Sandwiched in between a pair of spiffy Ray Bans and a wrapped rollcage, a GoPro captures some incredible footage of a 997 GT2 RS driven to and beyond the ragged edge of adhesion. After a few tire-warming laps, the fearsome grunt of the blown 3.6-liter is deployed and we get a glimpse into why this Porsche is so revered. It’s not just rarity which catapulted this monster to the position of cult icon, but it’s the way it gets down the road with such ferocity, the way it seems to slow time on the brakes, and the otherworldly levels of grip available at both axles that made the turbocharged Porsche GT2 RS both feared and loved.
In the video above, at 4 minutes and 20 seconds in, the terminal speed at the end of Mantorp Park’s front straight is 140 mph, and seconds later, that speed is easily halved. If the eye socket-emptying deceleration wasn’t impressive enough, the way the Porsche’s front end responds after some threshold braking is. You might be excused if you thought this GT2 would plow straight off, but instead, the incisive RS follows the driver’s hasty inputs and cuts a tight line into Mantorp’s Turn 1.
Where the right pedal is concerned, it’s pretty composed once the tires are warm. All 620 horsepower are delivered without much fuss or wheelspin; in fact, the only real corrections made are during a mid-corner lift, and that looks completely controllable. That dependable traction and ability to trim a line make it confidence-inspiring.
Still, it’s no pussycat. It demands respect, and when the front washes wide at 6:26, the corresponding lift off the throttle makes the back end sashay briefly. It requires a deft touch, and rarely can even an experienced driver rest behind the wheel of this fire breather.