At this point, we’ve given up predicting just how far Porsche can go with the iconic 911. For almost 60-years now, they’ve proved this rear-engine sports car is capable of things few thought possible. And now there’s a new GT3 RS that yet again takes performance to a new level. Time for us to try to figure it all out through the twists and turns of Savannah’s Roebling Road Raceway.
When it comes to driving this latest 992 generation of 911, each iteration that has arrived since 2019 has taken things to the next level, and granted driving rewards like never before. But like a video game or phone apps we waste countless hours on, just when you think you’ve reached the final level, there’s yet another quest to undertake. That brings us to this 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
It's easily the most capable street-legal 911 yet, so tackling the 9-turns of Roebling is a challenge we couldn’t wait to take on. While it looks like a straight up race car; at its heart, it still feels like a 911. That basically means it’s way easier to drive than it should be, making you feel like a driving hero, despite your actual skills being far from it.
A big area of development for the RS was in aerodynamics; with active aero for the first time on a 911 GT3, enabling 3 times the amount of downforce of a standard GT3. Plus, a drag reduction system actively adjusting airflow up front and in back with an active multi-level wing.
Even front suspension parts have been reshaped, and front and rear wheel wells carefully chopped up to maximize airflow. That all means an immense amount of grip transferred to the 335 rear tires, which are mounted on your choice of forged aluminum, lightweight aluminum, or magnesium wheels. These sweet Indigo Blue 20-inch fronts and 21-inch rears are the aluminum lightweights.
It also means less drag down the long front straight, where we saw speeds well into the 160s at the end of it, while at the same time seeing corner speeds higher than we’ve ever experienced before here at Roebling. Getting on the throttle coming out of the turns is not a scary proposition at all, just immediate drama-free acceleration that has you wishing you would have gotten on the throttle harder and sooner.
And here in the RS, there are more possible tweaks than most of us know what to do with; typical suspension rebound and compression adjustments, but also rear differential settings, and you don’t even need to break out any tools, just turn the right dials on the steering wheel. That wheel is sensitive to even the most minor inputs, but not hyper feeling; just a willing and able point and shoot partner.
The RS still boasts the GT’s rear-mounted 4.0-liter flat-6, breathing free and unassisted by turbos, spinning up 518-horsepower and 342 lb-ft. of torque on its way to 9,000 rpm. Cooling is aided by a single large central front-mounted radiator instead of the standard GT3’s multi radiator approach. Added roof fins aren’t there for downforce, but for diverting hot air away from air intakes.
Rear-wheel-drive and PDK only, which makes launching as simple as it can be, repeatable, stress free, no-brain launches are hard with a fair amount of weight transfer, catapulting us to 60 in a scant 2.9-seconds. Shifts are quick and brutal, wasting no time or effort helping us complete the ¼-mile in 11.0-seconds flat at 128 miles-per-hour. And if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, you’re probably not doing it right.
The PDK transmission seems to know the exact right gear to be in at all times, but if you do trigger them, you’ll find the paddle shifters don’t quite feel as purposeful as the rest of the car, though the pro car’s magnesium units are available in the optional Weissach Package.
Things inside the RS look as serious as the outside; there’s a GT shifter, lots of chassis bracing, and unique well-bolstered full bucket seats. And while it mostly feels like a race car, all the modern tech you need to get you through your daily business is on hand, works well, and looks great.
Doors, hood, front fenders, and roof are all made of Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Plastic. And one final touch we’re fans of, the exterior graphics are a throwback to 1972’s 911 Carrera RS 2.7.
RS pricing starts steep at $225,250, about $50,000 over a standard GT3.
So, what is it that makes the 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 RS so special? Yes, it’s packed full of unique tech and race-spec. goodies that enable an amazing amount of performance to make it a weapon of mass domination for pro drivers. But, really, it’s the accessibility of all that performance that turns the RS into a hero-maker for the rest of us. That makes it really special indeed.
Engine: 4.0L Flat-6
Torque: 342 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
1/4 Mile: 11.0 seconds at 128 mph