Although it won't appear in public until the Moscow Auto Show in August, Porsche has given us a taste of what to expect when it formally unveils the fastest and most powerful street-legal model ever to roll out of its factory: the 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS. This first-ever uber-performance "RS" variant of the already awesome 911 GT2 model be limited to total build of just 500 units worldwide, with roughly 100 of them headed to the U.S. starting this October. Included in its $245,950 sticker price will be the ability to snap off 3.4-second 0-60 mph sprints, hit 205 mph on the top end and lap the legendary 12.9-mile Nürburgring-Nordschleife circuit in seven minutes and 18 seconds -- 14 seconds quicker than Porsche's full carbon fiber Carrera GT supercar.
Power for the rear-drive 911 GT2 RS comes from Porsche's iconic rear-mounted 3.6-liter flat-six engine, here bolstered by twin variable-geometry turbochargers that help it produce 620 horses -- 90 more than the previous GT2. This mountain of motivation gets sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. In addition to upping the GT2 RS's pony count, Porsche engineers worked overtime to trim all unnecessary poundage, yanking 154 pounds in the process, bringing the car's "wet" curb weight to just 3,020 pounds and yielding a best-in-class 4.9-pound-per-horsepower stat. If that's not enough, Porsche says the 2011 GT2 RS also uses approximately five percent less fuel and reduces its CO2 emission by a like amount compared to the previous 911 GT2.
Slimming secrets revealed
While making more extensive use of carbon fiber components -- notably in its hood, downforce-enhancing bespoke front/rear spoilers and seats -- the 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS also benefits from a plethora of more conventional mass-minimizing tricks. Like the recently-introduced Boxster Spyder, the GT2 RS comes sans radio or air conditioner, is fitted with GT3-type minimalist inner door panels and features a basic-black interior accented red Alcantara. Less obvious but no less effective in this wholesale reduction effort are things like the presence of Porsche's compact, competition-spec lithium-ion battery and the use of conventional halogen headlamps in place of the 911's heavier, corner-following adaptive units. An effective redesign even managed to strip nearly 6.5 pounds from the springs in the car's crisply-tuned suspension.
Cutting corners made easy
Speaking of suspension, the 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS boasts the chassis chops to match its electrifying straight-line potential. In addition to those revised springs, the car gets its own Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Stability Management (PSM) setups, the latter allowing individual control of both stability and traction functions. Even the anti-roll bars and engine mounts are RS-specific. To maximize grip in the twisty bits, the car's prominently flared fenders house custom-designed 19-inch performance tires -- 245/35 up front and 325/30 in the rear -- on unique wide alloy wheels while standard Porsche Composite Ceramic Brakes (PCCB) ensure abundant stopping power.