Though we all acknowledge the advantage four-wheel drive offers off the line, how valuable is it when compared to a rear-wheel drive machine renowned for its traction? Both the 911 Turbo and the GT2 RS have the weight in the right place for launching—which, by the way, both do without the possibility of driver error. However, a combination of statistics and weather help equalize the playing field more than some might imagine.
The GT2 RS has the stats going for it. Its 325-section Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires at either end of the rear axle, weighed down by the weight of the motor, generate a great deal of propulsion. Therefore, it makes use of its 700 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque—all of which is available at 1,900 rpm—better than just about any rear-wheel drive on the market today. Additionally, at 3,241 pounds, it's a fairly light car, too. Once the cars leave the traction-limited first and second gears, this power-to-weight ratio makes a major difference.
Oriented towards long drives along coastal highways, the softer, plusher, suppler 540-horsepower Turbo weighs roughly 300 pounds more than the semi-svelte track scalpel. Its rear tires are slighlty narrower and the compound, Michelin Pilot Sport 4, doesn't quite adhere to the asphalt like the Cup 2s do.
That said, the heavens open up before this race down one of the most scenic stretches of blacktop in Utah. When traction is sparse, the all-weather Turbo is in its element.
As launch control takes one major variable out of the equation, its interesting to see how both cars show their strengths without an inefficient driver getting in the way. One thing is certain—having four wheels claw into the pavement makes consistent getaways a cinch.