The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organisers of the Dakar Rally (formerly Paris-Dakar), have cancelled this year's event, just a day before the scheduled January 5 start in Lisbon, citing terrorist threats in Mauritania and warnings from the French government.
The GT2 has always been the ultimate road-going 911, does this one live up to the name?
When word seeped out that the new GT2 RS would have 88bhp more than the now defunct GT2, yet weigh 70kg less (at 1,370kg), instant iconic status seemed assured: this would be the most powerful Porsche road car yet made.
But the latest RS is about much more than just horsepower, even if that does tend to weigh heavily on your mind before driving it. It’s best viewed as a current gen2, GT3 RS, complete with all that car’s weight-saving modifications - such as the polycarbonate rear window and ‘lightweight’ interior - and then with more bespoke items fitted like a carbon fibre bonnet, carbon-plastic front wings and the small matter of a ferocious twin-turbo flat six mounted in the rear.
Throughout the GT2 RS there are signs of meticulous detail engineering, from the rose joints in the rear suspension to the integrated front wheel arch extensions, the polycarbonate rear side screens and even the deletion of the roof rack holders in the roof skin. The latter might save just 500g, but their omission is a testament to the work that’s gone into creating this car.
Strangely though, the first thing that strikes you when driving it is not the incredible performance, but the ease with which it can be driven normally, and its relative comfort. The ride quality is surprisingly good, the controls fairly light and totally precise, and there’s an agility about it that you can sense immediately.
Of course, what you’re really waiting for is that moment to fully open the taps: the moment you first feel ‘the force’. And what a force it is. This is a car where 160mph seems ridiculously within reach on a wide range of differing road types. With 0-100mph available in just 6.8sec, and 0-186mph in 28.9sec, unleashing the GT2 RS is like hanging onto the tail fin of an air-to-air missile.
But there’s so much more to this car than just straight-line speed. The way it steers is sensational, the front-end grip prodigious, and you find yourself relishing the corners even more so than the straights. Yes, it sounds business-like rather than multi-cylinder operatic, and for some it’ll be ‘just another’ 911, but this is surely one of the very greatest 911s yet made, and accolades don’t come much higher. At £167,915, when you consider the performance, it almost seems like something of a bargain. Iconic status? Totally.