Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review

Published:28 September 2007

Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

Another yawnworthy 911? Or a yee-hah one?

Definitely the latter. 911 Turbo not hard enough? Then how about removing the four-wheel drive, sir? Want to smash the magical 200mph barrier? Soak in the GT2's 204mph v-max and quake in your boots. Oh, and it has semi-slick Cup tyres too. Make no mistake, the GT2 isn't for fools. You won't miss the GT2, either. Beside the Turbo's LED look-at-me lights sit new extra-large air intakes to cool the brakes, a reprofiled spoiler, rear diffuser and sills. It's a lesson in Teutonic purposefulness.

Enough cosmetics, does it drive as hard as it looks?

Inevitably, the answer is yes. The explosiveness of the package is matched by an explosion of the senses. The minute you start driving the GT2, it comes alive. Turn-in is instant and the wheel jitters with feel and road detail, letting you know exactly what's what. This much power in a physics-defying 911 is a lesson in trepidation and a test of the nerves. Why? Well, the noise is intense for starters, but it's mainly because you are always - and I mean always - aware that the rear wheels are doing the work and that blown flat six is only a mistimed prod away from wreaking carnage with those shaved Cup tyres.

So it's a bit of a handful then?

You could say that. Those bald-as-a-coot Pirellis are fine in the dry, sticky and secure, but the moment the heavens open (and they do that rather a lot in the UK, in case you'd forgotten), so does your mouth. Water-skiers might enjoy the sensation of carving across puddles, but we don't. And did we mention just how fast the GT2 was? A muscular 523bhp propelling 1440kg of 911 is never going to be tardy, but the sheer visceral blast of the flat six is something else. It demolishes the 62mph benchmark in a frankly suicidal 3.7sec - the same as the regular Turbo Tiptronic - but by the upper reaches of 185mph, it's eight seconds faster. Whoever at Porsche calculates such things must have had a right old laugh the day they worked that out. We can't imagine many customers testing that particular statistic...

'Wheelspin in second gear'

And the rest. During our damp test, the GT2 spun its rear wheels in the first two gears anywhere up to 4500rpm, the rubber playing second fiddle to a monstrous 501lb ft of shove. There is a limited slip diff to help channel all those forces into forward motion though. And the flat six loves to rev. There's a new gearshift indicator on the GT2, flashing a red arrow at 6000rpm to give you just enough warning to change up before hitting the limiter if you're really pushing on. And it's only at the top end that this motor feels ferociously fast, as opposed to merely oh-my-gawd rapid. Thank the extra boost the GT2 runs. At 1440kg, the GT2 is 145kg lighter than the Turbo, and only 45kg more than the lightweight GT3. As well as the lack of bulky 4wd hardware, a glass-reinforced plastic engine cover, titanium exhaust system and standard Porsche Carbon Composite Brakes (PCCB) complete the diet. The brakes alone are 50 percent lighter than equally-sized steel discs, Porsche claim.

So you're telling me the new GT2 is basically £30k more than a Turbo, and scarier?

That's what this boils down to. The GT2 will cost £131,070, so it's no bargain. But what did you expect? Is it worth that premium over the accomplished Turbo? That's open to debate. For the buyer who has to have the ultimate, the collector who loves Porsches, they will merely write the cheque before they've even got this far through CAR's review. Many will dismiss the GT2 as a rich man's plaything, and there's little doubt that on paper this is the case. Edgy handling and red-alert dynamics don't make everyday driving an appealing prospect. And yet... for the driver who appreciates the rear-drive sharpness, the thrills of driving a potent device like the GT2, it will be worth the cost just for the uncompromising, sharp, undiluted thrill of the challenge.

 

 

Specs

Price when new: £131,070
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3600cc 24v twin-turbo flat six, 523bhp @ 6500rpm, 501lb ft @ 2200-4500rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 3.7sec 0-62mph, 204mph, 22.6mpg
Weight / material: 1440kg/steel/aluminium
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):

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  • Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review
  • Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review
  • Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review
  • Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review
  • Porsche 911 GT2 (2008) review

By Georg Kacher

European editor, secrets uncoverer, futurist, first man behind any wheel

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