The McLaren’s Laguna lap record lasted less than an hour before this Porsche shaved a whopping 1.48 seconds off of it with a drama-free, no-sweat textbook lap. That this heavier (especially in back), less powerful, less torquey car averaged 1.5 mph faster here (and 1.7 mph faster across our tiny figure eight) suggests that Weissach has defeated Woking in the chassis-development world cup.
Randy Pobst was utterly beside himself. “Somebody pinch me,” he said. “That was like nothing I’ve driven here ever before. My definition of a great-handling car is that it practically drives itself. It’s not a bloody wrestling match. It’s a dance.” He waxed enthusiastic about how it continues to respond to steering inputs midcorner on power, about the PDK sport mode’s perfect shift strategy, about the exceptional brakes, and about how easy it was to drive. “You could drive a 1:28 around here, not just me. It’s that hooked up.” Our other semi-pro, Jethro Bovingdon, concurred: “The GT2 RS rewards confidence and technique but rarely punishes mistakes.”
But lap records on smooth tracks aren’t everything. Five editors begged to differ on the rough-and-tumble of Highway 198. Mark Rechtin found the front end “light and a little skittery” under hard acceleration and lacking the confidence of last year’s 911 Turbo S. Scott Evans felt “like the car is driving itself and you’re just hanging on. The Lamborghini begs you to use every horsepower. This one warns against it.” It was the only car that threatened to loop itself off the mountain—even with all nannies switched on. Ed Loh was surprised at how much he didn’t like it: “The chassis wasn’t particularly confidence-inspiring over rough pavement.” Our problem? We rookies foolishly set the suspension to Sport. Too stiff for the bumps. Apparently 911s can’t defy physics when their tires are airborne.
“This is the ultimate 911. For now,” Angus MacKenzie declared. And for some drivers and/or on some roads, it’s best.