At TopGear South Africa, we’ve all agreed that one of the many motoring heroes of our generation that we’d all like to have a coffee with is one Andreus Preuninger. He is the man currently at the head of Porsche’s GT division, responsible for taking already mesmerising Porsche sportscars and then transforming them into even more spectacular machines. We think he is a genius and as you way well know, a true genius possesses a touch of madness to go with it. A car that will absolutely convince you of this is the 991-gen 911 GT2 RS.
Iconic? Certainly. Nordschleife track records tell this story. FIagrant? Absolutely. An unmistakeable shape with massive wings and scoops tell of that. Its credentials list reads like nothing else we know of, a car that has remapped the engineering possibilities of that all-insatiable of concepts – Speed. This is the creation of Mr P. It’s mad and masterful.
It's all business in here. The entire layout is driver-centric, the instrument binnacle is classic Porsche and the centre console is bereft of unneccsary buttons. There's no Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus buttons here. What you get is one Sport button for the dampers only and then options to turn the TC and ESC off – if you dare. That's it. There’s one engine mode and we'd call it – ballistic plus. Yes, the likes of climate control and infotainment system are available but really, this isn't that kind of car.
Fitted with the Weissach Package, you can't help notice the carbo-tanium roll cage in the back not the alcantara trim throughouth the cabin and the stitched Nürburgring insignia on the headrests. Should you choose the Clubsport package, a 4-point racing harness is thrown in and when you get behind the wheel, you'll understand why you might just opt for that.
The GT2 RS game is that of marrying two turbochargers to, in this case, the 3,8-litre flat six that does work in the 991-generation Turbo S. Those two turbos account for the staggering 515kW of power and 750Nm of torque put down through the rear wheels via 325/30 21-inch rubber. Then there is a 7-speed PDK transmission that is heavily reinforced to cope with all this madness because truly, madness it is.
I approached the GT2 RS with much respect of course. I knew the stats, read the stories and watched all the content around the car, including how it snatched the Nürburgring record from the Huracan Performance and beat its own 918 Spyder at that. It was one of those moments where even the most arrogant of haters stood up and uttered those three words. What the…?!! GT2 RS is menacing in reputation and menacing in its demeanour.
You can’t miss its massive fixed rear wing nor can you miss that it has been shaped to gulp in air at every opportunity. The manipulation of air is everything here – to cool the engine and the brakes yes, but also to create as much downforce on the axles all the while cut through the air in the most efficient and undisturbed way. That roll cage in the rear is unmissable as are the strong carbon cues across the whole body. It’s a visual message that says in no uncertain terms - ‘you better be wide awake from the moment you step inside.’
You can’t help it really. The 911 GT2 RS will awaken your senses the moment you turn the key. It doesn’t emit that wild, high-pitched bark of the GT3 RS. It’s loud but lower in the bassy tones and that is accentuated when you depress the exhaust note button on the centre console.
Not much will jolt your adrenal glands more than that first foray into pedal-to-the-floor territory. Those turbos take enormous breaths before catapulting the GT2 RS into the unbelievable speeds we think we know. Again, I know the stats: 0 – 100km/h in under 3 seconds. 0 – 160km/h in 5.8-seconds. 200km/h in a half-blink over 8-seconds. You get the game here. Knowing the numbers and then experiencing them first hand is like reading of a Joburg thunderstorm and then getting pummelled by one its lightning bolts. The magic is in the delivery of it all. Somehow Porsche has used such significant trickery in the traction management to apply the driving force to those Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tyres that it doesn’t feel as scary as your brain is registering the accelerative mayhem. There’s a lot going on underneath you as that sumptuous dual-clutch PDK sings through the gears, as those turbos swell to crescendo.
Buried into the bucket seats, I'm wondering when the intensity will stop or at the very least, let off. But it doesn’t. I have to let off before I run out of road. Consider the approach to corners carefully then, because you’ll be entering at a speed much higher than you expected but no surprises here, the GT2 RS is as direct as you'd expect. That legendary 911 communication between steering input and behaviour is better than ever. The ride is hard of course. This is no GT car by any means. Everything is focused around track-bred work. There’s an immediacy to everything the car does. Power on – it’s there. Steering input – immediate. Braking? Porsche Ceramic brakes are standard fare here. 410mm at the front. 390mm at the rear. They work but they work very hard to quell these insane speeds. Again, their bite is immediate and there’s no strange feeling that some ceramic brakes emit.
These cars are very rare and very difficult to come by, despite the depths of the pocket. At R5-Million you're investing in an icon, something with legacy and legend. If you're in that haloed group of people who have access to the car, it is truly a worthy and spectacular bit of engineering if you know what you're buying. It won't lose half its value in a year nor will you tire of its immense performance. Does it have competitors to consider? A McLaren 720S comes close but the retained value equation needs to be considered and you'll certainly be paying more for the Mac anyway.
The GT2 RS is built for purpose. It’s a car that is to mere mortals a jolt of immortality. Every time you turn, mash the pedal, hit the brakes, take in the sound sensations etc, your adrenal triggers shoot more immortality into your veins, leaving you in spellbound awe and thinking you can take on anything. BUT – be careful. The GT2 RS is an engineering icon, a demon of speed that absolutely MUST be treated with more respect than you may think. It is so fast that the true edge of its ability will only be found by those who are driving geniuses – those who are special enough and mad enough to really tame this beast.
Porsche and Mr Preuninger are smart enough to know that these people exist. Not many of them but they’re there. I would say that everyone should drive a GT2 RS just once in their lifetime, but no, I retract that. Only the chosen should – such is its immense capability and such is the reverent respect I have for it…and for the genius and madness of Porsche GT’s boss.