Again, the entry phase is spellbinding: a wrist flick and it's nailed. You have to stifle a chortle as the car defies physical convention, and then, midcorner, its vast 285-section-width front Michelin Super Sports (a brand-new Cup tire with 9/32 of an inch of tread) claw into the surface and allow the driver to indulge the gas pedal. It's all so simple. The apex is clipped, and you push the long-travel throttle into the bulkhead and then clench your nether regions for the inevitable slap of V-12 motive force. It comes only briefly, though: the rear axle accepts the torque but then begins to yaw ever so slightly, and the F1-Trac stability control intervenes-the motoring equivalent of the dad's entrance into the infamous kitchen scene in American Pie.
It seems strange, because it doesn't actually feel like you're making an especially awkward demand of the 315-section rear tires, but the hip-shimmy confirms that you've overstepped the mark. It's a theme perpetuated throughout the lap: brain-bending entry speeds, disappointing traction on the way out. It feels quite strange, too. In a car like this, you'd normally expect to nurse it into and through the apex and then unwind the lock, unleash the afterburners, and feel a smile kissing the inside of your helmet's chin bar. But sadly, the GTO can't always deploy its firepower. This contrasts sharply with The Other Car, the fastest Beetle of them all.
But before we delve into the dynamic differences of Porsche's latest contribution to spec-sheet hyperbole, we should investigate the technical diversity represented by these two cars. Those who complain that automobiles in general are increasingly formulaic in terms of layout, construction, and orientation need look no further than the $416,150 Ferrari 599GTO and the $245,950 Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
With the 599, Ferrari has chosen an unlikely basis for its fastest and most powerful street car. The GTB Fiorano is a big lump of GT loveliness, but despite an aluminum body, it is quite heavy, and the racier GTO remains a 3500-pound proposition. However, mass becomes less of a problem if you're propelled by a diamond-polished V-12 that brings 661 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. Ferrari claims some immense performance figures, aided in no small part by the latest, and perhaps last, incarnation of the automated F1 gearbox.