The Porsche 911 GT3 RS sits on the top of the 911 hierarchy as the purest expression of the 911 name. That comes with the territory of being the fastest and most powerful car in the legendary lineup. But, as good as the GT3 RS is, it still begs the question: is it really the best among all versions of the 911?

XCAR tried to find an answer to that question by taking the 911 GT3 RS for a spin around the road and, more importantly, around the track. It goes without saying that Porsche developed the GT3 RS as the more track-focused version of the entire 911 lineup. It’s got more power, less weight, and harder springs than any other 911. In other words, it’s the equivalent of a race car without actually being a race car.

Therein lies the rub with the 911 GT3 RS. As fast and as powerful as it is — nobody can argue with its output of 493 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, good enough to spring from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 193 mph — the 911 GT3 RS is a niche sports car that caters more to track enthusiasts and less to everyday drivers. For starters, it has no rear seats thanks to the presence of a roll cage that every track car is expected to have. It’s also not as comfortable as most would like it to be and the engine noise can get pretty loud. That may be the perfect recipe for a car that’s blasting around a race track, but not so much for a car doing errands on a regular weekend.

Porsche knows all of that, yet it’s not making any apologies for what the 911 GT3 RS supposedly can and can’t do. This car, no matter how people try to slice it, is meant to be driven on the track. It’s been developed as such and it performs that way too. So excuse the fretting whenever somebody drives the 911 GT3 RS out on the public road. While it does live up to its reputation as the most extreme version of the 911, those who have driven the GT3 RS on the road and on the track will tell you that the only way to unleash its full potential is to do it in the latter.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS High Resolution Exterior
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Read more about the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS here.

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