It ain't easy approaching the 700 horsepower mark.
During an extended talk with famed renegade and friend of Ferrari, James Glickenhaus, we heard the 24 Hours Nurburgring expert claim that having more than 700 horsepower going to the rear wheels was impractical because it would overwhelm the maximum grip physics can bestow on the rear wheels. If there’s any automaker we’d trust to approach that limit in a sensical fashion, it’d be Porsche, which is pining to do just that for its upcoming 911 GT2 RS. Concrete details were once sparse, that's all changed.
We know the rear-wheel drive race car is still in the pipelines, but Evo Magazine had the opportunity to sit in the prototype car’s passenger seat while a Porsche test driver did their best to relay live examples of what the hardware upgrades do to better the 911. Porsche also divulged a bit about the GT2’s equipment, and though it shares the same 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six as the 911 Turbo S, the GT2 RS will be completely different. “It’s not just a chipped Turbo S, definitely not, it’s a completely re-engineered car,” says Porsche’s GT head Andreas Preuninger. The changes start with the engine, which is retuned to best the previous GT2 RS’ output of 611 horsepower.
Stated power figures are ‘greater than’ 641bhp and 553 lb-ft of torque, with the extra power coming from larger turbochargers delivering more boost and a water injection system similar to the one on the BMW M4 GTS. That drops intake temperature by 15 degrees but requires a refill after three laps around the Nurburgring at full tilt. Sorry manual fans, but PDK is standard, no exceptions. That's partially because Porsche’s manual can’t handle this engine’s torque output and also because this is a track-focused machine, not a quick grand tourer. Haters will be set straight with what’s expected to be a sub-seven minute lap time at the Nurburgring. The extra horsepower and large rear wing have a hand in that.
So does the stiff racing suspension and four-wheel steering system, but interestingly Porsche has decided not to do away with as many of the heavyweight materials like sound deadening, HVAC system, or the sound system. It still uses a Gorilla Glass in lieu of glass for the rear window, but Porsche is confident that the horsepower glut will be more than enough to deal with the GT2's sub 1,500 kg (3,300 pound) mass. An available Weissach pack deletes the comfort and convenience items, uses magnesium wheels instead of alloys, titanium for the cage, and a carbon fiber roof instead of the typical magnesium that coats the exterior for a total savings of 66 pounds.
The result should be nothing short of magnificent and you can expect demand for the car to be the same. “I like this absolute brutal power that this has, but it’s a joy to drive on the track, it’s so precise, it’s so nimble and agile and a lot easier to drive than a 997 GT2 RS, which was a brute, to the point where you couldn’t handle it sometimes. This one has more power, way more power,” says Preuninger. If you can afford a car in the Ferrari 488 GTB price range, expect to pony up a similar sum following the GT2 RS' September 2017 reveal at the Frankfurt Auto Show. For your sake, we hope you weren’t one of those who flipped their 911Rs because you may not get a chance at the GT2 RS.