In Detail: Porsche 911 GT3 RS

TRANSLOGIC 58 features the 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS. This car was built to fulfill very specific criteria that allow it to be raced in the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) GT2 series. FIA is the governing organization for such racing series as Formula 1, World Rally Championship and GT racing. The GT2 class is limited to engines that displace 5.0 liters or less and, by nature of a GT event, the same basic car that's entered in the racing series must also be a street legal production car. So, when Porsche factory driver Patrick Long says the GT3 RS is a "race car with a license plate," that's what he's talking about.

To qualify, the manufacturer must build 300 examples of a given car within 12 consecutive months. The rule is referred to as "homologation," derived from a Greek word meaning "to agree." Cars like the 911 GT3 RS are often called "Homologation Specials." Over the years, this type of rule in various forms of racing has produced beloved cars like the turbocharged Toyota Celica GT-Four All-Trac, Plymouth Super Bird, Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II, Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Aerocoupe, Porsche 959 and Subaru WRX STI.

That partially explains why the 911 GT3 RS is a separate model and not just a few performance options a typical 911 buyer can opt for. In fact, there are plenty of 911 models and there's now another GT3 RS model as well; the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 which has a 500 hp, 4.0 liter version of Porsche's flat-6. There's also a Porsche 911 GT3 (no RS) that's slightly more civilized than the racing RS version. The GT3 makes due with 435 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque versus the RS' 450 hp. To save weight, the standard issue GT3 eliminates some features that normally come standard on a Porsche 911.

Although the 911 GT3 RS is basically a street legal race car, there are still some comfort and convenience options available--not that you find any of these on the actual race car--however, if you don't plan to race your GT3 RS, you might want to add features like Bluetooth and a USB port. The GT3 isn't for audiophiles either; to save weight it gets a lesser sound system versus other 911s.

At roughly $135,000, the high performance, race ready GT3 RS is not the most expensive 911. The GT3 RS 4.0 is $185,000 and there's a turbo 911 GT2 that makes an astonishing 620 hp and costs $245,000. Remember, both the GT3 and GT3 RS use a 3.8 liter engine that is not turbocharged. 450 hp from a non-turbo motor is pretty impressive.

Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 58: Porsche 911 GT3 RS:

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