Porsche’s world-bending turbocharged RennSport model first showed its face in dealerships a bit over a decade ago, back in 2010. Of course, the first of the GT division’s turbocharged models came way back in the heady 1990s with the 993-generation GT2, and that was furthered by the all-conquering widow-making 996-generation GT2. By the time the 997 GT2 RS came out as a bit of a send-off for the Mezger-developed turbocharged engine, Porsche had become world-reknowned for its massive power delivery and the scary nature of these cars. For the 991–generation, the GT2 RS gained a PDK transmission and doubled-down on the race car sensibilities. These Porsches, particularly the earlier ones, were untrustworthy, and you truly couldn’t get the most out of them unless you were a properly trained racing driver. Renn does stand for racing, after all.
At the same time, you can take a look over at the naturally-aspirated section of the GT division garage and take a peek at what the GT3 RS has been doing. The new 992-generation GT3 RS is about as uncompromising as you can possibly get. While it doesn’t have much more power than the 991-generation car it replaces, it somehow managed to knock several seconds from its Nurburgring lap time. All of this was done with a properly motorsport approach to aerodynamics and suspension development, adding tons of little adjustments, mechanically and electronically, to tweak the car for purpose. You can bet that the next GT2 RS will do much of the same, bringing actual racing technology to the street.
Porsche has been experimenting with hybrid racing cars since at least the GT2 RS has been around. In fact, the 997 GT3 R Hybrid made its debut in February of 2010, while the GT2 RS wasn’t hinted at until a private dealer meeting in May of 2010. In the proceding years, Porsche has developed and raced not only the 919 Hybrid prototype to multiple Le Mans wins and championships, but it has gone racing (and won) with full-electric cars in Formula E, and recently debuted the hybrid-driven 963 prototype for another run at the Le Mans regulations. With nearly fifteen years of hybrid and EV racing development, electrified racing efforts are nearly as tied to Porsche’s history as any other single racing cars has ever been. And it has been a seriously long time since Porsche debuted its hybrid hypercar, the 918 Spyder, itself nearly a decade on. It’s time to bring that hybrid racing development to the company’s most iconic sports car, the 911.
When the 992 was developed, Porsche made sure everyone knew that the chassis was designed with extra room for hybrid gubbins. As yet the company has still to make good on that particular Checkov’s gun. According to Autocar magazine that is about to change. The next GT2 RS will quite likely bring that hybrid development to the street, and is said to be the most powerful and fastest-accelerating Porsche 911 ever built. While it may not deliver the full 875 horsepower that the 918 Spyder was good for, the new hybrid drivetrain is aiming for “more than 700 horsepower” and likely won’t cost anything like the 918’s stratospheric price tag. The new car is aiming to take down the car it replaces, and Porsche’s benchmark is itself. The 2017 991 GT2 RS delivered an incredible 2.8-second 0-60 time, and a top speed of 211 miles per hour. The new 992 hybrid version will need to find a way to not only match those numbers but beat them dead, and will likely need to find a way to get it to set a new ring lap record, as well. I don’t know how Porsche will manage to find the traction to put all that power to the ground, but if anyone can do it, Porsche can.