When the 997-generation GT2 received its mid-life update in 2010, Porsche upped the engine output ante to a deadly serious 620 hp. It was sufficient to make it the most powerful production Porsche in history. So the factory saw fit, and rightly so, to slap those two legendary letters at the end of the numeric designation—“RS”—and call it good. Only 500 examples were slated for production worldwide, and the orders were all filled in what could have only been hours after the announcement.
The red car’s owner, Mr. Bob Shillington, is a longtime Porsche enthusiast. His last two were a black 997 GT2 (former feature car on these pages), and then, acquired a few months later, a 997 GT3 RS. Like most hard-bitten enthusiasts, he didn’t leave them in strict factory condition for long. Both of those cars he entrusted to Southern California tuning and racing firm Global Motorsports Group (GMG Racing) for the company’s proprietary upgrades. The GT2 RS followed suit: It was delivered to GMG HQ with just 75 miles on the odometer.
The guys at GMG live to race; their entire tuning and service operation was ostensibly founded to support those racing efforts. And the effort has paid off. GMG earned Porsche the 2009 Manufacturers Championship in World Challenge GT competition and, at press time, currently leads the manufacturers and drivers championships in the series for the 2011 season.
But how do you go about improving upon what the Porsche factory has released as history’s most powerful and arguably most bad-ass street 911? As with its other 911 performance programs, GMG adapts the considerable body of knowledge gleaned from its race efforts and applies that to producing upgrades for the street.
Beginning beneath the decklid, GMG, unhappy with the stock exhaust, uncorked the engine’s hot ends with a system of its own. This includes GMG manifolds and a full sport exhaust crafted from 3.5-inch T304 stainless steel. German-made 200-cell metal matrix catalysts render it OBD-II compliant, and the system terminates in 4-inch brushed tips.
According to GMG’s Fabryce Kutyba: “The stock exhaust on the GT2 RS is, well, let’s say less than spectacular. This is an RS and you would have expected the factory to do something special. They didn’t.”
According to him, GMG’s WC-GT2RS system increases power output by nearly 30 hp and more than 60 lb-ft of torque—before adding software. This is due to far less backpressure with the new exhaust. GMG measured the stock exhaust at more than 10 pounds of backpressure, while GMG claims its own measures just 1.5. Additionally, the manifolds are designed to reduce exhaust gas temperatures overall and improve throttle response.
Adding in software maps designed by GIAC netted 55 hp and 90 lb-ft of torque overall. That was on 91-octane fuel. Adding 100 octane and upgrading to a corresponding GIAC program pushed those figures to an approximate 70 horses and more than 110 lb-ft of twist. To put it in perspective, with these relatively simple upgrades in place, peak torque output jumps beyond the peak factory power number, close to 630 lb-ft, while peak power jumps dangerously close to the magic 700 mark.
A GMG WC intercooler set was also incorporated to keep intake temperatures low and the charges as dense as possible.
Of course, the engine upgrades are only half the story. All the power on Earth is no good unless the chassis can harness it and effectively deploy it to the pavement. And this is where all the race experience really pays off.
“The stock dampers and springs are a nice match for this car, the best the factory has ever delivered on a standard road car. Not as harsh as on the GT3 RS,” Kutyba says. “We elected to leave them alone and upgrade elsewhere. The goal was to make this a usable road car, not a Cup car wannabe.”
The company reset the ride height and corner-balanced the car to its own specs. The GMG WC suspension hard parts include RSR-style adjustable thrust arms and thrust arm bushings front and rear for improved response and feedback, GMG WC “Dog Bone” links to correct the lowered suspension geometry and WC adjustable sway bars—five-way adjustable front, four-way rear.
The wheels were replaced with signature GMG World Challenge GT centerlock wheels painted in a GMG-exclusive titanium finish. These are designed as direct replacements for the factory wheels with weight savings of 5 pounds for the front and 7 for the rear. They are also designed to utilize the existing tire pressure monitors and to clear most aftermarket big-brake kits. Michelin Pilot Sport Cups are the rubber of choice.
The RS is one of those cars in which you expect to have an experience. But not necessarily one where you need to change your shorts. Rather, one of those moments you remember for the rest of your life and tell your grandkids about. As you sit in the factory carbon sport seat, the interior doesn’t feel much different than a GT3 RS or a GT2. Rearward visibility is excellent even with the GMG WC rollbar installed. With this unit, you can slide the seat all the way back with out any issues, which you can’t do with the factory bar.
You turn the key and the engine snarls to life after a few turns of the starter, then settles to a smooth idle. The exhaust makes its presence known with a distinctive “tuned” note and offers the listener a nice bark on throttle application. The WC-GT2RS’s exhaust gives you what the stock car lacked—what you’d expect from a car of this caliber. The noise is sporting, but not intrusive.
As the engine reaches prime operating temperature you pull out onto the road—partial throttle offers a nice note with no drone in the cabin. You’re quickly up to freeway cruising speeds. In Fourth, Fifth or Sixth gear the exhaust remains pleasant—using the Bluetooth or radio are not a problem at all.
A quick offramp offers an opportunity to get down into Second from Sixth. A few blips of the throttle, a quick heal-toe to match revs. The car is smooth and compliant and that exhaust note barks on each downshift and winds out with a deep burble you’d expect from a Le Mans car. With pipes like these, who needs music?
It’s a weekend morning and traffic is light. You roll into the throttle in Second and the tach swings to redline—engine response feels more like that of a light NA engine instead of one with two turbos. At the top of Second you’re already breaking the speed limit; Third, and now you’re using all the engine’s power at full boost. Fourth, and another rush of power all the way to redline. Fifth, and you’re covering extensive swaths of real estate at warp speed. And it feels like the car could easily cruise like this for hours on end.
In the canyons now, you feel as one with the machine, as if its controls are hardwired to your brain stem. It stays composed and feedback is phenomenal. The PSM stability system offers you more than enough flexibility to push the limits right up to the edge. There’s little doubt the factory planners’ intended use included playtime at the racetrack.
This car recently ran the Idaho Open Road Rally, which is a 3-mile top speed-run from a standing start. It ran one of the fastest speeds so far achieved, but even so, it finished Second. The First Place car? The same owner’s black ’08 WC-997GT2, which set a record of 197 mph.
It just goes to show everything is relative.
The RS is one of those cars in which you expect to have an experience. One of those moments you remember and tell your grandkids about.
GMG WC-GT2RS (#002)
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive
3.6-liter flat six, dohc, 24-valve, twin-turbocharged. GMG header system, GMG WC-GT2RS sport exhaust with 200-cell metal catalysts, GMG WC intercooler set, GIAC software
GMG RSR-style adjustable thrust arms with anti-dive and anti-squat, thrust arm bushing kit, GMG WC Dog Bone kit, GMG WC sway bar kit, GMG front and rear bump- and toe-steer kit
OEM PCCB assemblies
Wheels and Tires
GMG World Challenge GT forged monoblocks, 9x19 (f), 12x19 (r)
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup, 245/35 (f), 325/30 (r)
GMG RSR harness/rollbar
Peak Power: 690 hp
Peak Torque: 626 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 3.0 sec. (est.)
Top Speed: 210 mph