Why the 991 GT3 RS is one of the greatest cars ever made

If you’re looking for a car between, say, $185k and $225k, there is plenty to choose from – the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche GT3 RS and McLaren 650S all come to mind. All are very competent and special in their own right. But when Porsche does something right, it’s typically more right than anyone else can get it – and the 991-generation GT3 RS is just such a car.

I took our latest RS inventory piece for a jog home last week, and after a quiet winter, it gave me exactly the caffeine boost I needed. I just love the all-business look of it – no street car could ever look more “track,” with fat fenders, big 19 and 20” wheels enclosed by swooping lines in and out of the body, and huge intakes to provide as much relief as possible for the absolutely electrifying power unit. Then, there’s the wing – it may reduce fuel mileage by 15%, but it simply completes the look – and gas is a lot less expensive these days…

The GT3 RS’s package is just so complete. Step inside, and you find yourself in a very tightly packaged interior that’s still airy, and still with great visibility. But look further, and it’s the details that matter: the pull straps, Alcantara wheel and shifter, and the best button on earth – “Pit Speed!” This car is every inch a clubsport road car!

Start it up, and the engine turns fast and sharp to a very nice signature GT3 idle. Amongst flat-six Porsche engines, in fact amongst most engines, it just has to be one of the best-sounding. It’s so tense; the pitch is high with the occasional burble or pop as it sits there, going through its cold-start process. I LOVE IT!

My settings for this car are the same every time. PSM/TC off, PDK Sport, exhaust Sport, suspension Normal and off I go! Pull out onto the road, hit the trusty 407 for some exercise, and this is by far the absolute best-calibrated engine and transmission of the era – sharp, fast, strong and honest.

A few nights ago I was driving our Lamborghini Huracan, and in comparison, you can tell it’s still engineered to deliver more drama. The GT3 RS’s powerplant simply doesn’t need that – it’s so naturally amazing, in fact, that you don’t ever find yourself looking for more drama, because you’re too busy loving what it’s offering you all the time.

The engine is up to temp now, and I’m about to exploit the full 500 hp on offer. On a desolate 407, I brought it down to 50 km/h, then pulled second gear all the way to a heavenly 8,800 rpm. The engine generates a pull and an induction sound that only a real race engine can produce. When you crack third gear, and the inertia push from the gearbox gives you a kick from behind, like an old school power shift, the RS continues to lunge forward.

Dropping off the 407 to 427 southbound, taking that beautiful ramp with spirit, and…feel the precision of the steering. Turn-in is direct, but at the same time not overly sensitive, which can be annoying in some cars (the 458 is guilty of this). The ramp straightens out. and you lay into the flat-six again to find a comfortable cruise on the 427 south to the city.

Hit the streets, and you can turn it all down, engage automatic and grab a latte. Although the RS remains stout, it also complies well with city roads. The sport buckets aren’t necessarily built for comfort, but they’re still an easy trade-off in my opinion. With everything turned down, the cabin takes on a new light – it’s got great cup holders, the Bose sound system rocks, and it does everything you want it to. A front-axle lift is a nice option to have, but the consumable front spoiler isn’t too expensive should you meet a driveway with a heavy rake. Otherwise, the key options are Bose, full leather, 90L tank, ceramics, as they’re a nice treat from a visual standpoint, and silver wheels and uprights for me.

Colour and equipment choices are subjective, of course, but one thing is for sure – there is no way you’re leaving the dealership dissatisfied or second-guessing your decision. The GT3 RS is the best value in that 185 to 225 space, and frankly, it’s one of the best cars ever made.