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First Drive: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0


Porsche churns out so many run-out editions of the PORSCHE 911 that collectors must be feeling pretty gouged by now. There's the PORSCHE 911 Carrera 4 GTS, the PORSCHE 911 Black Edition Cabriolet, the PORSCHE 911 Turbo S Edition 918 Spyder. Seems like every combination of spec and paint becomes a model in its own right. We were just waiting for a narrow-body 2WD Turbo Targa Orange Stripe edition.

Instead, along comes the real deal. Not just the last 911, but the ultimate RS, and the roadgoing swan song for the magnificent Mezger flat-six. The PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS 4.0... now that's what we call a collector's car.

 It doesn't just contain a mix'n'match of the very best body, aero, and chassis tweaks from the existing GT3 RS and GT2 RS, plus some competition parts in the suspension. Oh no, that would be the usual Porsche cheekiness. This time you get an actual new engine. A 493 HP [500PS] naturally aspirated 8500-rpm howler, just waiting to propel this sub-3000-pound sled to 100 mph in under eight seconds.

While all mainstream 911s now have an entirely different flat-six (even the Turbo does since the 997 phase 2), Porsche Motorsport's Mezger motor powers the GT3 and GT2s, and the track 911s. It began life back with the 1996 Le Mans Porsche GT1. But continuing with two families makes little commercial sense, so it's a sad goodbye to this one.

 The new GT3 RS 4.0 shares its block, long-stroke crank, and titanium rods with the track-only four-liter PORSCHE 911 GT3 R and RSR. . It also gets a road cylinder head with variable cam timing and variable manifold, plus a catalyzed exhaust.

But those road elements aren't the same as the ones on the RS 3.8 engine - oh, no. They're redesigned for even higher gas flow. Valve timing is different; the inlet manifold has wider, shorter runners, and is a thinner casting; the air filters are track-type items; the compression ratio drops (yes, drops) to 12.6:1 from 13.0; and the exhaust cat has bigger voids, necessitating the use of hideously expensive new metals to keep the gas scrubbed clean. As a measure of the achievement, power output per liter is actually higher than the 3.8.

(Source)


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