Long-term Update: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Unsprung hate? All you need is hub.


In the marketing materials, Porsche claims the 4.0's standard center-lock wheel arrangement reduces unsprung weight. According to my scale, that's not necessarily true. Even if it was, the whole system is a huge pain to deal with—you need to buy a special geared tool to amplify the torque to the 440 lb-ft (!) required for each wheel's single nut, and the process of tightening-loosening-tightening is a huge production. The torque is so great that it requires the help of a second person to hit the brakes so the front wheel doesn't spin when you wrench on it, and my wife usually has better things to do.

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Always one to look for the elegant (and lightweight) solution, I swapped the whole deal for old-school, five-lug hubs. The change was relatively straightforward; new hubs from a 2007–2008 GT3 and new wheel bearings ($1700), labor ($1700). I also had to buy new wheels ($3500), but selling the old ones ($3000) helped defray some of that cost.

Now the car is on Forgeline GA1R wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. A second set of GA1Rs is wrapped in Hoosier race rubber for the track. They may not be as visually appealing to a certain crowd, but they're a heck of a lot easier to live with. Just ask my wife.

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Vital Stats

  • Base Price: $187,650; as tested $197,190
  • Powertrain: 4.0-liter H-6, 500 hp, 339 lb-ft; RWD, 6-speed manual
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