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A Brief History of the Porsche 911 GT2 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed


The GT2 is back! We got the official run-down of the new Widowmaker at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, and to celebrate the launch of the new range-topping neunelfer, Porsche rolled out some historical GT2 and GT2-esque models. Here’s the timeline we got to look at — but not touch — at the Goodwood Circuit.

1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera

This is where it all began. It’s not a GT2, but the 930 is best seen as genesis for the future of Porsche’s forced-induction efforts. Like the modern GT2, the original Turbo Carrera was raw, uncompromising, and effortlessly fast.

The first turbocharged 911s arrived in the mid-‘70s, and wore a great deal of go-fast hardware derived from Porsche’s motorsport excellence. This ’76 Turbo is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six, putting down 260 hp to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission.

1992 Porsche 964 911 Turbo S

Skipping forward through history, this is where the ethos behind the GT2 begins to take shape. 964 Turbos are seen as the final “hardcore” Turbos before the model transitioned into luxurious, all-wheel-drive autobahn bruisers with the following 993 generation. This bright yellow example is a rare 964 911 Turbo S ‘Leichtbau’, a stripped-down, boosted-up variation of the regular 3.3-liter 964 Turbo.

These Turbo S’ were projects pulled from Porsche’s Exclusive department, and employed a host of experimental technology and design not found anywhere else in the automaker’s full production offerings. Compared to the regular 964 Turbo, the S shed around 400 pounds thanks to a heavily de-contented interior, carbon composite body panels, thinner glass, less sound insulation, and the removal of the rear seats.

The 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six was prodded with a stick, now spitting out a heady 376 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. This twist was routed to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission, allowing for a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds.

Just 86 of these 3.3S were made, and change hands today for seven-figure sums.

1994 Porsche 993 911 GT2

Unlike the later 911 GT3, the first GT2 pulled its name from the racing class it was homologated for – in this case, the FIA’s GT2 series. This was the first true GT2, both in name and in purpose. The 993 GT2’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six churned out 444 hp and 432 lb-ft of torque, a tremendous figure for Porsche’s flat-six’ during that time. Power was managed by a six-speed manual transmission, and sent to just the rear wheels.

Inside, the 993 GT2 was a model of asceticism. Engineers yanked out the power front and rear seats, radio, and door handles (color-matched nylon door pulls did the job perfectly). Plastic fender flares were bolted on, giving the car an incredibly aggressive appearance, while aluminum body panels and thinner glass kept things light.

There were only 57 of these homologation specials made, none of which made their way into the U.S.

2010 Porsche 997.2 911 GT2 RS

This 997.2 GT2 is the first “RS” variant of the GT2, and up until the new car, remained the most powerful 911 ever snuck into production. Keeping in-line with other RS models, the GT2 RS offered less weight and more power, in this case a nearly 100 hp bump over the 997.1 GT2.

Power came from a 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six, offering 612 hp and a 516 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 arrived in just 3.5 seconds, on its way to a lofty top speed of 205 mph.

Only 500 of these monsters were made, far less than the “unlimited” production of the new 991.2 GT2 RS.

Bonus: Porsche 996 911 GT2

Keen Porschephiles will notice a gaping hole in this mini-timeline between the 993 and the 997.2 — the controversial 996-generation 911 spawned a GT2 variant, as did the first iteration of the 997. A 997.1 GT2 (523 hp/505 lb-ft) was nowhere to be found, but luckily we stumbled upon this 996 GT2 parked in a Goodwood spectator lot.

Compared to the 993 GT2, the 996 version was created primarily as a roadcar rather than a homologation track special. Don’t sell the 996 GT2 short, however – the twin-turbo 3.6-liter flat-six still spits out 476 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, enough to slingshot the car to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds.



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