A SPECIAL VERSION OF A SPECIAL CAR
By Al Khoury
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It’s no secret that we here at Oloi love all things Porsche. From our pair of 911 GT3 coupes to our custom Carrera 4 GTS, our garage is full of speedy German goodness. This month we bring you a rare Porsche owned by a friend of ours. John Hua's 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 has a unique history to match its name.
The GT3 badge has been applied to high-performance 911 street models since 1999. These production cars inherited tech from the GT3 racecars. Some luxury features are removed for weight savings and performance is enhanced via tweaks to the suspension, motor, and aerodynamics.
Porsche introduced the 997 GT3 RS in 2006 for drivers craving an even more hardcore experience. It came to the United States the following year. The car was put on a more extreme crash diet and carbon fiber seats were swapped in, along with a larger wing and roll cage. Even the carpets used a lighter material. Power also saw an increase, naturally.
Before the 997 bowed out, a final RS model was introduced for just the 2011 model year. The 997.2 GT3 RS packed a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine producing 500 horsepower and 493 pound-feet of torque. This was the largest displacement motor ever fitted to a production 911. It featured forged pistons, titanium connecting rods, and a crankshaft lifted from the 911 GT3 RSR race car. The curb weight is 2,998 pounds.
The 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 is not only the final RS of its generation, but it also has the distinction of being the Mezger engine’s swan song. Hans Mezger is an automotive engineer who went to work for Porsche in the 1950s. His decades-long career included development of Porsche’s first air-cooled, six-cylinder boxer engine, which went into the first 911. His contributions helped Porsche find success at Le Mans 24 Hours and Formula One. Though he retired in 1994, Porsche used Mezger’s two-part aluminum crankcase design for many more years.
The 911 GT3 RS 4.0 lapped the famed Nürburgring-Nordschleife in 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Porsche cites a zero to 60 mph time of 3.8 seconds, and race-tuned gearing allows this special RS to hit 124 mph in under 12 seconds. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a mandatory six-speed manual transmission.
The RS 4.0 has carbon fiber seats, front fenders, and luggage compartment lid. The large rear wing with side plates, along with the central tailpipes and functional dive planes on the front bumper combine for a dead giveaway that this is a special version of an already special car. The aero contributes to a total downforce of 426 pounds at top speed, which is 193 mph.
Famed Porsche fanatic and comedian Jerry Seinfeld owned one of these rare coupes, which he designed in collaboration with Porsche Exclusive. The heavily optioned car sold for $665,000 at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2019, inclusive of the buyer’s fee. Its original MSRP was $245,515, a significant bump up from the RS 4.0’s base price of $185,000 (excluding destination).
Our featured 2011 GT3 RS 4.0 is one of 600 units produced, of which just 141 made their way to the U.S. John’s RS is finished in Carrera White with a black interior. He chose to forego any optional equipment beyond full leather seats. He has put about 17,000 miles on the car since purchasing it new.
“I’ve always been a Porsche nut,” John told Oloi. “I don’t buy anything else. This was the RS of the time. I have bought every new RS that ever came out.”
John mostly uses his car as a weekend driver. He has other track day cars, but he takes out the RS 4.0 when he simply wants to take a drive.
The only modification is a set of 19-inch 5-lug BBS Motorsport monoblock wheels. John has no plans to do any more work on the car in the future. He plans on keeping it stock.
“I’m going to keep it forever,” John said. He is the sole driver of the car.
Like Oloi founder Thomas Lee, John has an impressive Porsche collection. His stable has included a 2007 GT3 RS, 2011 GT3 RS 3.8, and every iteration of the non-RS GT3.
When it comes to the RS 4.0, John describes a car that requires skill to control.
“It has just the right amount of horsepower,” John said. “You really have to drive it to make it go. It doesn’t have too many electronic nannies, so the car will slide if you let it slide. It’s a very engaging car. It puts you on your toes so you have to concentrate on driving it. That’s what makes it fun.”
Porsche brought back a 4.0-liter engine for the 991 GT3 RS, albeit with a new design.
“With the 991, they’re all 4.0 engines but they’re a little different,” John said. “It’s a new iteration of the flat six. They may be faster but they feel different.”
Some rare Porsche vehicles have come and gone from John’s hands, but he plans to keep his 2011 GT3 RS 4.0 indefinitely.
“I really enjoy it. I usually don’t keep cars for more than 12 months,” John said. “I’ve had this car for a long time so that says a lot about it. Whatever the specs show on paper are mostly meaningless – the car doesn’t drive like the other RS cars. You have to drive it to understand it. On paper it’s just 200cc bigger than the RS 3.8 but it really is a different car. Also, it is the last of the Mezger engine cars, so it puts an end to an old timer’s engine. That’s what makes it special. That’s why I enjoy it.”