The 997 GT3 RS was so successful and well-received from the time of its debut that Porsche decided to produce the most extreme street-legal iteration of the 997.2 platform Rennsport cars as it neared the conclusion of its production cycle. It was intended to be the sum of their ideas and technology within the GT program, and the swan song for the beloved Mezger engine. As expected, the RS 4.0 was lighter, more precise, more powerful than its 3.8 liter siblings- and by many aficionados standards- perfect.
The RS 4.0 shares the same block, long-stroke crank, and titanium connecting rods from the track-specific GT3 R and RSR models, but received a number of 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. While the GT3 RSR’s potential power was hindered by the mandatory “restrictor plates”, 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.
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. 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 power-to-weight 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. It instantly became an icon and is still regarded to be one of the greatest Porsche road cars ever released. 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.
This number 515 of 600, and is one of 126 RS 4.0s that were delivered to the United States. Its original owner configured it in Carrara White with the standard silver-and-red graphics package and wheels painted in GT Silver metallic. The optional ceramic brakes were selected and tagged on a premium of $8,840 to the $185,000 base price. The Sound Package Plus, Aluminum footrest, and exterior color headlight cleaners rounded out the list of options. Its two previous owners have demonstrated incredible restraint, as the odometer shows a mere 629 miles. By every measure, this example presents like a new car and includes the indoor car cover with a duffel bag, helmet with case, and all of the factory booklets and manuals.
This GT3 RS 4.0 is an impeccable example of one of the last truly driver-focused sports cars and is undoubtedly a sound investment for the collector and driver alike.
Number 515 of 600
One of 126 delivered to the U. S.
Porsche Ceramic-Composite Brakes (PCCB)
Get RS Insights sent to your e-mail monthly.