For enthusiasts of Porsche’s RS models, the 997 stands above the rest as one of the greatest modern RS models ever produced. In every iteration, the RS program packs a significant amount of the marque’s motorsport technology and equipment, but as the 997.2 cars neared the conclusion of their production cycle Andreas Preuninger and his team sought to produce the most extreme street-legal iteration of the 997 platform RS the swan song for the beloved Mezger engine while incorporating the as much of their ideas and technology from the GT program as possible.
The RS 4.0 shares the track-specific GT3 R and RSR models’ same block, long-stroke crank, and titanium connecting rods, but received specific components to make it a suitable road car without sacrificing performance. A specific cylinder head was designed for the 4.0 and paired with Variocam-plus variable valve timing. Specially developed catalytic converters with fewer cells and a special coating paired with a free-flowing exhaust system reduced back pressure and simultaneously increased the volume of the Mezger engine’s signature exhaust note, while still meeting its emissions targets. The RS 4.0 received the hand-made air-boxes from the GT3 R Hybrid, adapted to fit and paired to a specially designed two-stage variable intake manifold with wider, shorter runners and produced in a thinner casting. Compression was lowered from 13:1 to 12.6:1, and the resulting total power output was 493 horsepower at 8,250 rpms and 339 lb-ft of torque. At the time of its release, it was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine produced and made an impressive 125 horsepower per liter. PDK was deemed to be too heavy, so only the six-speed manual transmission was available.
Porsche managed to trim an additional 22 lbs through the use of lightweight coil springs, alloy rear underbody diagonal struts, carbon fiber front fenders, and a carbon fiber front hood. While 22 lbs may not seem like a world of difference, when paired with the powerful 4.0-liter engine it had a more favorable power-to-weight ratio than the GT3 RSR. The GT3 RSR had the weight advantage at 2,579 lbs but was limited to 450 horsepower, whereas the 2,800 lb RS 4.0 had a 50 hp advantage- making for a weight-to-horsepower ratio of 5.6 pounds per pound versus the RSR’s 5.73.
Handling was sharpened significantly by new springs and modified rear suspension links and revisions to the aerodynamics. Dive planes on the front bumper and a steeper rear wing angle provided up to 430 pounds of downforce at the RS 4.0’s top speed of 193 mph. Dynamic Engine mounts were added at a four-pound expense, but their ability to automatically adjust the firmness to keep the engine’s mass balanced under hard cornering was deemed more beneficial than detrimental.
Production was limited to only 600 examples worldwide, all were sold within just 14 days of the initial announcement. For the lucky few that we’re able to order one new, only two colors were offered- white and black, along with a slim list of options to choose from with a base price of $185,000.
This RS 4.0 was purchased new by its first owner and has remained in as-new condition with only 57 miles on the odometer, and with the original seat coverings and protective films on the interior still intact. It was ordered with a long list of options which brought the sticker price up to $215,180. PCCB, front-axle lift, dynamic cornering lights, Sport-chrono plus, and the lightweight lithium-ion battery added to the driveability side, whereas the extended carbon package added carbon-fiber trim throughout the cabin to match the carbon-fiber bucket seats, including the air vents and seat belt outlets on the B pillars. Throughout the interior, black leather and red alcantara cover nearly every surface, with additional red alcantara added to the rear section of the center console with raised Porsche lettering on the center console lid, black alcantara trimmed sunvisors contrast the red alcantara headliner, while stitched black leather was added around the steering column. The PCM 3.0 with navigation and bluetooth integration was selected along with the Sound Package Plus option, and auto-dimming mirrors with rain sensor add modern conveniences.
The 997 generation GT cars have consistently seen an increase in desirability among collectors and enthusiasts alike, and the RS 4.0 certainly represents the pinnacle of the platform. For those who missed the tiny window to obtain one when they were released, this example is a rare opportunity to own a single owner, well-optioned, as-new 4.0 in Porsche’s launch color scheme.
Front axle lift
Dynamic cornering lights
Sound package plus
Sport Chrono package plus
PCM 3.0 w/ Navigation and Bluetooth integration
Extended carbon package
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