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Geneva show: Porsche outs feistier 911 GT3 RS

Green machine: The GT3 RS still employs a motorsport-derived 4.0-litre atmo flat six-cylinder petrol engine, but it now punches out 383kW of power and 470Nm of torque, up 15kW and 10Nm.

New 383kW Porsche 911 GT3 RS launching in Q4 priced from $416k BOCs

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Porsche logo21 Feb 2018

PORSCHE has whipped the covers off its facelifted 911 GT3 RS, and the German car-maker’s most powerful naturally aspirated sportscar is set to hit Australian showrooms in the fourth quarter this year priced from $416,500 before on-road costs.

Set for its international debut at the Geneva motor show next month, the new GT3 RS is $29,200 dearer than the model it replaces and attracts a $89,700 premium over the updated regular GT3 that went on sale late last year.

The GT3 RS’ motorsport-derived 4.0-litre atmo flat six-cylinder petrol engine returns to the action, this time punching out 383kW of power and 470Nm of torque – increases of 15kW and 10Nm over its predecessor and the latest GT3.

These swollen outputs translate to improved acceleration, with the GT3 RS now knocking down the sprint from zero to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds – 0.1s quicker than before – on the way to a top speed of 312km/h, up 2km/h.

As before, drive is exclusively sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission which has been specially calibrated to mate well with the high-performance engine that offers a screaming redline of 9000rpm.

Unlike the newest GT3, the GT3 RS is once again not available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Performance has been further honed with a recalibration of the rear-wheel-steering system that turns the rear wheels the same way as the front ones at high speeds or the opposite way when travelling at low speeds. Either way, Porsche promises “maximum dynamics and precision”.

As per the 991.2 facelift that has been slowly rolled out to all 911 variants, the GT3 RS also picks up tweaked headlight and tail-light designs, and mildly restyled front and rear bumpers.

The eye-catching rear wing spoiler remains in all its glory, this time mounted on the new lightweight rear lid.

The GT3 RS rolls on a mixed set of lightweight alloy wheels, comprised of 20-inch rims wrapped in 265/35 tyres up front and 21-inch hoops shod in 325/30 rubber at the rear. Porsche says the former “enhance agility and steering behaviour” while the latter “improve traction”.

Inside, changes are less apparent, save for the addition of the latest 7.0-inch PCM touchscreen infotainment system, but bucket seats made of carbon-fibre are standard fair.

As is the case with all current GT-branded 911s, the Clubsport package is a no-cost option that adds a roll-over bar, a manual fire extinguisher, preparation for a battery disconnect switch and a six-point seatbelt – all in honour of a full-on track experience.

Additionally, the optional Weissach package provides a further weight reduction with extra carbon-fibre components for the chassis, interior and exterior, as well as a magnesium wheel option.

In its lightest form, the Weissach package reduces the GT3 RS’ weight to 1430 kilograms – 10kg heavier than before – but pricing is yet to be confirmed by Porsche Cars Australia (PCA).

Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 12.8 litres per 100 kilometres, up 0.1L/100km, while carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 291 grams per km, down 5g/km.

The GT3 RS is the third GT-branded 911 sportscar to launch in the past year, following the GT3 from the 2017 Geneva show and GT2 RS from the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Sales of the 911 steadily increased last year, with 431 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 2.1 per cent improvement over the 422 deliveries made in 2016.

This effort resulted in the Porsche becoming the best-selling model in last year’s over-$200,000 sportscar segment, placing it ahead of all Ferrari models (210 units), the Mercedes-AMG GT (149) and all Aston Martin models (134).

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