Getting behind the wheel of the Gen1 997 GT2 was one of the most special experiences available to a car enthusiast whether they be a seasoned racer or capable newcomer. The way the GT2 launched itself down the road with barely abated thrust from its twin-turbo flat six engine is still a memory that I treasure. And now there is a new one, but whereas the GT2 used to be a ‘slightly’ quicker 2WD variant of the 911 Turbo, the new GT2 RS is a whole new ball game for the Stuttgart marque.

Need to know

There are several important facts you should be aware of regarding this new 911 GT2 RS. Firstly and most obviously, this is the first ‘RS’ version of the GT2 variant, so it’s worth pondering on this for a moment. Porsche engineers have long been aware of the general public perception of the GT2, from it’s chilling nickname in 996 GT2 guise as “the widowmaker” through to the belief that it’s sibling GT3 variants were the ‘real’ top of the Porsche tree in terms of driving enjoyment and sporting appeal.

In reality that positioning was turned around with the Gen1 997 GT2, which was more predictable on the limit that the 4WD 997 Turbo and at least as much fun to drive hard as the Gen1 GT3 RS.

When Andreas Preuninger and his team set to work on the Gen2 997 GT2 his objective was nothing less than to put clear water between the GT3 and GT2, placing Porsche’s forced-induction model at the very top of the food chain – fastest in a straight line, fastest on track and most fun to drive. Simple really.

Porsche’s press release for the new 911 GT2 RS addresses this point in the simplest of manners – “The time: seven minutes, 18 seconds on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.” Enough said.

The statement then points out the power output of the GT2 RS, 611 bhp (620 hp) which is some 90 bhp more than the Gen1 911 GT2. And to demonstrate the ‘RS’ principle they declare that the new GT2 RS weighs 1,370 kilograms (or 3,021 lb) in road trim which is 70 kg lighter than the Gen1 GT2 that is succeeds.

The Gen1 GT2 wasn’t exactly ‘lardy’ with its stripped out, no-nonsense interior, so removing a further 70 kg from its frame can only mean the application of some pretty special light-weight materials. The new 911 GT2 RS has a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.21 kilos or 4.9 lb per horsepower, by far the best power/weight ratio in its class.

To put such performance potential in perspective, the new GT2 RS weighs the same as the current GT3 RS… but it carries 167 bhp more. Dwell on that little bit of information for just a moment.

This is the fastest and most powerful road-going sports car that Porsche have ever built. The boss is very definitely back.

This just about sums up how we feel about the new GT2 RS. Click to view on SkiddPlayer.

What does this mean on the road

The GT2 RS continues to be powered by Porsche’s venerable 3.6 litre six-cylinder boxer engine boosted by twin variable turbine geometry turbochargers, rather than the new 3.8 litre engine used in the 997 Turbo, GT3 and GT3 RS.

Power is delivered through the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, using sports tyres developed especially for the 911 GT2 RS and measuring 325/30 ZR 19. This converts its massive power into equally massive performance and acceleration on the road: 0 to 62.5 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 125 mph in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 187.5 mph in 28.9 seconds. The GT2 RS is claimed to achieve a top speed of 206 mph, and we have little doubt about that being on the conservative side.

As if to rub salt into the wounds of its more outrageous competitors Porsche have been able to ‘reduce’ the 911 GT2’s CO2 emissions – down by approximately 5 per cent to 284 g/km and reflecting a fuel consumption of 23.7 mpg imp (11.9 ltr/100 km).

No-nonsense specification

Equally supreme stopping power on this ultra-high-performance sports car comes from PCCB composite ceramic brakes. Appropriate longitudinal and crosswise dynamics are ensured by the sporting RS set-up of the springs, PASM Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management, anti-roll bars, as well as the dynamic engine mounts and PSM Porsche Stability Management.

In its looks the new 911 GT2 RS stands out clearly from the 911 GT2 above all through the lavish use of carbon-fibre-reinforced (CFR) components in matt-black surface finish, even wider wheels and flared wheel arches at the front, new 911 GT2 light-alloy wheels with central locking, as well as ”GT2 RS“ model designations on the doors and rear lid. The upgraded front spoiler lip and the rear spoiler lip made of CFR and now 10 millimetres or almost 0.4 inches higher, again in surface carbon finish, ensure the right aerodynamic precision as well as extra downforce.

Visit the 911 GT2 RS microsite for further details and the chance to configure your own GT2 RS.

The interior also exudes the flair of sporting performance in virtually every detail, featuring lightweight bucket seats made of carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic in carbon surface finish and lightweight door panels with door opening straps. The basic interior colour is black, contrasting attractively with features such as the seat centre sections and the roof lining as well as segments on the steering wheel rim. The gearshift and handbrake lever are both finished in red alcantara.

Should you buy one?

We are in no doubt that the GT2 RS will be a ‘great’ Porsche, perhaps one of the greatest of all time, however getting hold of one will be something of a challenge.

Limited to just 500 units, the 911 GT2 RS will be available in Europe from September 2010 and in the USA from October 2010. The retail price in Germany will be 237,578 Euro, some 48,000 Euro more than the car it replaces. But as with previous generation models, if you’re only hearing about the GT2 RS now then you’re probably already too late to snap up one of the planned 500 cars.