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GT2 RS is the ultimate 911


DRIVING Porsche’s most powerful 911 in the rain felt like scoring a date with the prom queen and then having her dad tag along.

The GT2 RS cabin accommodates just two people (theres a roll cage in the back), and the flamboyant interior combines red Alcantara with black leather, with full bucket seats. Pictures: Denis Droppa

DRIVING Porsche’s most powerful 911 in the rain felt like scoring a date with the prom queen and then having her dad tag along.

But that’s the way the weather gods stacked the cards the day I drove the new GT2 RS – and ye gods did parched Cape Town desperately need the rain – and so I resigned myself to a day of tiptoeing this potent beast through a glistening gauntlet of slippery tar.

And yes, there was some tiptoeing with 515kW and 750Nm of rear-wheel-drive snarl underfoot – that’s triple the power of a Golf GTI. But it turns out that you can drive Porsche’s most potent 911 in the wet without it turning into a tail-happy nightmare.

The GT2 RS had its 3.8-litre flat six engine boosted by larger turbochargers and improved air intake and cooling systems, representing a big hike from the 427kW/700Nm outputs of the 911 Turbo S on which it’s based.

Porsche quotes a 340km/* top speed and a 2.8 second 0-100km/* sprint for the GT2 RS.

Those numbers, along with a modified sport chassis that features rear-axle steering and standard-fitted ceramic composite brakes, make this the ultimate track-taming 911. The GT2 RS late last year set a 6min 47.3 laptime around Germany’s famous Nordschleife, a new production-car lap record and a full 10 seconds quicker than even the Porsche 918 Spyder. The number plate of the test car (pictured) acknowledges the feat.

With roads like Franschoek Pass drenched in rain and mist during my test drive, there was to be no record-chasing on this day however. Unlike the all-wheel drive 911 Turbo S, the GT2 fires all its thrust through the rear wheels, and it is with trepidation that one approaches such a drive in the wet. Never had I been so happy for a car to be equipped with stability control.

But as the mist cleared that Porsche and I began to develop a rapport on that slippery playground.

Standing water caused the wide semi-slick Michelins to aquaplane at times, not surprisingly but fortunately for only brief heart-stopping moments. But where there were no puddles on the road this potent Porsche gripped the wet tar with remarkable proficiency, the downforce of the big wing and aerodynamically-tweaked body assisting it to carve curves with impressively high g-forces before the stability control light started blinking.

As long as the throttle is finessed, not bludgeoned, that is. The power comes on very quickly, and there’s no hint of lag as those big turbos spool into action like Chuck Norris bursting onto the scene.

The seven-speed PDK gearbox is a picture of slick-shifting finesse, but there are carbon fibre paddles for drivers who wish to take more control.

Stomping on the gas using a launch-control start had the Michelin Pilot Sport Cups scrabbling for traction, but even on a wet road this Porsche accelerates like the hammer thrown by Thor.

The cold and rainy weather made the brakes feel rather dull and lifeless – ceramics need some heat to work properly – but the steering was the Porsche-typical feel of surgical sharpness, making the driver feel intimately connected with the car.

The GT2 takes the famed solidity of Porsches to the next level, with all chassis joints replaced by steel ball joints for a firmer connection between chassis and body.

The ride of the track-focused car is predictably firm – particularly with the suspension set to sport mode – but without becoming unbearably uncomfortable over the nearly 500km drive.

Even as it slams you into your bucket seat with the subtlety of a rugby tackle, the car lacks quite the spine-chilling howl of the high-revving GT3 RS, which is Porsche’s ultimate normally-aspirated 911. Still, the GT2 RS sounds good for a turbo car and there’s more than enough vocal charm to cause excitement.

Porsche’s new GT2 RS is yours for R5.5-million. Spending a little more gets you the Weissach package which lightens the car by 20kg.