THE WIDOWMAKER RETURNS

Update your will. The 911 GT2 RS is back, fi ercer and faster than ever

ANDY ENRIGHT

AFTER a seven-year hiatus, the ĎWidowmakerí is back at the apex of the 911 hierarchy. This latest GT2 RS is the most powerful production 911 ever built, and true to form, itís still rearwheel drive, itís still ferociously turbocharged and, with a kerb weight of less than 1500kg, itís as focused as ever. Forget the rose-tinted three-pedal and houndís-tooth nostalgia of the 911R, because the GT2 RS is all business. Porsche has stated that the peak output figures are in excess of 480kW/750Nm, driving through a seven-speed PDK.

While the normally aspirated 4.0-litre GT3 RS will continue to attract the purists, the GT2 RS will appeal to a more hedonistic clientele. Powered by a tweaked version of the 911 Turboís 3.8-litre flat six, it gets unique turbochargers, new internals, a titanium exhaust and a waterinjected intercooler system.

As first seen on the 918 Spyder, a Weissach package will also be offered for owners who want to shave around 30kg and a few seconds from their bridge to gantry íRing time. Tick the Weissach box and youíll also get a titanium roll cage that saves 7kg, lightweight carbonfibre elements in the suspension that pare off a further 5kg and, more significantly, 12kg excised from the unsprung mass courtesy of a set of magnesium wheels.

Even on the standard car you can delete the air conditioning and stereo, but Andreas Preuninger, Porscheís GT division boss, admits that such is the GT2 RSís prodigious power, itís not necessary to remove every possible gram. For instance, thereís still a useful amount of sound deadening and the glass in the back is replaced by the same sort of toughened glass used on phone screens, rather than circuit-spec Perspex.

Donít let that fool you into thinking the GT2 RS has grown up and gone soft. The suspension is effectively that of a 911 Cup racer, in Nurburgring specification. The linkages are all Ė except one for the rear-wheel steering system Ė rose-jointed, it gets upside down race dampers and the spring rates are significantly increased over those on the GT3; double the amount on the front axle, and with a sizeable increase in the rear, too.

Sadly, youíll wait in vain for a manual gearbox, Preuninger claiming that the PDK gearbox was chosen simply because itís the most effective and the faster option. Power to the rear wheels is marshalled by an electronically controlled locking differential, and the stability and traction control systems have been recalibrated. If youíre ever curious as to how the GT2 got its nickname, the stability system can be switched fully off.

As we went to press, Porsche was trickling out more details of the GT2 RS, with a public debut scheduled for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. To read more on the hottest 911 ever, including our first ride along in the car with Preuninger and all the latest news, check the Wheels website.

The ferocious GT2 RS will appeal to a more hedonistic clientele

5 GT2 FACTS

The original 993 GT2 packed a now quaint 316kW from its air-cooled 3.6-litre lump. For a vehicle with a reputation as a hedge-seeking missile, itís ironic that it was used as the F1 safety car in 1995.

The latest carís waterinjected intercooler features a 5.0-litre tank thatís said to last for three hot laps of the íRing, dropping the intake temperature by as much as 15 degrees.

The 996 version of the GT2 was the last fast 911 to be sold with no stability control. Only 1287 were built and itís now in big demand amongst those looking for the last of the genuinely scary 911s.

Itís a measure of the GT2 RSís place in Porscheís hierarchy that prior to the announcement of the latest car, the 2010 vintage 997 GT2 RS remained Weissachís most powerful roadgoing 911, with 456kW/700Nm.

The production shape of the 911 GT2 RS broke cover Ė in virtual form Ė at the E3 gaming convention as a feature participant in the seventh version of the hugely popular Forza Motorsport franchise.