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HomeINTERNATIONAL REVEALPORSCHE 911 GT3 RS

PORSCHE 911 GT3 RS

Purpose-built for Performance |

It is the most extreme street-legal 911 model yet. As the roadgoing version of its radical motorsport brother, the 911 GT3 R, this 381 kW road-legal high-performance sports car is uncompromisingly designed for maximum performance – taking full advantage of motorsport-derived concepts and technology.

It is also a perfect tribute to 50 years of the Carrera RS badge. A specially customised new 911 GT3 RS in non-metallic white and Python Green made its appearance at the recent The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering and the Monterey Car Week in California to celebrate the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7 – serving as inspiration for a limited offering exclusive to US customers.

The 386 kW of the 4.0-litre naturally aspirated boxer six-cylinder engine in the new 911 GT3 RS, delivered up to a heady 9,000 r/min, is routed exclusively to the rear wheels via a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission. Making extensive use of motorsport-derived aerodynamics, it generates more than 400 kg of downforce at 200 km/h and 860 kg of downforce at 285 km/h.

However, beyond the high-revving engine with intelligent lightweight construction, it is, above all, the cooling and aerodynamic systems of the new 911 GT3 RS that connect it most directly with its motorsport sibling. The basis for a significant performance boost is the concept of a central radiator – an idea first used in the Le Mans class-winning 911 RSR and subsequently in the 911 GT3 R. 

Centre Radiator

Instead of the three-radiator layout of previous cars, the new GT3 RS relies on a large, angled centre radiator in the nose, positioned where the luggage compartment is located on other 911s. This has enabled the freed-up space to integrate active aerodynamic elements, including continuously adjustable wing elements in the front and on the two-part rear wing.

A drag reduction system (DRS) has also been fitted for the first time in a production Porsche. To achieve low drag and higher speeds on straight sections, the DRS allows the wings to be flattened out at the push of a button. During hard braking at high speeds, the airbrake positions the wing elements to support deceleration by maximising aerodynamic drag.

The purposeful look of the new GT3 RS is characterised by functional aero elements, including the swan-neck-supported rear wing. Significantly larger in all dimensions than its predecessor’s wing, the upper edge of the rear wing, also for the first time on a Porsche production vehicle, is higher than the roof.

A front splitter divides the airflow over and underneath the car, working in parallel with side blades on the front fascia that deflect air outwards. Distinctive louvred openings in the front quarter panels provide front wheel-arch ventilation. Inlets behind the front wheels – inspired by the Le Mans-winning 911 GT1 – reduce dynamic pressure in the wheel arches. 

Further back, fins on the roof direct the airflow outwards, ensuring cooler intake temperatures in the rear. The rear wheel arches also feature intake and side blades for optimised airflow, and the rear diffuser is a modified version of that fitted to the 911 GT3.

Track Suspension

The components of the double-wishbone front axle (with increased track width) are designed with teardrop-shaped profiles, increasing downforce on the front axle. Pitching under braking has been significantly reduced by setting the front ball joint of the lower trailing arm lower on the front axle. 

The multi-link rear axle has also been adjusted, with modified spring rates, and three driving modes are offered: Normal, Sport and Track. The rear differential and the DRS (with four individual controls) can be adjusted via rotary controls on the steering wheel, and the GT3 RS features the track screen already familiar from the 911 GT3. 

The increase in engine power has been achieved primarily via new camshafts with modified cam profiles, and the PDK (with air intakes on the underbody assisting cooling) has a shorter overall gear ratio than the 911 GT3. This means the 911 GT3 RS can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds and reach a top speed of 296 km/h in seventh gear. 

Compared with the 911 GT3, brake piston diameters and the thickness of the discs have been increased for even better stopping power, and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) are optionally available, with forged light-alloy centre-locking wheels as standard.

Last Word

Intelligent lightweight construction has been a fundamental principle of all RS models since the legendary Carrera RS 2.7. With extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), the 911 GT3 RS weighs only 1,450 kg. The optional Weissach package includes a hood, roof, parts of the rear wing and side mirror housings in visible carbon fibre, PDK shift paddles with motorsport-derived magnet technology, and lightweight forged magnesium wheels.

Essentially an evolution model developed in response to the latest, race-ready GT3 competitor models, such as the Ferrari 296 GT3, the 911 GT3 RS represents the pinnacle of Porsche production model technology. The supercar will be available in South Africa with a starting price of R4,153,000, and customer deliveries are expected to start early next year.

Report by Ferdi de Vos | Images © Porsche AG

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