I recently had the chance to drive a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3RS 4.0, which is one of the most expensive modern Porsche models. Porsche built only 600 examples of the RS 4.0 at the very end of the production run for the 997 version of the 911. Each car is individually numbered, and they’re all worth big money.
Just how much money? Well, a GT3RS 4.0 is currently the most expensive 911 on Autotrader, with an asking price of around $500,000, and other GT3RS 4.0 models have sold for that figure or close to it. The RS 4.0 was considered the ultimate track-focused 997 model, even more than the 997 GT2RS, and its prices and the fact that it’s a "numbered" car reflect that reputation.
Which brings me back to the driving experience: Did this drive like a $500,000 car?
I had the chance to drive the GT3RS 4.0 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I took it on some exciting roads where I was able to open it up. What I discovered is that the RS 4.0 is truly a joy to drive, with excellent, communicative steering and impressive power at all ends of the spectrum, which is no surprise, as it boasts around 500 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. Rev matching is easy, the steering wheel offers a tremendously connected feel, and the car is just fun to throw around. It’s amazing.
But I didn’t think it was quite as amazing as the new GT2RS I recently reviewed, which is a car that can easily be had for $250,000 or maybe less, even if you aren’t "in the know," as Porsche plans to build a relatively high number of them. The GT3RS 4.0 is special, sure — a halo model of the 911 — but time marches on, and as it does, cars become sharper, faster and better refined. The RS 4.0’s primary benefit was its manual transmission, but Porsche has even brought that back, leaving the RS 4.0 to be something of an orphan, a car we all thought would be the end of the line, but then … wasn’t.
Nonetheless, it’s still the ultimate 997, and the "ultimate" version of any Porsche 911 will always be remembered as a special car, particularly when it’s individually numbered. And it’s amazing to drive, with excellent geometry and a wonderful driving experience that you generally associate with Porsche models, particularly GT3 and GT3RS cars. I’m just not so sure it’s $500,000-level amazing.