No power updates on this upgrade, but there is plenty of carbon fiber to go around

Noted Porsche tuner TechArt isn’t the type to mess around with its tuning programs. Past works for the 911 Turbo, 911 4S Cabriolet, and Cayenne have given us indications of the tuner’s no-nonsense approach towards its kits. Sure, TechArt usually doesn’t cover the full breadth of a traditional upgrade or conversion, but when it does offer a kit for any one of the Porsche models in existence today, it does so with the full understanding that it has a lot of things that Porsche owners need to make their cars better.

That same philosophy is evident with the tuner’s newest program. It’s for the 911 GT3 RS and it arrives with the singular focus of turning the range-topping, road-legal racer into something far more dramatic. It may not have any engine modifications (spoiler alert!), but TechArt made sure that the aerodynamic upgrades attached to the Carbon Sport program are still worth the price of admission.

Given how radical the 911 GT3 RS already is, you could excuse TechArt for taking this approach. After all, there is something about the GT3 RS that already makes it the special 911 that it is. For some people, adding too much to it could compromise the very character Porsche intended it to have in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

Exterior

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Carbon By TechArt High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Carbon By TechArt High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Carbon By TechArt High Resolution Exterior
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TechArt’s Carbon Sport package is comprised of a number of aero components that are being offered for the purposes of making the 911 GT3 RS look more aggressive while also improving its driving and handling characteristics. Items like a front spoiler and wheel arch outlet louvers are available for the front end of the sports racer while the sides stand to receive new side skirts, air intakes, and side mirrors. Components for the rear end of the car also available and are made up of a roof spoiler, rear wing panels, and a rear diffusor. Each of these items are made of carbon fiber, hence the name of the entire package.

TechArt is offering the package as a whole, but it’s also offering the individual parts depending on what a customer prefers.

Here’s the interesting part though. TechArt is offering the package as a whole, but it’s also offering the individual parts depending on what a customer prefers. So for instance, one customer can get the full Carbon Sport package or another can opt to just get the parts suited for the rear section if he’s only looking for help in improving the downforce on that area of the car. Once a customer is done deciding what components to get, he can also opt to have the components finished in gloss or matte finishes. The German tuner is even offering to have the same parts dressed in a color of the customer’s choosing, thus enhancing the degree of customization that will be fitted into the 911 GT3 RS.

Interior

The interior upgrades are admittedly less extensive as the possible modifications on the exterior. But give credit to TechArt for not ignoring this section entirely. In fact, it’s offering a wide range of carbon fiber interior refinement parts, including trims, add-ons to the steering wheel, and carbon seat backpanels, all of which are available at the whim of customers. Just like the exterior, there’s no requirement on what he or she can get. As long as it’s available, these aesthetic enhancements can be purchased.

Drivetrain

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Carbon By TechArt High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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That output still has 25 more horses than the GT3 and 50 ponies more than what the last iteration of the GT3 RS had.

Normally, this is the most exciting section of these tuning reviews because this is where you really see how impressive a particular tuning kit is. Unfortunately, TechArt’s Carbon Sport package doesn’t include any engine modifications for the 911 GT3 RS’s 4.0-liter flat-six engine. It is a bit disappointing, but on the bright side, the top-of-the-line 911 still packs 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque, more than enough for owners to enjoy the sports car’s full scale abilities.

Even better, that output still has 25 more horses than the GT3 and 50 ponies more than what the last iteration of the GT3 RS had. Maybe I’m just looking at the bright side here, but how can anybody be disappointed with a Porsche 911 that can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.3 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in just 10.9 seconds. Sure, it could be better, but I’m still not complaining with the kind of power and performance the GT3 RS has available to it

Pricing

TechArt has yet to release the pricing details for the Carbon Sport package so if anybody’s interested in getting the whole kit, or at least some specific parts of it, better to contact the tuner directly to get a price quote. Remember, there are different layers to this program so be prepared to specific when you’re inquiring about the pricing.

Competition

McLaren 540C

2016 McLaren 540C High Resolution Exterior
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The various iterations of the Porsche 911 make it somewhat confusing to find a specific competitor for the car. Eventually, I settled for the McLaren 540C as a nice little rival to the 911 GT3 RS, largely because both cars have similar performance numbers. If there’s anything the 540C has over the 911 GT3 RS, it’s probably the interior. I’m not saying that the Porsche’s cabin is mince meat; it’s just that there aren’t that many automakers that can compete with McLaren when it comes to premium amenities inside the cabin. From a purely aesthetic point of view, the 911 GT3 RS’s iconic Porsche looks will always be one of its most enduring characteristics. One look at it and you know it’s a Porsche 911.

On the performance front, the 540 C is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 engine that produces 533 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The numbers are slightly higher than the 911 GT3 RS, but the performance numbers tell a different story. For instance, the 540C’s 0-to-62-mph time of 3.5 seconds is marginally slower than the 911 GT3 RS. Same with the 0-to-124 mph time. The 540 C can do it in 10.5 seconds compared to 10.3 seconds for the 911 GT3 RS. Top speed for both cars sit in the range of 200 mph, but given the lighter nature of the Porsche, I’d put my money on it being a dash quicker than the McLaren.

Read our full review here.

Jaguar F-Type Coupe R

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The Jaguar F-Type R Coupe may not have the same legacy as the Porsche 911 GT3 RS or the name of the McLaren 540C, but neither of those cars will properly dismiss the Jag because they know what they’re up against. The latest iteration of the F-Type R Coupe received plenty of new standard features, including a 770-watt Meridian audio system, 14-way power seats, and a panoramic glass roof. It also got a new all-wheel-drive system, which was important to give the F-Type R Coupe the road balance it needs to make the most out of its power and performance capabilities.

Speaking of power and performance, the Jag has the biggest engine of the three – a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 – and it also has the highest output at 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. Where things fall short for the Jag is its performance. Even with the higher power output, the heavier F-Type R Coupe can only sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, which means that going to 62 mph might even approach four seconds. That’s not a good enough number to compete against the Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the McLaren 540C.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Carbon By TechArt High Resolution Exterior
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A lot of people have become so used to tuning kits with engine modifications that when a tuner introduces a program that doesn’t touch the engine, it comes as a little bit of a surprise to some. To a certain extent, I’ll put myself in that category because I have found myself losing interest in a particular program if it didn’t have something for the engine. But I have to say, TechArt’s Carbon Sport package is unique because it accomplishes its goal of giving the 911 GT3 RS a more dynamic appearance and improved drivability. The lack of any work on the engine may be disappointing for some, but I actually think that TechArt took a nice detour from the usual route by giving us a kit that doesn’t rely on extra horsepower to become noticeable. It is what it is and is not what the market dictates it to be. Nice work there, TechArt.

  • Leave it
    • No engine upgrade
    • Would you rather just leave the 911 GT3 RS as is?
    • Other options available
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