Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0
* Track-focused 4.0-litre 911 driven * Limited to just 600 cars worldwide * Price from 128,466...
What is it? This is the GT3 RS 4.0, a more powerful version of the stripped-out (and discontinued) GT3 RS, and the last hurrah for the current-shape 911 before its replacement is unveiled in the autumn.
Just 600 examples of the GT3 RS 4.0 will be built, and these trade the standard GT3 RSs 3.8-litre flat-six for a 4.0-litre thats related to the engine in Porsches GT3 RSR racing car.
Maximum power is 493bhp at 8250rpm, compared with the 3.8s 444bhp at 7900rpm, while peak torque climbs from 317lb ft at 6750rpm to 339lb ft at 5750rpm.
As well as the new engine, the GT3 RS 4.0 benefits from racing car-derived suspension and aerodynamic tweaks that improve downforce.
Whats more, the bonnet, front wings and seat frames are all made from carbonfibre to help knock 10kg off the GT3 RSs already feather-light kerb weight.
What's it like to drive?The GT3 RS 4.0 will blast you from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, which is just 0.1 seconds faster than the 3.8. However, the new car is a lot more flexible thanks to its extra low-down torque.
If youre feeling lazy, you can leave it in fourth gear, because it will happily pull from next-to-no revs. It starts to feel incredibly strong in the mid-range, before piling on speed without a hint of a flat spot all the way to its screaming 8400rpm redline.
With such ferocious performance, you tend to arrive at corners a lot faster than you were expecting. Fortunately, the sharp steering is full of feel and the car always stays incredibly flat and composed.
To get even close to the limits, youll need to take it to a track, and Porsche reckons 85% of buyers will do exactly that.
Back on the road, the ride is obviously firm, but its nowhere near as punishing as you might think and is beautifully controlled. In fact, aside from a heavy clutch and the considerable road noise the car generates, its surprisingly easy to spend time in.
What's it like inside?Porsches Clubsport package, which includes a roll cage, seat belt harnesses and a fire extinguisher, is standard, so the GT3 RS 4.0 feels every inch the racing car from behind the wheel.
The fact that the air-conditioning and stereo have been binned to save weight merely adds to this impression, although Porsche will put these creature comforts back in and delete the Clubsport package if you want something a little less hardcore.
There are no rear seats and the buckets upfront have only limited adjustment. However, this isnt the problem you might think it is because they provide fantastic support and the driving position is spot-on. Just dont expect to see much out of the back window the cars huge wing forces you to rely on the door mirrors.
Should you buy one?If only you could. The GT3 RS 4.0 doesnt officially go on sale until July, but all 600 examples have already found homes, and its easy to see why.
With the GT3 RS 4.0, Porsche has created one of the worlds most intoxicating road cars ever and the ultimate track day weapon its both sharper and faster than the BMW M3 GTS, which costs similar money.
True, the GT3 RS 4.0 carries a 19,343 premium over the 3.8-litre car, but thats a trifling amount to the people its aimed at.
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