litres Price £131,070
Power 530bhp
0-62mph 3.7secsTop speed 204mphEconomy 22.6mpg CO2 g/km/tax 298/35%
Insurance group 20Airbags 4