2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Review by Rob Eckaus +VIDEO
"Time opens a new window on perspective" mjr
By Rob Eckaus
San Francisco Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL
What better way to get a speed fix after long days at home and road trip in a massive SUV than one of the greatest sports cars on the road? Strategically arranging to meet in the middle of my wife’s pop-up art show, hence the need for the SUV, one could say the urge was more than satisfied in a ride in a 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 2019 is the final year of the 991 based naturally aspirated GT3 RS.
While the performance car world waits to see what tricks Porsche pulls out of their collective powertrain and suspension hats with the 992 GT3 RS, this 520hp rocket is one of the pinnacles of naturally aspirated production cars. Its global racing pedigree and ability to punch above its weight giving it even more credibility. The best example of a knockout is at Road Atlanta, the flat-6 cylinder powered Porsche did a 1:26.24 with Randy Pobst driving. That was quicker than Randy’s time in the 755hp Corvette ZR1 of 1:26.45. That is simply outstanding with a 235 horsepower deficit.
Other very impressive things it has done in testing include Car & Driver seeing a 2.9 second 0-60mph time, an 11.0 second, 129mph quarter mile and a neck-straining 1.24 lateral g on the skidpad. Braking from 70mph was done in an astounding 128 feet. All with a tested curb weight of 3260lbs.
Unfortunately, one of the numbers is the price of $187,500 plus $9,210 for the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCBs). A couple of relative price bargains from Porsche include an extended range 23.7 gallon fuel tank for $140 and the wheels painted Satin Platinum for $690. There are a few other special options on this example, notice the houndstooth fabric center section of the seats? It also has a roll bar expertly crafted by TC Design in Campbell, CA to not interfere with the review mirror.
There is one non-Porsche add that is essential: The Shark Werks Sport Exhaust. Described as “Roarty” by the owner, I call it transcendent. It is much like sitting in an IMSA GT3 Cup Car without the need for ear plugs. There is also a “woof” sound you can hear from the throttle body. It all adds up to a connection between driver and machine, even without a manual transmission. In this case the speed, precision and consistency of the dual-clutch PDK transmission is preferred in the 9000rpm redline rocket ship.
By no means is this a grand touring road trip car, but it does not punish the occupants either unless intending to spend hours traveling. An example are the seats, which are perfect for hot laps, but the backrest angle is fixed. The suspension is firm, but compliant and not harsh. Hitting some dips while simultaneously hitting some higher lateral g-forces results in a small bounce that is quickly absorbed.
Despite the hard charging in hot and somewhat muggy weather, the oil temperature readout was 198 degrees and coolant temperature was 180 degrees. On the highway the aggressively short gearing was noticed, turning 3250rpm at 80mph.
Years back I wrote that Porsches do not show well. This was primarily due to seeing what was under the hood meant seeing plastic shrouding and air intakes for a fan, not to mention a very small space. Now with bigger wheels, a massive rear wing and an eye popping color, my opinion has changed except for that hidden rear engine. The design just doesn’t warrant a glass or Lexan engine window. It is what is inside and lurking underneath that matters, right?
After experiencing the yowl of mechanical symphony, partly thanks to innocent air molecules getting sucked into the intake behind the open window and burned and angrily expelled further back, one doesn’t want to leave the presence of the car. Long overdue for such a feeling I remembered at Monterey Car Week, that yearning to meld into it, take it for a drive again to anywhere or just take it home. In this case, with this owner, it is celebrated on the road, not just in the garage.