2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 First Drive Review: Last of the Mezgers

In honor of Hans Mezger’s life, we’re republishing our June 2011 first drive of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0—the mannequin that bid adieu to the famed Mezger engine in Porsche’s road-going vehicles. 

Porsche churns out so many run-out editions of the 911 that collectors have to be feeling fairly gouged by now. There’s the 911 Carrera 4 GTS, the 911 Black Version Cabriolet, the 911 Turbo S Version 918 Spyder—the checklist goes on. Looks like each mixture of spec and paint turns into a mannequin in its personal proper. We’re simply ready for a narrow-body rear-wheel-drive Turbo Targa Orange Stripe version.

As an alternative, alongside comes the true deal. Not simply the final 997-series 911, however the final RS, and the roadgoing swan track for the magnificent Mezger flat-six. The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 . . . now that is what we name a collector’s automobile.

It does not simply include a mixture’n’match of the perfect physique, aero, and chassis tweaks from the present GT3 RS and GT2 RS, plus some competitors elements within the suspension. Oh no, that will be the same old Porsche cheekiness. This time you get an precise new engine. A 493 horsepower, naturally aspirated, 8,500-rpm howler, that is simply ready to propel this sub-3,000-pound sled to 100 miles per hour in beneath eight seconds.

Whereas all mainstream 911s now have a completely completely different flat-six (even the Turbo), Porsche Motorsport’s Mezger engine powers 911 GT3 and GT2 fashions, in addition to the observe 911s. It started life again with the 1996 Le Mans Porsche GT1. However persevering with with two engine households makes little industrial sense, so it is a unhappy goodbye to this one.

The brand new GT3 RS 4.Zero shares its block, long-stroke crank, and titanium rods with the track-only four-liter 911 GT3 R and RSR. It additionally will get a street cylinder head with variable cam timing and variable manifold, plus a catalyzed exhaust.

However these street parts aren’t the identical as those on the RS 3.Eight engine—oh, no. They’re redesigned for even increased gasoline circulation. Valve timing is completely different; the inlet manifold has wider, shorter runners, and is a thinner casting; the air filters are track-type objects; the compression ratio drops (sure, drops) to 12.6:1 from 13.0; and the exhaust cat has larger voids, necessitating the usage of hideously costly new metals to maintain the gasoline scrubbed clear. As a measure of the achievement, energy output per liter is definitely increased than the three.8.

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We informed Porsche GT improvement chief Andreas Preuninger that that is an implausible effort for a run-out automobile, completed in a short while body. “This is not a lifecycle-plan automobile,” he stated. “It was a last-minute determination. I obtained the board members to say sure to it after they had been in temper after we did so nicely within the Nürburgring 24 Hours final yr. My group has been round for years; we have completed all these GT3 and GT2 and RS vehicles. We all know it so nicely. And everybody on the group wished to do the automobile as a remaining salute. We wished to get it completely proper. Everybody was over-motivated.”

The headline energy determine and the flexibility to rev to eight,500 snare your consideration, however essentially the most staggering facet of this engine is definitely its tractability. Mid-range lunge is marvelous, even when the height variety of 339 pound-feet does not sound big within the context of brief gear ratios, light-weight, and a compact frontal space. In third gear, the best way this factor flies between 4,500 and eight,500 rpm is scintillating. Plus, the utter development of the supply makes it vastly simpler to make the most of in comparison with the GT2’s ridiculous turbo surge.

Like the three.Eight GT3 RS, the 4.Zero has an enormous carbon-fiber rear wing, in addition to entrance fenders and a hood of the identical materials. Doorways are aluminum, and the rear facet home windows Perspex. That vast tail wing is similar as the three.8’s, but it surely’s angled extra steeply for additional downforce. This levers the entrance finish upwards, therefore these little dive plates forward of the entrance wheels.

The engine has dynamic adaptive mounts, computer-controlled to lock the engine and transmission close to solidly to the shell in onerous corners. It shaves off one other little little bit of indecision from this already very decisive automobile. So do stable ball joints in all of the decrease joints of the rear suspension—new on the 4.Zero over the three.8.

A roll cage and ceramic brakes might be fitted to many of the 600-odd manufacturing run, however they’re choices. The stereo and air-con are no-cost choices.

The obsessive weight financial savings embrace a Porsche crest sticker as an alternative of an enameled steel hood badge. Thoughts you, the mass of the stripes on the remainder of the automobile in all probability offsets that weight reduction. This machine is just not modest about its id.

Understanding its pedigree, you possibly can take as learn its big efficiency and gecko-like grip. What issues is not the numbers; it is the style of their supply.

On the powertrain facet, you get a yowling pure-voiced slug of flat-six sound and instantaneous throttle response. With the ability to micromanage the facility supply actually does enhance the dealing with of a machine the place precision is all. The competitors transmission’s short-shift gear lever additional knits the motive force and automobile collectively.

And its dealing with. Oh, boy. The steering is sharp and completely loaded with really feel. It has tons to speak as a result of this is not a automobile that adheres to a impartial perspective. Your inputs and the tightness of the curve dictate whether or not there’s understeer or oversteer, and the little suede-clad wheel retains you hardwired into all of it. Each the entrance tires and the 325/30 ZR 19-inch rear rubber relinquish their grip with early, progressive warning, so you are able to do one thing to kind it out. In case you do not, then the high-threshold, however eminently clean, stability techniques will do your job.

Off-track, we took in some bumpy roadways, and nonetheless discovered a machine with cheap experience compliance, epic traction even over undulations, and remarkably little inclination (for a 911 anyway) to get moved off-course by ridges and cambers.

Do you have to use it as a metropolis automobile, the primary annoyance would be the heavy clutch. Cruising the highways, the problems would be the head-banging tire noise through these stable suspension joints, and the actual fact your rear-view mirror is full of nothing greater than a big horizontal reminder that you just purchased the RS.

This web site is just not regulated by the SEC. Take impartial recommendation, blah blah blah. However we are going to say that even at $185,000, this superior automobile is surefire collectors’ gold. Anyway, we’re protected from redress, as a result of the worldwide manufacturing run is already offered out.

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0
Base value $185,000
Value as examined $205,000 (est)
Automobile structure Rear engine, RWD, 2-pass, 2-door coupe
Engine 4.0L/493-hp/339-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve flat-6
Transmission 6-speed guide
Curb weight 3000 lb (mfr)
Wheelbase 92.7 in
Size x width x top 175.6 x 72.9 x 50.Four in
0-60 mph 3.Eight sec (mfr)
EPA metropolis/hwy gasoline econ TBA mpg
On sale in U.S. At the moment

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