Over the years, Porsche has been dominating the class of track-focused cars that were so stable even a novice driver could feel like a pro.
Competing manufacturers like Lamborghini and Ferrari failed at taking that one thing away from Porsche: driver confidence.
You’ve never felt more confident behind any other steering wheel than that of a 911.
But today, things are starting to change with more manufacturers stepping up their game like McLaren with the 570S, Lamborghini with the Huracan and Ferrari with the 488: which then leaves us with the question of who indeed makes the best RAW sports car in 2019, and WHY?
Well, today, we are not doing a matchup of all cars out there, but comparing two cars that have made their mark in the history books as being the best of their era for various reasons.
We are comparing the best NA models from the two manufacturers who have been shattering each other’s records at the Nurburgring: the Lamborghini Huracan Performante vs the 991.2 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Both cars offer the raw experience that each manufacturer wanted to create: savage power backed by razor-sharp handling and of course incredibly good looks (as to not mistake the cars for their cheaper, more common counterparts).
But which is a better overall car?
Now that I have both in my garage, I’ve have decided to look at this from an owner’s perspective, not that of an automotive reviewer who only gets a few minutes with the cars at a time.
I have now spent quite a bit of time with both cars and am excited to share with you the many things that caught me by surprise.
While I could keep talking about these cars and their greatness forever, I’ve broken this review down into 4 categories: Design, Function, Performance, and Value.
On the surface, both cars are glorious.
I mean absolutely art and it’s incredible that such beautiful things can be had for such affordable prices in contrast to the $1,000,000 Hypercar market.
From the incredible marble-like “forged carbon” found on the Performante to the unmistakable rear wing and elevated fenders on the GT3 RS, both cars are absolutely marvelous to look at.
The Performante, with its center-mounted exhaust wrapped in forged carbon, its perfect sized rear wing and very distinguishable interior makes the experience far superior to the regular Huracan, which consists mainly of plastic pieces and very boring components.
The Performante fixes everything the Huracan lacks and amplifies it to a level of experience that cannot be matched by a base model car.
The interior is rich, full of Alcantara, and the majority of all this is standard equipment – meaning it’s very hard to find an ugly Performante out there, minus of course ones which exterior colors you don’t love.
The GT3 RS, on the other hand, does a great job with its upgraded dark shadow headlights, center-mount exhaust, new carbon hood with vents and redesigned front & rear bumpers.
While the changes from 16 to 19 seem minor to the untrained eye, the net result is an overall better-designed GT3RS, one that can stand next to a Lamborghini or Ferrari and actually still make people wonder “what is that?” where a base 911 would just seem like it’s out of place.
The new GT3 RS is prettier, slimmer, and more exciting, but it does suffer from the plastic-ness that the first gen Huracan suffered from.
To Porsche’s credit, their cars exterior plastic has always been the focus of their driver’s track days, so owners do not ending up with $20,000 replacement splitters, unlike McLaren and Ferrari.
An optional carbon package and very high-end Alcantara interior is an option pack on the 2019 GT3 RS and will run you upwards of $25,000 in its full configuration, making the investment very steep too at $250K.
Conclusion… I believe the Performante’s overall design is much more awe-inspiring than the GT3 RS, but do not fall victim to the idea that all Porsches are inferior to Lamborghini in design, as I believe this to be one of the best looking Porsches ever made.
One that, in my opinion, is much easier on the eyes than a base Lamborghini Huracan’s design.
How usable is each car, and is there an opportunity for “daily” use, or are they just track cars?
Here is where it gets interesting.
Both cars are very useable and while one gives you the best race seat experience in terms of comfort and function (GT3 RS), the other gives you the worst.
If you are going to buy a Performante, DO NOT get the race seats.
Instead, get the comfort seats.
This will bring the price down of the MSRP, but the resale will actually go up as those race seats are like sitting on bricks.
It’s the exact opposite for the GT3 RS, as the race seats are a must-option, super comfortable, help resale value, and cost more, but are 1000% worth it for the experience and resale.
The radio interface is 100% better on the Porsche with an easy-to-use screen, clear buttons, and is not a distraction from the driving experience.
The Lamborghini has a very high-end looking integrated screen in the dashboard, coupled with center console buttons that may make sense after a few days or weeks, but at first, you’ll have no idea how to work the thing.
Both have killer sound systems, but the Performante’s $5,000 upgraded Hi-Fi does a better job.
Neither has rear seats, but there is more usable space in the back of the GT3 RS even when the optional cage is installed.
Trunk/Frunk space is also much, much better in the GT3 RS than the Lamborghini.
To give you context, I could not even fit 7 medium-sized toys in the trunk area of the Performante prior to the 2018 Toys for Tots charity drive in Miami.
It’s not an absolute need, but there should be at least enough room to fit two duffel bags for a weekend away with your significant other.
Both cars operate on center-lock wheels which is a nice feature and very race like to the common people on the road.
Conclusion… The GT3 RS is a more functional car even though it is actually the more track-focused of the two.
Perhaps because Porsche knows their drivers are simple and function-driven, not just attention seekers.
They have created a car you can live with as much as you can show off.
This is the thing most people want to know: which one is faster and better both on and off the track?
The answer to this is complicated, as both cars are very good, but in very different ways.
At the end of the day, they’re both exceptionally fast… but I decided to examine their performance based on how much confidence the car instills in the driver, not just pure speed.
The GT3 RS is powered by a 4-liter NA motor that requires 4,000 RPM to even wake up… but when it does, it becomes a brute and feels scary fast.
While it’s not AWD, it still has a ton of poise on the road while providing the sense of danger without letting you hurt yourself.
This is important because it doesn’t take away the fun factor the way the new NSX did.
In the Porsche, you feel fast, you feel confident and you still feel like your decisions matter.
On the other hand, it sounds awful with the stock exhaust (easy fix as exhaust can be found as little as $500 using our advanced strategies) and the brakes squeal way more than they should (more common on the 18-19 cars than the 16), which takes away from the street performance of the car.
The Performante sounds incredible right out of the box.
So incredible, in fact, that I absolutely refuse to upgrade my exhaust.
The three driving modes (Strada, Sport, & Corsa) wake up the NA V10 with precision and create an unrivaled driving experience.
The speed seems to be very similar to the GT3 RS, with more acceleration in the higher gears but more fun in the lower ones meaning you don’t have to break 100 MPH to feel like you are enjoying the experience.
The dynamic steering and magnetic ride upgrades are a must, and while costly, alter the experience and differentiate it from the normal Huracan by a mile.
Here is where things get interesting….
The Performante, while being a Lamborghini, instills more confidence than the GT3 RS in turns, at launches, and just about anywhere else.
Lamborghini has managed to create a better driver’s car than Porsche.
While I understand that not every driver lives at the track, the Performante also more enjoyable every day which is why it wins in the Performance category.
So, what about resale?
After all, we are Exotic Car Hacks, not Motor Trend, so it would make sense that we discuss which is worth collecting and investing in, and which is worth saving a few bucks and running from.
In the end, this game is about making sure we don’t lose money while we still get to enjoy the greatest cars in the world.
My Performante has a sticker price of roughly $360K, while my GT3 RS is $223K, so there is a BIG difference in the initial investment which is where the conversation gets fun.
Is the GT3 RS worth $220K?
YES, which is probably why 2016 cars stayed at sticker value even used for over 3 years before recently plunging to $30K below sticker on their 4th year as a market reaction to the release of the new 2019.
I can’t think of a better car at that number.
Is the Performante Spyder or Coupe worth mid $300s?
The answer, simply, is NO.
While I believe that Lamborghini has created their best car yet on its most modern platform, I also believe that it’s highly overpriced compared to what else is on the market.
This is why in its first year, cars are trending from the high $280’s to mid $320’s for convertibles.
This means the market is adjusting the inflated retail value down to make the secondary market more competitive with what’s out there.
Which should you buy?
I think the Performante is a better car, but I feel the GT3 RS is better value.
In the end, the Performante is not twice as good as the GT3 RS, yet it costs almost $150K more.
Based on that alone, as much as it saddens me to say it as a Lamborghini fanatic, I believe the 2019 GT3 RS remains the better choice of the two cars overall, while the Performante the more fun and exciting one.