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TopSpeed's Best of 2010: Sports Car of the Year

TopSpeed’s Best of 2010: Sports Car of the Year

2010 has been quite a year for the auto industry’s sports car segment. With auto brands becoming more and more aggressive in their pursuit of power, speed, and consumer preference, sports cars have become about as popular in 2010 as Justin Bieber’s hairdo.

So with all these choices, one can just imagine the painstaking labor we went through in determining our choices for the 2010 Sports Car of the Year. Of all the categories, this one was, without question, the hardest to agree on, especially when the multitude of choices available are considered.

In the end, we did find a common ground in selecting the five best sports cars of the year, despite the fact that there were some arguments along the way. Of the five that we chose - one of them is a one-off sports car - four of them came from Europe whereas the only non-European sports car on the list calls the Land of the Rising Sun as its home.

Head over to the list after the jump.

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Video: Porsche 911 GT2 RS vs Carrera

Video: Porsche 911 GT2 RS vs Carrera

Being that Porsche has successfully created the most powerful street-legal model Porsche has ever built in the form of the GT2 RS, the guys over at AutoCar decided to put this beast to the test alongside one of its more standard brothers: the Carrera.

To figure out that the GT2 RS is faster and more powerful than the Carrera is a no brainer. It pushes out 620hp, and pushes it out quickly with a 0-60mph time of just 3.5 seconds. Stand that next to the Carrera’s 345hp and 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds, and you begin to question why the heck this comparison was even done. But there is actually a reason behind this seemingly simple comparison. Sure, the GT2 RS is faster, but is it fast enough and powerful enough to substantiate the gargantuan price difference of $100,000 between it and the Carrera? Check out the video and find out!

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Fanatec Porsche 911 GT2 gaming wheel is as real as it gets

Fanatec Porsche 911 GT2 gaming wheel is as real as it gets

So you want realism on your GT5 (or Forza) racing experience? Let’s face it, controllers are alright, but they don’t really generate that same amount of unbridled realism that force-feedback steering wheels come in. That’s why we don’t hold anything back on our racing game accessories, especially when it comes to the steering wheel.

Fanatec’s new – and officially licensed – Porsche 911 GT2 racing wheel sells for $250, but actually feels like it costs more than that. On sheer aesthetics alone, the wheel has been dressed in the same Alcantara leather that’s found on the 911 GT2. With the controls, this officially licensed Xbox 360 wireless steering wheel has 14 hidden buttons, a 900-degree steering angle, and a USB cable that you can connect to the PS3 and the PC. Yeah, an Xbox-licensed accessory that works on the PS3. Pretty cool huh?

Here’s where it gets even more interesting: if you want a full-scale upgrade on the wheel, there’s a $250 added charge that will get you the Clubsport Edition that includes a stick shift, carbon fiber paddle shifters, and high-end adjustable aluminum pedals.

Just like the real thing.

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Porsche scores big on a number of year-end awards

Porsche scores big on a number of year-end awards

In a year that has been full of uncertainty, recalls, and what-have-you, at least one brand is ending it on a really high note.

For better or for worse, Porsche has had a really good year and their fortunes haven’t gone unrecognized by a lot of their peers. The automaker from Stuttgart, Germany is being recognized by a variety of media outlets for a year where it has released a steady diet of high-performance and ultra-popular cars. While some people might think that the company was lucky to have the year it has had, the folks at Porsche would prefer to describe it as “business as usual”.

Over in their homeland of Germany, the Deutsche Automobil Treuhand (DAT) listed three of Porsche’s sports as having the best value retention with the Porsche 911 leading the pack, followed by both the Boxster and the Cayman. Thee cars in the top-three. Pretty impressive.

On the other side of the world in the Land Down Under, a jury comprising of eleven motor journalists from the “Sydney Morning Herald”, “The Age” and “drive.com.au" chose the Porsche Boxster as the best convertible of 2010 and more importantly, giving it the “Drive Car of the Year Award” for the second year in a row.

Continued after the jump.

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Top Gear announces winners of 2010 Top Gear Awards

Top Gear announces winners of 2010 Top Gear Awards

The Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond may be all fun and jokes in front of the camera, but despite their cunning wit and silly banter, these three all share a unique similarity: they know everything and anything there is to know about cars.

When they say a car is good or bad, their opinions carry more clout than the standard human because they’ve done their homework through countless hours of testing, free drives, and taped segments on the show. And now that we’re nearing the end of an amazingly eventful year, the trio have decided to finally release their choice of vehicles that will be included in the 11th Top Gear Awards.

With categories ranging from Hypercar of the Year, Grand Tourer of the Year, Coupe of the Year, and even Engine of the Year, the three hosts took everything they’ve seen, heard, and driven in 2010 to come up with a winner for each respective category.

In addition to these categories, Clarkson, May, and Hammond also picked their favorite cars of the year regardless of make, model, and type. Care to find out the award winners?

Check them out after the jump.

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Video: Porsche 911 GT2 RS review

We feel for the folks over at Fifth Gear. Really, we do. Lost in the enormous shadows cast by its British rival Top Gear, Fifth Gear has been trying to gain some ground on its competitor, but with all the attention Top Gear is getting these days, nobody seems to have given them the time of day.

Not us. We get our digs out of these guys, and anytime they come out with a new video, we’re all over it. This time around, Jason Plato gets behind the wheel of the most powerful Porsche ever built – that’s saying something considering they’ve built some pretty whacked out machines in the past – the 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS. With 620 HP under the hood, the RS sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 186 mph in 28.9 seconds. Top speed is 205 mph. The sports car also delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 4.9 lb per horsepower and has a reported Nurburgring time of seven minutes and 18 seconds. Compared to a standard GT2, the RS model is more powerful and lighter.

So what does Plato think of the 911 GT2 RS? Well, he loves it enough that he even compared it to his favorite sports car these days, the Ferrari 458 Italia. That’s some pretty impressive company right there.

Check out the video and watch Plato give the 911 GT2 RS a firm shakedown. Again, don’t mistake this Fifth Gear for being just a step-below copycat. These guys know what they’re talking about and we show them a lot of love for that.

Maybe all of you guys should start doing so too.

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2011 Porsche GT2 RS by Wimmer RS

2011 Porsche GT2 RS by Wimmer RS

Unless you were one of the lucky 500 that was able to make reservations for the 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, then this post will be all about looking at what could have been if we only had the money to actually buy one.

With a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with an output of 620 horsepower already prowling units its hood, the 911 GT2 RS already packs a very mean and powerful punch. But for some people, 620 horsepower just isn’t enough, so they set out to build a performance package for the Porsche beast to make it even more powerful.

Believing that the new 911 GT2 RS could still improve in the performance department, German tuning house Wimmer RS upgraded and remapped the engine controller, retooled the turbochargers, installed a new sport air filter and air intake, and added a valve-controlled sport exhaust system with sport catalysts.

The resulting upgrade is stunning to say the least. From 620 horsepower, a 0-62 mph time of 3.5 seconds, and a top speed of 205 mph, the Wimmer RS-tuned GT2 RS now comes with 703 horsepower with 597.5 lb/ft of torque, a 0-62 mph time of 3.3 seconds, and a top speed 221 mph.

Wimmer RS’s program doesn’t include a whole lot in the way of aesthetic upgrades, but it really doesn’t matter at this point, especially when you have a 911 GT2 RS that already packs 703 horsepower. We figure that none of the 500 soon-to-be-owners will care too much about the relative lack of interior upgrades on the super sports car.

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Porsche 911 GT2 RS sold out

Porsche 911 GT2 RS sold out

If you wanted a Porsche GT2 RS for Christmas then, we’re sorry guys, but we have some bad news for you. Porsche has just announced that the most powerful and high-performance road-going sports car in their history has sold out, despite the car’s $250K pricetag.

News of the 500 units already being scooped up shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody. The GT2 RS is more powerful and lighter compared to a standard GT2 because of the 154lb decrease in weight and the extra 90hp getting squeezed out of the engine. Anyone with a certain degree of infatuation over a 0-62mph sprint made in 3.5 seconds, a top speed of 205mph, and a Nurburgring time of seven minutes and 18 seconds was sure to be one of the first people in line with their cash or check in hand, and there seems to be at least 500 people with this type of passion.

Press release after the jump.

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Porsche Matchup: Carrera GT vs 911 GT2 RS

When Porsche built the Carrera GT and the 911 GT2 RS, they probably didn’t mean for the two cars to be put up against each other in battle, but that was exactly what AutoBild has done, and they even videotaped it for all to see.

The video may be entirely in German, but it is still an amazing six minutes of high performance racing between the 620 hp GT2 RS and the 612hp Carrera GT! Try to guess which of the two monsters came out on top. We’ll give you a hint; the GT2 RS can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, while the Carrera GT makes it in 3.8 seconds. Both vehicles’ top speed goes up to 205mph.

Okay, so that wasn’t much of a hint considering the numbers are practically identical, but what’s the fun in giving the ending away?

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Video: Porsche 911 GT2 RS tested

With only 500 units built, theGT2 RS is a rarity on the market, butAutoExpress had the chance to have a little fun with the most powerful model in Porsche’s line-up. The British magazine not only tested the car, but also performed a little drifting that really showed us all just how cool this Porsche really is!

With a weight reduction of 154lbs and an increase in power of 90hp, the Porsche GT2 RS now delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 4.9 lb per horsepower. It can manage the sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 186 mph in 28.9 seconds. Top speed is set at 205mph and the RS reports a Nurburgring time of seven minutes and 18 seconds.

The Porsche GT2 RS will go on sale in October with a starting price of about $253,000.

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Video: Porsche 911 GT2 RS on board camera

Walter Rohrl, the famous German rally and auto racing driver, got behind the wheel of a new Porsche GT2 RS and did what he knows best; he pushed it to its limit! Thanks to an in-car camera, you’ll be able to see just how it would look if you were to be riding passenger while the Porsche was taken for a little ride.

The new GT2 RS is a more powerful and lighter model compared to a standard GT2. Porsche managed to reduce the weight by 154 lb and upgrade the engine’s output with 90 HP (for a total of 620 HP). This makes the RS sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 186 mph in 28.9 seconds. Top speed is 205 mph. The sports car also delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 4.9 lb per horsepower and has a reported Nurburgring time of seven minutes and 18 seconds.

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The philosophy behind the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is explained

The philosophy behind the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is explained

Have you guys ever heard of a little vehicle called the Porsche 911 GT2 RS? Yeah, we thought so. After posting a Nurburgring time of seven minutes, 18 seconds, the fastest and most powerful road-going sports car that Porsche has ever built is already on every car enthusiast’s lips. As well it should be.

Although it is very well known, Porsche recently took this vehicle to its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Andreas Preuninger, Manager of High Performance Vehicles for Porsche, took a little time out to explain the philosophy for the GT2 RS.

As a reminder, the GT2 RS has a 3.6 liter six-cylinder boxer engine that is boosted by two turbochargers that produce 620hp. The car is also assisted in this power by a weight reduction of 154 lbs. This makes the RS sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds, 0 to 124 mph in just 9.8 seconds, and 0 to 186 mph in 28.9 seconds. Its top speed is 205 mph and its power-to-weight ratio is 4.9 lb per horsepower.

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