Just wait until the 911 GT2 RS rips around the 'Ring. Then we'll see if Porsche cares about Nurburgring lap times.
Porsche was once king of the Nurburgring with the 918 Spyder holding the record for the fastest production car to rip around the Ring for several years, only to be beaten by the Lamborghini Huracan Performante. But while manufacturers often use Nurburgring lap time records to advertise the prowess of a track-focused car, the boss of Porsche’s GT division has revealed to AutoGuide that he no longer cares about chasing fast laps at the Green Hell to beat competitors. The reason? It just isn't fun anymore.
Porsche answered the prayers of a lot of purists when it announced that the 911 GT3 would be available with a manual option, seemingly designed for drivers who revel in shaving milliseconds off lap times. However, Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger believes that not everyone who buys a manual is obsessed with setting fast times on a track. “There are a lot of people who aren’t looking at the stopwatch when they’re on the track and they just want the interaction and they want a driver’s car,” he told AutoGuide. Ultimately, the goal was to simply make the GT3 more fun to drive. “This is the reason why we left the route of being the quickest on the Nurburgring and only thinking about lap times.
I don’t care that the competition is a little bit faster around the ‘Ring.” By focusing firmly on setting blistering lap records, manufacturers often forget that this can compromise the drivability of a car for everyday use on the road – something that Porsche was keen to avoid with the new 911 GT3. “It’s not our mainstream program to have the quickest lap times and to advertise our cars only by lap time because, to be honest with you, if you have a car with the perfect setup for the Nurburgring, it will be a dog on the street and everywhere else.” It's clear, then, that the 911 GT3 hasn’t been designed for improving lap times, but for drivers who want a more engaging driving experience.
“This is about a rewarding driving sensation, the smile, the feeling that you want to pat the car on the roof when you get out. That’s very important,” he said. “You can have a car that theoretically you know can go fast, but maybe it feels so perfect that it gets boring.” Don’t think, however, that Porsche is letting Lamborghini get away with defeating the 918 Spyder at the ‘Ring. “We will strike back because the Empire always strikes back. We have some aces up our sleeve because we’re competitive as well,” Preuninger teased. That’s a hint that the 911 GT2 RS will give the Huracan Performante a run for its money when it's unleashed onto the the Nurburgring if there ever was one.