Your Ad Here

Monday, June 20, 2011

First Drive: Delightfully Naughty Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 First Drive – Review – Car and Driver #pallet {margin:0;}#echoice li.category {margin:0;}Car and DriverIntelligence. Independence. Irreverence. VehiclesReviewsNewsFeaturesBuyer's GuideFollow UsSubscribeSearch Car and DriverHome › Reviews › 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 - First Drive Review

Shopping Tools


2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 - First Drive ReviewNever mind the purity-white paint. Porsche’s latest 911—and last 997—is its naughtiest.BY JENS MEINERS
June 2011


2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Photos (12)Visit Our Buyer's Guide »Porsche 911› Overview› Specifications› Price with Options› Photos & 360° View› Get a Free QuoteNews & Reviews2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 - Official Photos and Info2012 Porsche 911 (991) - Feature2013 Porsche 911 Turbo Spy Photos - Future Cars2012 Porsche 911 Black Edition - Official Photos and Info2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet - Short Take Road Test2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR - Official Photos and Info2012 Porsche 911 Carrera Spy Photos - Future Cars2011 Porsche 911 Speedster - Auto Shows2011 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS - Car News

It seems as though Porsche itself were caught off guard by the announcement of this special-edition 911. The company had shut down the line that would normally build the engine for a car like this, so when the brass decided they needed one final 997, Porsche had to restart production.

The GT3 is, of course, the purest 911, which makes a GT3 derivative the appropriate final send-off for the 997 before the arrival of the 991. Porsche launched the GT3 in 1999 to counter claims that the 911 had gone soft, what with the 996’s larger body and water-cooled engine. Some in the marketing department expected the company to sell a few hundred—or a thousand at the most—but Porsche has since sold about 15,000 GT3s. That’s even more surprising when you consider the fact that the GT3 has been available only sporadically.

The more extreme GT3 is the RS. Porsche says 85 percent of RS buyers take their cars to the track regularly. And now Porsche is topping that with the GT3 RS 4.0, which is lighter and more powerful and handles even better. That 4.0 in the car’s title refers to the displacement of its engine. Whereas other GT3s use a 3.8-liter flat-six, the 4.0 borrows the upsize engine from the track-only GT3 R and RSR. The bump in displacement results from a longer stroke, as Porsche could not increase cylinder bore. Titanium connecting rods and a single-mass flywheel shave a few pounds, but all other changes relative to the GT3’s 3.8-liter six enhance airflow. The 4.0 gets a higher-flow air filter, a modified intake manifold with shorter runners, and a less-restrictive exhaust—the last of which reduces back pressure and amps up the noise in equal measure. The result is an increase in output from 450 hp to 500 hp, with torque edging from 317 lb-ft to 339.

Three Pedals, One Clutch


Porsche does not offer its PDK dual-clutch transmission in any GT3, and that stays true for the 4.0. Although the company claims the PDK is superior to a manual box in a more civilized context, keeping it out of the GT3 family seems like tacit admission that there is nothing like the control offered by a manual transmission (even one with seven speeds, which we’ve confirmed Porsche will offer in the next-generation 911). Additionally, the traditional manual is lighter than the PDK, and it enables experts to initiate drifts more smoothly by playing with the clutch.

For our preview drive, Porsche planted us in the tranquil village of Hohenstein-Ödenwaldstetten. Here in the Swabian Alps southeast of Stuttgart, the deserted roads would be the epitome of peace and quiet if not for the distant shriek of flat-sixes being wrung out. The 3.8 is not exactly a tractor engine, but the 4.0 is a notable improvement. Its wonderfully linear power curve peaks at 8250 rpm, and torque does so at 5750. "A racing engine like this needs to explode at the top," says Andreas Preuninger, project leader for special vehicles at Porsche. Explode it does, but despite its 8500-rpm redline, the 4.0 accelerates smoothly and without any hiccups from just above idle. There is so much punch across the rev band that we often found ourselves a gear higher than we’d be in with the 3.8. The figures speak for themselves: Porsche claims 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds, 0 to 120 in fewer than 12, and a redline-limited top speed of 193 mph. Of course, the company claimed the regular GT3 would do 60 in 4.0 seconds, and we recorded 3.6 for that car. Figure on the 4.0 managing the deed in about 3.4 seconds, with the quarter-mile taking about 11.6.

Porsche Perfected—and Pricey

The RS 4.0’s handling is virtually perfect, and the transition to oversteer is smooth and easy to manage. The power steering is perfectly weighted and linear; the brakes bite immediately and hard. Carbon-ceramic discs are optional, but even the base setup is among the best on the market. Porsche’s dynamic engine mounts are standard, and although they add four or so pounds, the way they firm up to better manage the rear-mounted engine’s mass during hard cornering easily offsets that demerit.

We didn’t have the chance to mess with the settings this time around, but the suspension and the rear spoiler can be adjusted for track use. Upfront, dive planes mounted at the corners of the fascia do an admirable job of countering the high-speed lift that still afflicts some 911s.

Expectedly, the RS 4.0 is lighter than a GT3 RS. The hood, the front fenders, and the seats are carbon fiber, and although air conditioning and a radio are standard, buyers can opt out of either or both in favor of lightness. An optional lithium-ion battery saves 24 pounds. Since lithium-ion batteries suffer diminished cranking ability in subfreezing temperatures, buyers ordering the light battery also get a lead-acid unit for those winter road trips to Alaska. In Europe, the RS 4.0 is even purer. Thank the bureaucrats for the fact that we won’t get the even-lighter one-piece seats (only 18 pounds apiece!), the polycarbonate quarter-windows and back glass, or the roll cage.

At $185,950, the RS 4.0 doesn't come cheap. But that didn’t stop customers: All 600 have already been sold, including the 126 that will be shipped to our shores. You will be able to distinguish them from lesser GT3s by their unique aerodynamic aids and specific striping. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0, likely the coolest roadgoing 997 ever, is available in only two shades: black and white. Carrara White is special-projects guru Preuninger’s favorite. “It is innocent,” he says, barely able to conceal his grin.


VEHICLE TYPE: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

BASE PRICE: $185,950

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

Displacement: 244 cu in, 3996 cc
Power (SAE net): 500 hp @ 8250 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 339 lb-ft @ 5750 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

Wheelbase: 92.7 in Length: 176.4 in
Width: 71.2 in Height: 50.4 in
Curb weight (C/D est): 3200 lb
Zero to 60 mph: 3.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.6 sec
Top speed: 193 mph

EPA city/highway driving: 14/21 mpg




Subscribe to Car and Driver magazine


Stumble ItYahoo! BuzzCommentsJoin the Discussion

Related Stories »2012 Porsche 911 (991) - Feature25 Cars Worth Waiting For.

2010 Porsche 911 GT3 R Race Car - Official Photos and InfoThe hottest 911, now with an even harder core.

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR - Official Photos and InfoPorsche's GT racer gets an update.

Confirmed: Next Porsche 911 to Launch with 7-Speed Manual Transmission (Yes, the Clutch-Pedal Kind)Porsche Announces It Will Build 911 Carrera 4 GTSPorsche 918 Spyder Priced, Matching 911 Turbo S Will Be Optional - Car NewsBuyers of the $845,000 hybrid supercar will be able to commemorate the purchase with an “Edition 918 Spyder” 911 Turbo S.

Car and Driver Video »CD VideoThis Month in Car and Driver »In This Months Issue of Car and Driver DirectoryM Local Guides Subscribe Vehicles Trucks, SUVs, & Vans Sporty & Fun Sedans & Wagons Luxury Budget & Green Editor's Choice Most Researched Reviews In the Magazine From the Archives Comparison Tests Road Tests First Drives News Auto Shows Spy Photos Car News Car and Driver Blog Features Gear Box Interviews Tech Department Sport Awards Columns Features Buyer's Guide Editor's Choice: Trucks, SUVs, & Vans Editor's Choice: Sporty & Fun Editor's Choice: Sedans & Wagons Editor's Choice: Luxury Editor's Choice: Budget & Green Follow us Car and Driver RSS Car and Driver on Twitter Car and Driver on YouTube Car and Driver on Facebook Backfires Subscribe Mobile Digital Edition Newsletter Subscriptions Sitemap Contact Us Browse Cars for Sale Subscriptions/Customer Service Website Feedback Best Cars Luxury Cars Sports Cars Trucks Hybrids YouTube Twitter FacebookHFMU.S. Mens Network

Visit other Hachette Filipacchi sites:

Cycle World ELLE ELLEgirl ELLE DECOR Glo Premiere Road & Track Woman's DayCopyright ©2010 Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc., Terms & Conditions Privacy-Your Privacy Rights

View the original article here

No comments:

Post a Comment