Goodwood Festival Of Speed has lived up to its name both on and off track, and the spotlight for shiny new things at the 2017 event has been stolen by this - the 2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
Put simply, this is the most powerful road-going 911 ever built by the German carmaker, promising to lift the performance potential of the evergreen 911 to spectacular new heights.
Powered by a revised version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8 litre horizontally-opposed six-cylinder petrol engine that resides in the latest 911 Turbo, the new 1470kg coupe packs a heady 515kW, or some 59kW more than its seven-year-old predecessor.
Also endowed with a stout 750Nm of torque, Porsche claims the new rear-wheel-drive 911 GT2 RS is capable of accelerating from rest to 100km/h some 0.1sec faster than the four-wheel-drive 911 Turbo S at an official 2.8 seconds.
A claimed 340km/h also sees the new Porsche match the plug-in-hybrid powered 918 Spyder on top speed, making it not only the fastest accelerating but also joint fastest series production Porsche model yet.
Set for Australian delivery in early 2018 at a price of $645,700 (plus on-roads), the new competition grade 911 is the first GT2 model to be launched since 2010 and the fourth to see production since its inception to the Porsche line-up in 1995.
A limited series of official photographs reveals the design of the new 911 GT2 RS closely follows that of the recently facelifted 911 GT3 RS. The changes over other recent 911 models are mostly functional in nature, with cooling requirements and the generation of additional downforce taking clear priority over stylistic concerns.
A wide central indent within the bonnet and roof and two-tone paint scheme provides the German carmaker's latest sportscar model with visual links to earlier competition focused air-cooled 911 models from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
Up front there is a uniquely-styled front bumper with three large air ducts and a prominent splitter element within the lower edge. Further low-drag NACA style ducts are integrated into the bonnet, with a series of vents concentrated with the upper section of the front wheel wings – the latter of which are used to lower air pressure within the front wheel houses for reduced lift at speed.
Further back, there are beefed up sills underneath the doors and newly styled elements incorporated within the air ducts in the rear wings to increase air flow to the rear mounted engine. The engine lid also receives additional two cooling ducts, an integrated ducktail-style spoiler and a large adjustable rear wing – all reminiscent of those already seen on the 911 GT3.
The rear bumper has also been restyled with a black plastic lower section housing a trio of air vents and two large round tail-pipes.
In a bid to trim weight, the bonnet, front wings, exterior mirror housings and many of the air duct surrounds are fashioned from carbon fibre. In line with weight saving initiatives brought to the 911 GT3 RS, the new 911 GT2 RS also receives a magnesium roof.
At 1470kg, the new 991 series model is 100kg heavier than the previous 997 based 911 GT2, although it is also 91mm longer than its predecessor.
Mirroring the strategy taken with the 918 Spyder, buyers can order the new Porsche with a so-called Weissach package that brings an additional 30kg weight saving through various measures, including the adoption of carbon fibre for the roof and roll bars and magnesium for the wheels.
Power for the fourth-generation 911 GT2 comes from an extensively re-engineered version of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre flat six-cylinder engine used by the latest 911 Turbo.
Among the developments are larger turbochargers with water-to-water intercoolers to reduce exhaust gas temperature at high revs for improved combustion efficiency and added top end power. There's also a titanium exhaust system that weighs seven kilograms less than the standard unit and boasts a new routing that is claimed to enhance the exhaust note.
Peak power has increased by a considerable 88kW beyond that of the 911 Turbo S at 515kW, endowing the new 911 GT2 RS with 59kW more than its twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre flat six powered predecessor launched back in 2010 and a weight-to-power ratio of 2.9kg per kW in standard trim. Torque, meanwhile, remains the same as the 911 Turbo S at 750Nm, or some 50Nm more than the previous 1370kg 911 GT2 RS.
The heady reserves are channelled to 21-inch rear wheels wearing the same 325/30 dimensioned tires as those seen on the earlier 911 GT3 RS via a revised version of Porsche's ZF-sourced seven-speed dual clutch gearbox – the Porsche Doppelkupplung as it is known by its German title – and mechanical locking differential. Described as a custom component, the gearbox receives new ratios and revised final drive among other changes to take full advantage of the increased power and torque.
Porsche's Motorsport division, which is responsible for the engineering of the new car, claims a 0-100km/h time of 2.8sec, placing the new 911 GT2 RS comfortably ahead of its predecessor, which boasted a time of 3.5sec, on pure straight line accelerative ability. It's also 0.2sec inside the time quoted for the four-wheel drive 652kW petrol-electric powered 918 Spyder.
Porsche has yet to reveal the full technical specification of its new range topping 911 model but confirms it retains the four-wheel steering system from the 911 Turbo and comes as standard with carbon-ceramic brakes. It also runs the same sized wheels and tyres as the 911 GT3 RS, with 20-inch centre locking rims up front shod with 265/35 tyres and 21-inch wheels at the rear with 325/30 profile rubber. Also included is a uniquely calibrated stability management system, with a sport mode describes as being "tailored to provide optimal driving dynamics".
Inside, the 911 GT2 RS serves up a combination of black leather and red Alcantara upholstery as well as carbon-fibre trim elements. A sport steering wheel with paddle shifts is allied to carbon-fibre backed race-grade seats. Among the standard equipment is a Porsche Communication Management system, which groups the infotainment functions, including a Porsche Track precision app, into a central touch screen based unit.
An optional Chrono Package expands the Porsche Communication Management function to include a performance display, which can be used to display, save and record track times.
To commemorate the launch of the new 911 GT2 RS, Porsche Motorsport has teamed up with Porsche Design on the development of a new chronograph watch, which will be offered exclusively to customers of the new 911 model.
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