May 19, 2010

Is this the best enthusiast car made today?

One of the many stories to emerge from the 2010 edition of the Nürburgring 24 Hour race, along with BMW's win and the performance of Porsche's Hybrid RSR was the thirteenth overall placing of an essentially stock street car, a Porsche 997 GT3 RS (mkII). Yes, the car was running on slick tires and had different springs to compensate but it's not unlike what a regular tracktard like you or I (presuming we could afford an RS that is!) might do.

This was the car Walter Röhrl was to co-drive but could not. In the video another ring "legend", Horst Von Saurma, chief editor of Germany's Sport Auto and the man whose lap times in tests at the Nordschleife are generally considered to be the real "benchmark" for a car's true performance.

What a sound, what a car, I submit to you there is not another car made right now that would have been capable of duplicating the GT3 RS' result.

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  1. No argument about the sound... absolutely superb.

  2. Very much have to agree. As much as i like the BMW M3, it won't be able to survive the 24 hours. Even if it's the GTS version. I know from experience... ahem.

    Nothing but respect for the GT3 RS and Porsche in general (Although, Cayenne and Panamera aren't really my thing.).

    Too bad about this years 24h result, but the Hybrid showed that it can keep up, albeit with a trick here and there.

    Looking forward to next year. Keep it up!

  3. Any idea why most of his downshifts are done without rev-matching?

  4. He is not overdoing the rev-matching (just enough). Also, that's an extremely RELAXED EASY lap. He is far from 100% pace. Just played that vid against mine (on a 3.6 GT3 with streets) and he is very gentle on the drivetrain coming out of slow corners (less accel, less stress), but keeps the momentum on high speed sections using the grippier tires.

    It was clear that the mandate was to finish over raw speed (as it always is in 24hr races).

    I think the F430 did an awesome job being its first time ever at that race. I think a Scuderia would be a capable chariot too, but for the price the 3 RS wins as the Tracktard value weapon of choice.

  5. We possibly have a different view of what "enthusiast" means, lol.

    Won't argue anything about the car's performance, it's quite the machine. However I don't think a car north of $120k is "enthusiast". I guess someone who can buy a super car can be "enthusiastic" about driving, but I kind of associate the term with normal people who can buy normal cars, like.. south of $50k for a track car, on the high end.

  6. Well a 997 GT3 RS will be $50-$60K in 5 years. Just like what 996 GT3s are now...
    But the reality of the market is that there is NO real new TRACK READY car (and I mean car not a Toy/formula/kitcar like and Atom or Radical) in the market nowadays in the $50K range. Anything you buy will have to put significant $ to make it real track worthy and then that's all $ that has 100% instant depreciation, and most likely will become street useless or seriously compromised.

    In a GT3, you loose 15% 1st year and 10% each year after until year 4 when depreciation slows down. All in capex cost is around $15K per year + consumables. I think its great value.

    Don't look at the headline number, look at the total true cost of ownership. Replace with new (or 1 year old) the year the warranty expires and you are golden. If you track any car hard (10-20+ race pace track days) for 5+ years it WILL fall apart and you will have to rebuild it almost completely (just like a racecar), and it will cost a fortune ($50K car will be worth $10K having put $20K in aftermarket bits: Total cost $60K). Spend $40 - $50K in depreciation over 3 years on a GT3 and you are much better off (plus winning the Tracktard Regional DE Championship!!)

  7. I have to kind of agree with Tekniq here. Undoubtedly this is a very nice car. However, if the point is to drive it on the track why even start with a street car to begin with? Why would you even want to drive your race/track car on the street? Besides the deprecation will the GT3 not also eat all the other parts and consumables that a $10, $20, $30 or $40k track car will?

  8. Yeah, as much depreciation math as you want to throw at it... this isn't a bargain at all and will never be, heh. If you track it constantly and ruin it, it's too expencive to own and there are faster cars for less money that aren't street legal (and some that are, just with no interiors... or roofs). The cost of ownership is through the roof (ESPECIALLY if you use it as an "enthusiast car") and you could never sell it for 20% of what you paid after 4-5 years of tracking it.

    If you weren't going to track it, there's a hell of a lot nicer GT cars I'd want besides a GT3 RS. So honestly... that's a god awful car for the "enthusiast" unless you're very wealthy and can spend money endlessly on it. Mind you, that sure as hell isn't a god awful car by any other definition.

    Wonderful, Wonderful car if you can afford it. I just know I can't. And once I could, it'd need so much maintenance I once again couldn't afford it... and then something else would be 130k, be "50-60k 5 years off" and be faster then a GT3. That's a rich boys toy, straight and to the point, and not one I think I'll ever be in the ownership of anytime soon :P

  9. @teqniq. Well part of the game here ( and it is a game for fun, don't forget) is that the has to be able to finish top 20 at the Nürburgring 24hr.... :)

    Forget admission price for a second (I track a 10 year old car people snicker at..:)) CG's argument is solid. How much have we all spent bringing our "Street" cars up to track day duty? Probably quite a bit. For example, how many M3 owners have dropped what is it, 6 or 7 grand on a Brembooor Stoptech system??? How many have put Moton shocks, adjustable suspension, camber plates, race seats....list goes on but if you add all of that up and plug it into the depreciation-performance formula... meh, I bet percentage wise you are there.

    ANyway, If I could, I would, in a second!

  10. I won't argue with you, or anyone on the "Would if I could" sentiment! Phenomenal piece of kit, I'll never say anything different.

    I wasn't aware part of the game was it had to finish top 20 at Nürburgring 24hr... I suppose that does narrow down the choices quit a bit! Honestly anything with a Porsche badge on it would be bought with the heart, not the head, anyway so my little argument would be invalid to begin with :)

    I'm also not sure if the "rules" entailed that it had to be street-able or not. Plenty of "budget" track cars are simply salvaged or unable to be titled cars bought on the cheap and then throw a lot of parts and creative engineering at! Those tend to be my favorite "Track Day" weapons :P


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