Porsche 911 GT2 RS vs 911 GT3 RS

The GT2 RS & 991.2 GT3 RS are the latest examples of Porsche supremacy. What sets the two RS cars apart? Here’s analysis of the specs and Nurburgring lap data.

If, for whatever reason, you’re anti-Porsche, this is not for you…

The supposed inherent physics disadvantage of the rear-engined 911 layout really never came to fruition. (Proving conclusively that Stuttgart engineering prowess + stubbornness > physics.)

And if you live in performance car world, Porsche accomplishment is undeniable and currently everywhere. This summer they’ve once again conquered the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their two 911 RSRs, one of which was dressed in “Pink Pig” livery for good measure, finished first and second in the GTE Pro class.

And then there’s the small matter of their recent sub-7 minute Nurburgring Nordschleife lap times – two of them – set by the new 911 GT2 RS and 991.2 generation 911 GT3 RS.

In terms of production cars, only seven have ever rounded the Green Hell in under seven minutes, and two of those were Radicals, so arguably pushing the limits of both “production car” and “street legality.”

The other three? The Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Huracán LP 640-4 Performante, and Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce. So sub-seven minutes in a production car is seriously rarified air, and Porsche has accomplished the feat three times in the last five years.

Late last year the 911 GT2 RS set the new production car benchmark (yes, even besting the 918 hypercar) with a lap time of 6:47.25. Then in April 2018, the new 991.2 gen 911 GT3 RS logged in at 6:56.4.

What sets the two RS cars apart? Here’s a look at the basic technical specs:

The two are nearly identical dimensionally. Weight (not indicated) is close, but the GT3 RS has the edge on lightness at 3,153 lbs. as compared to a reported 3,241 lbs. for the turbocharged GT2 RS.

Both cars are fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, although the exact specification and compound characteristics may differ slightly. (Only the Michelin Man truly knows.)

The standout difference is of course the power – the GT2 RS produces 700 horsepower, the GT3 RS “just” 520 horsepower. Analyzing the in-car Nurburgring Nordschleife footage, it’s the power variable that builds the gap for the GT2 RS over the course of the lap. Just about whenever full throttle activity occurs, the GT3 RS loses ground.

Examples:

Early on in the lap, the GT2 RS arrives to the bridge at Quiddelbacher-Höhe over a second earlier than the GT3 RS, and with a 12+ mph advantage.

Just getting back on full throttle after a sharp right corner, under the Yokohama bridge and into Fuchsröhre, the GT2 RS has a nearly two-second lead and an 8 mph advantage. (GT2 RS turbo lag on corner exit? Forget about it.)

About 30-seconds later on a flat out section before the double left-hander, Metzgesfeld, the GT2 RS leaps ahead of the GT3 RS by over three seconds and almost 15 mph.

Rarely do top speeds play a role in road course lap times, but they do on the Nordschleife. Near the conclusion of the lap the GT2 RS crosses under the Bilstein bridge (of “Bridge-to-Gantry” lap time fame) at a terrifying 194 mph. The GT3 RS hits the same mark at 173 mph. The lap time delta at that moment – nine seconds. (The delta at the start of the long Dottinger Höhe straight is about 6.4 seconds, so the GT2 RS gains almost three seconds in this sector alone.)

All things being (nearly) equal, the extra grunt of the GT2 RS wins out around a lengthy circuit like the Nordschleife.

The GT3 RS takes the trophy for best audio though. Check out the remarkable in-car footage below. Considering the waiting lists for both, the footage is about as close as most of us will ever come to actually experiencing Porsche’s RS magic.

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