2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS first drive review: fierce and focused Page 2


Similarly dramatic is the seating posture in the fixed carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic bucket seats, which nestle me deep into a form fitting shape that constricts lateral movement. Buyers can also order the more conventional 18-way electrically adjustable seats, but I far prefer the hardcore perches, which seem to fit the GT2's personality more aptly. Naturally, a five-point racing harness is also available.

There’s a whiff of turbo lag as I accelerate from low rpms, but the escalating ramp up of power produces incredible acceleration as long as I have the nerve to keep the right pedal buried. The car can launch to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds—and get this: its top speed of 211 mph is electronically limited due to the tires. Porsche estimates the fully unleashed engine could attain 220 mph.

Though it requires a certain amount of discipline not to overcook a corner due to the GT2's addictive power delivery, the throttle response never pulls any unexpected punches. While the screaming engine is most definitely turbocharged and unapologetic in its outrageously boosted power delivery, once I wrap your head around the nature of that high-powered beast, the relationship between my pedal inputs and the engine’s responses becomes intuitive. Revs are accompanied by wonderfully raw, reassuringly resonant exhaust noises.

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

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2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Enlarge Photo
2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS

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Glued down but tail happy

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires feel reassuringly glued down in the dry, hardly making me miss the Turbo S’s all-wheel drive configuration. And while a brief spell of rain yielded predictably early rear-end breakaway during even moderate throttle application, the traction and stability control systems work seamlessly enough to keep all but the most twitchy of drivers feeling confident.

Though turn-in doesn’t feel quite as razor sharp as it could at lower speeds, that sensation is actually intentional. For starters, the GT2 RS’s more aggressively tuned rear-axle steering can’t countersteer as much as the Turbo S's because the 21-inch wheels take up more space within the wheelwells. But the steering is also a bit looser on center because the tail wants to rotate rather easily. Of course 700 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque have something to do with that.

CHECK OUT: Is the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS still a "widowmaker"?

But there’s also a natural tendency for the GT2's tail to kick out off-throttle. According to Lars Kern, the Porsche factory driver who set the Nürburgring record, the car he drove at the ‘Ring used milder rear camber and toe settings to keep the rear end planted during hard braking. Aiding rotation is the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) Plus system, which uses an electronic rear differential lock and brake vectoring. Handle the steering and throttle clumsily mid-corner, and you’ll quickly go from slight understeer or neutrality to oversteer. But manage them smoothly with minutely modulated adjustments, and the car rewards you with outstanding grip and confidence-inspiring poise.


 
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