Porsche 911 GT2

Stripped-out 2WD version of Turbo is more racer than road model

To the casual observer, the 911 range may be a bit hard to fathom, especially when it comes to the GT-badged models. It flies in the face of logic, but the GT2 is a more powerful and expensive machine than the GT3. Oh, and there’s no GT1. At least, not yet.

Designed to be a high-performance, track-ready 911 Turbo, the latest pole-position wannabe is the GT2. In simple terms, it’s a stripped-out, two-wheel-drive version of the standard Turbo. However, as is often the case when it comes to race specials, less is more. The GT2 is £29,250 costlier than the better-equipped model on which it’s based.

So what do you get for your money? Well, there’s a more powerful engine for a start. Although it’s essentially the same twin-turbo six-cylinder unit that appears in the Turbo, Porsche has beefed up the output by 50bhp to 530bhp. The GT2 is also 145kg lighter than the Turbo, at 1,440kg, thanks in part to the removal of the four-wheel-drive transmission. Look inside, and the GT2’s track ambitions are clear to see. Customers can opt for a more traditional coupé interior with comfortable leather sports seats as a no-cost option, but our car was fitted with Porsche’s Clubsport cabin. This brings a rear roll cage and deep bucket seats.

Despite the lack of four-wheel drive, the GT2 is breathtakingly quick. Even with the handicap of a soaking test circuit and semi-slick trackday tyres, the Porsche still sprinted from 0-60mph in less than five seconds.

But the fastest 911 is a car that needs to be driven with commitment. Unlike the Nissan, which serves up instant performance the moment you want it, the 911 has to be worked harder and delivers its power in a more aggressive fashion.

When both turbos get into their stride, 680Nm of torque is unleashed through the back wheels – enough to cause them to spin in every gear when it’s damp. Yet despite this, the GT2 is far from a bucking bronco on the road. The chassis – clearly developed for life on the track – is more than capable of harnessing the power. The suspension is stiff without being too brittle and strikes a decent balance between ride comfort and firm body control, while the steering is sharp, accurate and delivers bags of feedback.

However, the most impressive part of the GT2’s dynamic package are its brakes. The ceramic composite discs give the 911 a significant edge over its two rivals here. With excellent feel and a powerful bite, they scrub off speed with ease. By comparison, the GT-R and Gallardo seem distinctly under-braked.

At £131,080, the GT2 is for the serious enthusiast only. And, while it’s hard not to be impressed by its engineering excellence, a standard Turbo or even a Carrera 2 would deliver a more rounded driving experience. So, only the brave and wealthy need apply.

Details

Price: £131.080Model tested: Porsche 911 GT2Chart position: 3WHY: Lightweight track-biased GT2 is the most powerful roadgoing 911 ever – and one of the most expensive, too

Economy

Unlike the Gallardo, the 911 is available in much cheaper guises. With a near-perfect mix of well balanced handling, engineering quality and performance, the entry-level model is tough to beat and costs £63,070. The track focused set-up offered by the GT2 is much more extreme, but we reckon it struggles to justify doubling the Carrera’s screen price. Running costs are also sky high in the flagship Porsche. While the ceramic brakes should last well, expect big bills for tyres, fuel, insurance, and road tax. At least servicing is thousands less than the Lamborghini’s.

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