Too Much RS-pect

Too Much RS-pect

Another year, another GT3 RS and another plethora of Car of the Year crownings. It’s undeniably one of the finest sports cars to ever be produced, but there’s a sense of inevitability and monotony about any group test where it’s a protagonist.

Ever since the late 90s when the 996 iteration was lauded for bringing racing feel and dynamics to the road the GT3 seems to have improved and improved to a point where you think it can’t be perfected anymore… and then another one comes out. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks they’re reading the same articles year after year…

[two_columns ]

Flicking through a few of the weekly and monthly periodicals ‘feel’, ‘intuitive’ and ‘organic’ are all common terms for the way the GT3 drives and goes about its day-to-day business; essentially lapping tracks very quickly.

But what if Mallory Park is not part of your estate? What if you think the trackday scene is a tragic assembly of spotty charlatan racers and rotund Doncastrian plumbers? Where does the RS fit in the world of chic northern continental sophistication? Nowhere, I’m guessing, and that’s the main issue with a car so focused on one hardcore area of driving.

It seems no matter what how much Ferrari revolutionises the ease of exploiting performance, it can’t win the affections of hacks who ultimately prefer a manual gearbox, rollcage and fire extinguisher in the passenger footwell.

Perhaps it’s a perennial message for manufacturers who are forever obsessed with the quickest dual-clutch gearshift and 5 –way traction control systems, or maybe it’s the journos tacitly promoting the size of their Galias and own capabilities at the helm…

Whatever the reason, it would be nice for readers to sit down without partially regurgitated wording and the remote possibility of a competitive test.

[/two_columns] [two_columns_last ]

Steve DaviesSteve Davies
Tuesday 21 December 2010, 11:30 GMT


One particular occasion comes to mind that illustrates how potentially misleading group tests and CoTY verdicts can be. The cars in question were Audi’s newly-launched TTS and Porsche’s entry-level 2.7-litre Cayman.

I remember running both cars during the week we had them and whilst the Cayman was its usual multi-talented self, it was the TTS that brought the biggest smile to my face. Its talents were more evident more of the time and could be accessed with far less effort. Was it as worthy as the Cayman? Probably not. But which did I enjoy driving most of the time? The TTS by an easy margin. That’s not the conclusion we published at the time, which shows just how misleading and ultimately pointless these verdicts can be.

Sometimes when the shoe fits, it really only fits a specific type of person and the hackneyed journo is often the least well qualified to judge on behalf of the average driver.

Audi TTS vs Porsche Cayman

  • Zakspeed

    Steve’s viewpoint is on the money. It’s why I’d take a Focus ST (or Volvo C30) with their smile-inducing, warbly 5-pots ahead of anything with an anonymous 4-cylinder regardless of being nose-heavy or a few seconds slower around somewhere frequented by ‘Doncastrian plumbers’.

    I enjoy Car of the Year time, but only for tales of a great journey. As a barometer for picking your next car, however, they’re particularly ineffective.