I hear myself mutter yet more blasphemy over the fierce machine gun-like sound emanating from the back of the car (that titanium exhaust note overawes the whooshing of the turbos) as I prepare to arc through two quick right-handers. As with any 997, you can effectively steer through these using just the accelerator pedal, holding the wheel at two o’clock and adjusting your right foot to point the car through each apex.
However, a sharp left turn ahead means I’m back hard on the anchors, fully aware I’ve never ever carried so much speed through those last two turns as I’ve just done in this Rennsport hellraiser. Again, I’m holding on to the brake pedal far longer into the turn than I would in a 991 to help shift the weight, though front-end grip is phenomenal. Mad fast, deft through corners and unexpectedly loud under heavy acceleration, the car is just so bloody breathtaking to pilot. Every single aspect of its drive is nothing short of sensational.
The steering is exquisite: sharp and perfectly weighted, all the while projecting so clearly what the front wheels are doing. The gearbox, too, is outstanding, boasting one of the slickest operations I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. A quick snick through the gate and, bang, you’re in each gear, the motion fluid and wonderfully direct – exactly as an RS should be. It’s also exactly as it needs to be here as, with the rate at which you can shoot through ratios in the GT2 RS, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is clambering through a sloppy gear change.
The ride isn’t as firm as I’d anticipated either, though the car does in the main feel incredibly planted to the road. I say in the main, for it largely depends on your throttle application. Put down too much power too quickly when exiting a corner and the back gets nervous, and it’s not a progressive affair either. It’s snappy, and even the most reactive driver won’t be able to catch it in time if you push your luck too much.
You have to be mindful of the sheer power at your disposal, but there’s no doubting the GT2 RS’s turn of pace is its chief charm. 991.2 Turbo S owners may be quick to boast their car has higher maximum torque than the GT2 RS, yet the reality is the two can’t be compared: whereas power delivery of the Turbo S is wonderfully linear, the GT2 RS delivers its thrust with a brutal, gigantic kick forwards.
Overall, the 997 GT2 RS presents a wholly unique experience: serial RS owners will be familiar with the car’s feel and the way it rides, yet performance of that blown engine reveals a whole new territory for even the most seasoned Rennsport driver to explore. It’s no bad thing either: dare I say it, this is more fun to drive than the mighty 997 GT3 RS 4.0.
The only aspect of the car I find issue with is its throttle response, which just isn’t on par with any modern RS I’ve driven. But then, as a turbocharged car, it never can be, either, and it is in managing this, as well as the mind-altering turn of pace, that will bring out the best in a driver. It doesn’t matter that there’s a new 991 GT2 RS on the block.
Porsche never needed to build the 997, a car that on paper at least deviated spectacularly from its rich Rennsport traditions. Yet Porsche did so, creating a car as blistering as it is breathtaking, a car that sat at the top of the 911 performance tree for some seven years – despite the influx in technology we’ve witnessed since.
The 991 may well do that again, but not without the gizmos of rear axle steering, advanced PSM and, of course, a PDK gearbox. As pure as a turbocharged Rennsport can ever be, the original might well be the best.
Engine Capacity 3,600cc
Compression ratio 9.0:1
Maximum power 620bhp @ 6,500rpm
Maximum torque 700Nm @ 2,500-5,500rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Front Independent; MacPherson strut; anti-roll bar; PASM
Rear Independent; multi-link; anti-roll bar; PASM
Wheels & tyres
Front 9×19-inch centre-locks; 245/35/ZR19
Rear 12×19-inch centre-locks; 325/30/ZR19
Length 4,460mm Width 1,852mm Weight 1,370kg
Performance 0-62mph 3.5 sec
Top speed 205mph