Words by Scott Laurie
I think I first saw the Porsche 911 996 GT3 RS on Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson testing it back to back with a Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale and what a car it looked! I have watched the same clip on YouTube over twenty times since. Back when they were being launched one of the chaps in the Porsche Club Great Britain (PCGB) had pre-ordered one, he was among the first in Scotland to receive a GT3 RS. The first time I saw it in the flesh was on track at Knockhill, being driven by someone who used to race as a hobby. It was easily the fastest car on track and looked gorgeous with the graphics and colour coded wheels. They came in any colour you wanted as long as it was white, but you did get to pick red or blue decals and wheels, also Porsche included seat belts to match the decals.
I have now owned the car for nearly four years and have experienced all types of roads and weather conditions. I’ve even managed to do around two track days per year. The mileage hasclimbed to 27,000 miles and I have enjoyed RS ownership very much. On smooth sweeping A-roads the car is a dream, lightning quick and comfortable, on the motorways at a steady 75 mph it is quiet, comfortable and returns about 30mpg, making it useable for long runs to the continent. At faster speeds on the motorways it can be quite deceptive as there isn’t too much road or wind noise, its easy to get to 130mph plus without realising what speed you are doing. It accelerates very quickly up to around 150mph, beyond that the acceleration slows down a little as its heads to the maximum on the spec sheet of 193mph, not that I have ever reached that speed. I once had it up at 173mph in Germany and it felt very stable, but you cover a scary amount of distance on a road at that speed and you’d need a long straight to max it out. Cornering at over 130mph on long sweeping corners creates no drama at all, the car feels planted and inspires confidence. In short the car makes you feel safe and in control. The steering feels pretty much the same from 30mph all the way up the speedo, offering great feel of what the tyres are doing. As you corner you feel the load build up, there is no bump steer and if you push it really hard on hairpins the rear end break-away is slow and easy to control as long as you don’t lift off. In short, it’s the best driver’s car I’ve ever experienced.
Values and deprecation of cars is always a hot topic with my crowd of car fanatics and in four years of ownership the car has probably appreciated by about twenty percent from what I paid, not bad at all. It’s nice to have something sat in the garage that you can take out occasionally and have one of the best driving experiences possible without worrying about it losing £500 to £1,000 a month in value. Where will the values end up? Who knows, if you spend some time on the forums there is always speculation about what’s going to be the next collectable. The 996 GT3 RS is the rarest of all RS’s produced worldwide, there were 113 right hand drive cars produced for the UK and many of them have been smashed at some point in their lives. All prior Porsche RS models have soared in value and the cost of a new 991 RS (once you have ticked the options list) is going to be somewhere in the region of £150,000. I think the RS hasn’t had its day with real appreciation and I expect that they will continue to creep upwards towards the £100,000 mark. Then one day, for seemingly no apparent reason, the real collectors will decide to add it to their list of other RS Porsches and values will become silly. My suggestion would be to buy one while you still can! Full owners experience can be found in the magazine.
Why buy one?
★Iconic RS name is rarely used by Porsche, the last time was in 1994 and it is reserved for only the most extreme models.
★Prices have been increasing steadily over the last few years and it is harder to track down cars for sale.
★Less than 120 came to the UK when the car was new so this is an extremely rare car.
Full list of reasons to buy can be found in the magazine.
Full analysis and advice of the ideal specification can be found in the magazine.
At the time of going to press, there weren’t any GT3 RS cars for sale in the UK. This is not a surprise given that there were only 113 originally sold in the UK. If you want to get hold of a GT3 RS, you may have to wait, all four shown are previously sold examples at JZM Porsche. The lowest price a GT3 RS has been offered for recently is £80,000, low mileage cars are now trading for over £100,000.
Some parts are shared with standard 911 models and this helps to keep the mechanical replacement cost down for this ultra rare supercar. However many mechanical areas of this car are costly, so ensure that any car you are thinking of buying is professionally inspected before purchase. Full breakdown of prices can be found in the magazine.
Despite low mileage of many cars that come on the market , you have to bear in mind that these may have been hard driven track miles. The race derived engine is a strong unit, very reliable even with track use. However it is known to use oil (as much as one litre every 500 miles), so regular oil checks and changes are a must. Full breakdown of buyers checkpoints for engine, clutch, gearbox, steering, suspension, brakes, wheels, tyres and servicing schedule can be found in the magazine.
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