Imagine a regular Porsche 911 GT3 in your garage, parked next to a brand-new, no-options Boxster. Now imagine your garage with just a 911 GT3 RS inside. From a cost standpoint, you could have either for roughly the same amount of money. Trying to figure out if the RS goodies are worth the $50,000 over a standard 911 GT3 – roughly the price of that no-frills Boxster – might drive you mad. We're trying to suss this out at 120 miles per hour on the long downhill back straight at Road Atlanta. It's pouring. Rivulets of water are streaming across the track. Ahead, in a 911 Turbo leading the pack, is Le Mans- and Daytona-winning driver David Donohue. He's helpfully warned us to avoid nipping the curbing, since that's where water pools. Hydroplaning could end someone's day. Through the blinding spray, Donohue mercifully has reduced the pace. There's enough speed to evaluate what the GT3 RS does well, which is essentially everything. There's also enough time to figure out what sort of sports car this is. Horsepower swells to an even 500 and torque to 338 pound-feet – bumps of 25 hp and 14 lb-ft over the GT3. As is fitting and proper for the traditional sports car par excellence, at the top of the large and expensive 911 heap is the GT3. While the base is shaken by the encroachment of turbocharging on basic 911 models, the summit is, like mountain air, all-natural. The GT3 was subject to a beyond-galling recall due to faulty con-rods with a penchant for ventilating crankcases and starting catastrophic fires, but storms crash upon every peak. Progress is inevitable for German engineers. The GT3 RS is the 911 reforged in those embarrassing fires. The GT3 itself was a false summit, but the RS is the real deal. Underneath the very purple bodywork, this is a lither and more athletic thing than the already superb GT3. Lightweighting is accomplished with a healthy dose of carbon fiber on the engine cover and the frunk. The roof, with a slick-looking depressed slash running longitudinally, is made of magnesium. That serves to lower the center of gravity, Porsche assures us. Even the rear silencer is made of titanium. In total, the RS is 22 pounds lighter than the GT3 it's based on – seemingly small gains considering all the exotic materials, but less so considering what's been added back. The RS is also more powerful, thanks to a 200cc displacement increase. The regular GT3's 3.8-liter six was already bored out to its maximum, so the extra displacement comes from a longer stroke. That serves to lower the redline slightly, from 9,000 rpm to 8,800 (although peak horsepower is the same, at 8,250 rpm), but horsepower swells to an even 500 and torque to 338 pound-feet – bumps of 25 horsepower and 14 pound-feet. This engine is a serious piece of equipment, boasting dry-sump lubrication, direct injection, and lightweight engine internals like titanium connecting rods. It breathes through those …
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|MPG||14 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||7-spd auto-shift man w/OD|
|Power||500 @ 8250 rpm|
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