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Owner's Review: 911R vs. 991.2 GT3 (Manual)

 
Old 03-17-2019, 04:35 PM
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unotaz
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Default Owner's Review: 911R vs. 991.2 GT3 (Manual)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here it is, the definitive comparison between the 911R and the 991.2 GT3 Manual. For those who are curious on the colors, it's PTS Brewster Green (paired with Rhodium Silver and Black) and Maritime Blue. I have owned the GT3 for several months now and put a fair amount of miles on the car to get a good assessment of the car.

Engine: Without a doubt, the revised 4.0 liter engine in the GT3 is better than the old 911.1 GT3RS 4.0 motor in the 911R. The engine has more torque all across the rev band and it revs all the way up to 9k rpm! Ok, if you are GT3 fan, maybe you want to stop reading now, because that's the only thing going for the GT3.

Noise: 911R trumps the GT3 hands down. The R has SMFW, with significantly less noise insulation, which makes the driving experience at a whole different level. You can hear every little pebble, every little engine noise from the gearbox to the throttle body opening. Even though the engine in the .2 GT3 revs higher to 9000 rpm, the amount of insulation in the cabin hampers its experience compared to the R.

Gearbox: 911R wins again. The R gearbox is notchier and has a more precise movement in the engagement of the gears (more rifle bolt action). The clutch in the GT3 is also too easy to modulate (almost Japanese car like). The SMFW in the 911R makes heel and toe significantly more trickier to master than the GT3. We Porsche guys are weird, we like challenging cars to drive (eg. CGT)! Although the design of the 6 speed gearbox between the R and the GT3 is the same (or at least this is what I hear from my contacts at PAG), it feels different between the two cars. My R has 3 times the mileage compared to my GT3, but the gearbox on the R is tighter and more precise than the GT3. Here is the interesting bit, Porsche actually used two different suppliers on the two cars for the 6 speed gearbox. Maybe that's the difference?

Steering: The 911R wins. The steering in the R is lighter than the GT3 but it has more feel and turning agility is a step up compared to the GT3. This has a lot to do with the RWS on the R, where the algorithm of the RWS is more aggressive than the GT3. The front end turn-in agility is kind of like my 458 Speciale, where it is almost too quick and sometimes the rear doesn't keep up. The 911R is more engaging and more fun to drive on the canyons!

Suspension: The 911R suspension is softer than the GT3 and I prefer the suspension setting on the 911R because I drive the car mostly on canyon roads. Paired with the light but sensitive steering and the aggressive RWS algorithm, the 911R is a joy to drive compared to the GT3 on the same piece of road. Brakes: it's the same between the two, both are awesome!

Looks: This is very subjective here, but I prefer the bumper on the .1 design compared to the .2. The front bumper on the .2 is too angular for my taste and even if I compare the 991.2 GT3 Touring to the 911R, the R wins in my eyes.

Sense of occasion: The 911R with the green dials, soft natural leather, is just a special car period. The GT3 is a good sports car, but it's not a special car. You get the sense that Porsche poured their heart and soul into the 911R and you can feel it the moment you grab the gear lever and start the engine.

Conclusion: For those who have never owned a 911R, you might be wondering if there is such a big difference between the two? The truth is, there are significant difference between the two BUT it takes many weeks of driving and ownership to appreciate the differences. It takes ownership to appreciate the extra effort that Andy and his team that have gone into the 911R. 911R is a keeper and in my opinion, it is the BEST iteration of the 991 generation.

Here is my top 5 list of water-cooled 911s:

1. 997.2 GT3RS 4.0
2. 991R
3. 997.2 GT3RS 3.8
4. 991.2 GT2RS
5. 996 GT3RS



Last edited by unotaz; 03-17-2019 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:06 PM
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Gasman85
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Nice read. Thanks for the write up
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:08 PM
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Jrtaylor9
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Thanks for the comparison. Too bad they didn’t make the R a gen 2 car. As special as the car is, it would have been the undisputed, no explanation needed, king of 991 gen had it been a gen 2 car with gen 2 4.0. Then again, it would be a half-mil plus car and even fewer driven. I look forward to coming back to the states and picking one up/trying out to make my own observations vs a 1.2-3 manual.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:29 PM
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MerlinRS
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How does the R compare to the GT2 RS? Have you driven the new GT3 RS yet?

Surprised to see the 996 RS on the list!
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:38 PM
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In summary GT3 has a better engine and the R better RWS algos and gearbox tuning

wondering if for normal people is easier to fine tune to their tastes gearbox and RWS or swapping the R engine with the GT3 one
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:54 PM
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thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts.

agree on the .2 bumper being a bit too angular for my taste also. I actually posted a while back to see if the .1 bumper will fit on .2 cars as I was thinking of swapping it in but I didn't get a response.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:54 PM
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You are forgetting about the steering calibration (who's going to write the software for this?), suspension calibration in sync with the RWS (suspension calibration is not too hard, but who's is going to write the software for the RWS?), insulation reduction (not too hard), gearbox difference in feel (change it to a R vin specific gearbox?) , SMFW....etc.

Originally Posted by fxz View Post
In summary GT3 has a better engine and the R better RWS algos and gearbox tuning

wondering if for normal people is easier to fine tune to their tastes gearbox and RWS or swapping the R engine with the GT3 one
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:00 PM
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Yes I driven the 991.2 GT3RS. Good car, but not special enough compared to the GT2RS.

The reason why I rank the GT2RS in fourth is mainly because of the gearbox. Not as much fun as a 6 speed manual. Crazy car with sensitive chassis (which makes it a challenge and fun)!

Originally Posted by MerlinRS View Post
How does the R compare to the GT2 RS? Have you driven the new GT3 RS yet?

Surprised to see the 996 RS on the list!
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:17 PM
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In my experience the R is just about and pleasurable and perfect a drive as can be had in a GT touring sports car, it's almost a zen experience to the degree that driving can be one.

The GT2RS is brutal in its speed and behavior, it's a frenzied and eventful experience.

Extraordinary that two cars based on a the same chassis are so different in the experience they provide, and both experiences are amazing.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:30 PM
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unotaz
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The 911R was a pet project that was set aside by AP. Originally, when the GT team worked on the 991.1 GT3, they fitted a car with a 6 speed manual transmission to test the difference. As everyone know, the 991.1 GT3 came out with PDK only, but the test car was put aside in Weissach. One day, one of the team member saw a GT3 Cup car with the wing disassembled and thought it looked great, so they fitted that Cup car engine lid on the GT3 test car, nicknamed "the Shalter" and put two green stripes on it. Andy tried to pitch it to a board initially, but the Porsche board decided to put this project aside.

Andy didn't give up, continued to work on the car and Walter Rohrl got wind of this car. Walter called the Porsche CEO at the time and asked him if he could buy the car outright? Walter figures the car has to be road legal because it used all of the components from other Porsche models. Top brass realized if Walter took interest in this car, there must be something about it, so they revisited the car in a last minute notice to Andy. Board approved the car on the spot and told Andy he had 13 months to develop the car, which was extremely short (normal GT3 car development takes 26-30 months).

The rest is history.

But to answer your question, the 911R was never part of any development plan, so Porsche never planned to produce the 911R as a gen 2 car. Will they ever produce a car in the same spirit as the 911R in the 992 generation? Perhaps, it would be great to see another 911 in the spirit of the 911R!

Originally Posted by Jrtaylor9 View Post
Thanks for the comparison. Too bad they didn’t make the R a gen 2 car. As special as the car is, it would have been the undisputed, no explanation needed, king of 991 gen had it been a gen 2 car with gen 2 4.0. Then again, it would be a half-mil plus car and even fewer driven. I look forward to coming back to the states and picking one up/trying out to make my own observations vs a 1.2-3 manual.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:36 PM
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I thought the R and .2 Manual have the identical gearbox, no?

Granted, the smfw could make shifting a bit different...
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by unotaz View Post
But to answer your question, the 911R was never part of any development plan, so Porsche never planned to produce the 911R as a gen 2 car. Will they ever produce a car in the same spirit as the 911R in the 992 generation? Perhaps, it would be great to see another 911 in the spirit of the 911R!
I feel very confident that the 50th Anniversary of the 73 Carrera RS will come in a few years

Doesn’t take much imagination to guess how it will look and be spec’d, IMO. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the 1970’s design cues of the 992 were made with this in mind (like creased front trunk lid, coke bottle fenders, and horizontal dashboard layout with vintage font on the analog tach, etc)

Will look great with Fuchs wheels from the new Speedster with Mexico, Guards, or Viper centers keyed to Carrera side script and Grand Prix White paint to go with fixed ducktail spoiler. 550hp 4.0L from next RS (or rumored Limited 991.2 RS)?












Last edited by GrantG; 03-17-2019 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:58 PM
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Agree the GT3b
steerimg is (more) solid and linear but i prefer 1.GT3 one
lighter more feel eventhough less efficient than a too computerized .2GT3
curious what the Speedster will turn out and if one could change the .2GT3 software(unless you go on track)

Last edited by fxz; 03-18-2019 at 03:57 AM.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GrantG View Post
I thought the R and .2 Manual have the identical gearbox, no?
Thats what I thought and read before. The two supplier differences is supposed to be attributed to the R&D part during the R production, and later shifted to the other because of high volume output for the .2 GT3. Same exact parts and components. But ...
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:43 PM
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Good write up and opinion on the 991.2 vs the R. I also own or have owned 3 of the 5 cars on your top 5 list, and I own current GT3. I agree that the 997 4.0 RS is on top. I have driven the 911 R several times back to back with my 997 3.8 RS and the 991.2 GT3. The R that I have driven did not have the single mass flywheel. The engine is no doubt better in the new 991.2 GT3 as you said. I think the main difference really is the single mass flywheel. That makes a huge difference in the way the car feels. I would put the 997.2 RS 3.8 as #2 and not by much compared to my 997 4.0. I think the R is a better car for real roads because suspension is softer and steering feels lighter. The 991.2 GT3 feels more hardcore than the R for real and bumpy roads. I think the clutch is definitely too light in the current GT3. I hope we get to spec out future Porsches with single mass flywheels.
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