Porsche introduced a new generation 911 Porsche GT3 RS as a ‘996’ in 2003 as a more track-focused version of the standard 911 GT3. The ‘RS’ acronym is short for ‘Renn Sport‘ which literally means racing sport. This moniker and the characteristically lightweight blue/red wheels, along with the decals (coloured bands) link the GT3 RS to historically important Porsches such as the Porsche Carrera 2.7 RS of the early 1970s. The GT3 RS is lighter than the slighly earlier GT3 thanks to a polycarbonate rear window, fibre bonnet, and rear wing — together making for a much sportier vehicle. The RS also has progressive springs rather than linear ones with the dampers being uprated also to be 10-15% stiffer than the GT3.
While the RS rear wing delivers 35 kg (77 lb) of downforce at 125 mph, the RS has ram air ducts on the engine bay which force air into the intake with 18 mbar of pressure at 187 mph, creating an additional 15 bhp. That extra bhp cannot be homologated, however, since the official engine output figures are certified on a dynamometer (‘dyno’) that does not recognise that form of delivery.
The GT3 RS has a slightly different engine specification to the GT3 with the cylinder heads of the former having reshaped intake and exhaust ports — for race homologation purposes. Porsche modestly claimed 381 bhp, that same as for the standard GT3, but in fact Porsche’s own control dyno showed that a jump in power to nearly 400 bhp.
The production run of the GT3 RS was from 2003 to 2005. Only 140 right-hand drive cars were built by Porsche. Of that number, 113 were officially imported into the UK. The GT3 RS was not sold in the United States or Canada.
Automobile reviewers at the time claimed that the 996 GT3 RS could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds and hit a top speed of around 190 mph.
This particular car is a Porsche press launch model from 2004. It appeared on an episode of Top Gear, driven by The ‘Stig’ and Jeremy Clarkson.
Car displayed courtesy of Club member, David Manchester, from Monday 23 July to Sunday 5 August 2018