A nightmare scenario has unfolded for several owners of the ultra-exclusive Porsche 911 GT2 RS after a cargo ship carrying their cars from the factory in Germany caught fire and sank off the coast of France last weekend, dooming the performance masterpieces to a watery grave. Now CarScoops reports Porsche will be restarting production of the GT2 RS, part of the previous 911 generation, to make the affected owners whole.
UPDATE: Porsche has confirmed to The Drive that four 911 GT2 RS models were aboard the Grande America, destined for buyers in Brazil, along with 33 other unspecified Porsches. The automaker also confirmed its plans to revive production of the car to remake those cars to the original order specifications. The full statement is below.
“Porsche Brasil confirms that 37 of its new cars, in route from Hamburg, Germany, to Santos, Brazil, were aboard the vessel Grande America that suffered a maritime incident near the coast of Brest, France, on March 12, 2019. Among the fleet were four 911 GT2RS units. In a special decision and to uphold its commitment to its valued Brazilian customers, Porsche has ensured that those units will be reproduced in the order in which they were originally confirmed.”
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES:
The already-rough year for car carriers on the high seas got even worse on March 12 when a fire broke out in a shipping container aboard the Italian-flagged Grande America, which was bringing around 2,000 brand-new Audis, a number of Porsche 911 GT2 RSs, and non-vehicular cargo to Brazil. Flames quickly overtook the ship, which began to list before capsizing and sinking a day later about 200 miles off the French Atlantic coast in 15,000 feet of water.
Fortunately, the BBC reports that all 27 mariners were rescued without incident. The same can’t be said for those $300,000 Porsches. It’s almost painful to look at pictures of the doomed ship, knowing that somewhere on board, the GT2 RS’s 700-horsepower twin-turbo flat-six engine is submitting to a silent death, never to scream down the Nurburgring en route to a lap record again.The GT2 RS stands as the ultimate expression of the 991 generation of 911, which wrapped up last year, and production of the GT2 RS itself finally wound down in February.
So does that mean these owners are straight out of luck? Typically, reviving an out-of-production car is next to impossible, given all the suppliers, factory lines, and product planning involved. But CarScoops obtained a letter from Porsche to one of the affected GT2 RS owners in Brazil that says the automaker will resume making the car next month to give them their rightful cars. It probably helps that these aren’t mass-market models.
“As you may know, Porsche ended the 991 GT2 RS production on February 2019 and under normal circumstances, it wouldn’t be possible to give you another car,” the letter reads in Portuguese. “But, due to the nature of the situation, and considering that you’re a loyal and highly valuable customer for our brand, Porsche has decided to resume the GT2 RS production in Germany, and your vehicle will be produced in April, with delivery scheduled for June.”
Historically, would-be owners of Porsche’s exclusive 911 GT cars have had to endure a minefield of long waitlists, exorbitant markups, and the occasional international criminal conspiracy to get their hands on Weissach’s fastest and finest. It looked as though we’d be adding shipwrecks to that list—not this time.
By: Kyle Cheromcha, March 19, 2019