Extreme version of Porsche’s road racer gets uprated 4.0-litre flat six and less weight; priced at £131,296 and revealed at Geneva
6 March 2015

Porsche has equipped its new 911 GT3 RS with a 4.0-litre version of its naturally aspirated six-cylinder boxer engine boasting the same 493bhp as the similarly configured unit used by its predecessor, but with an additional 15lb ft at 384lb ft.

Unveiled at the Geneva show, prior to going on sale in the UK in May at a price of £131,296, the pared-down road racer is based on the latest 911 GT3.

The GT3 RS is clothed in a modified aluminium body borrowed from the 911 Turbo. In order to save weight and lower the centre of gravity, it has a new magnesium roof structure and a bonnet and engine lid fashioned from carbonfibre-reinforced plastic.

The bonnet and roof each feature a 30cm-wide indent down their centre line in a look reminiscent of that seen on earlier air-cooled 911s. The engine lid has additional cooling elements and an integrated ducktail-style spoiler aimed at increasing downforce at speed.

The aerodynamic package also includes a prominent splitter element, modified front wings with integrated air ducts to lower the pressure in the wheel house and reduce front axle lift, and a large, adjustable rear wing.

Despite the adoption of the wider 911 Turbo’s bodyshell, the 911 GT3 RS’s kerb weight of 1420kg — 10kg under that of the standard 911 GT3 — endows it with a power-to-weight ratio of 347bhp per tonne. This gives it a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.3sec — 0.6sec faster than the old 911 GT3 RS — and a 0-124mph time of 10.9sec.

Top speed varies according to the amount of downforce dialled into the rear wing, although Porsche officials suggest it will crack 200mph in low-downforce guise.

Details of the extent of the changes made to the 4.0-litre engine used by 911 GT3 RS remain under wraps, although its 493bhp and 384lb ft are 25bhp and 60lb ft more than that produced by the 3.8-litre powerplant found in its standard sibling, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated engine yet to be fitted to a road-going version of the iconic 911.

Drive is sent to the rear wheels through a reworked seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and fully variable locking differential with an integrated torque vectoring function.

Porsche claims the new 911 GT3 RS is capable of lapping the Nürburgring in just 7min 20sec.

In the meantime, Porsche is also working on a brand-new supercar to compete with the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 675LT. Wolfgang Hatz, head of research and development at Porsche, has said it will be ready by the end of the decade “at the latest”.

Details are patchy, but the car is believed to feature the brand-new V8 motor already in development for the new Panamera, its 928-replacing two-door variant and the next Cayenne.

Mounted amidships behind the driver, the engine is likely to follow current thinking and derive its power as much from turbocharging as from its displacement. 

It is not yet known whether the car will feature any degree of hybridisation. However, it is clear that this is not a replacement for the 918 Spyder hypercar but a standard, production model. Hatz has, however, also confirmed that a new 918 will eventually be built.

Porsche's two-door sports car future

911

New 500bhp GT3 RS will be unveiled in March and followed this autumn by the second-generation ‘991’ 911, featuring a new range of turbocharged engines based on the new motor designed for the RS. A flat-six configuration will be retained without hybridisation, which Porsche feels to be more useful in cars like the Cayenne and Panamera.

Hatz has also confirmed that despite comments made by at least one of his predecessors, the new turbocharged flat-four engine Porsche has been known to be working on for some years will not find its way into the back of a 911. "A 911 has a flat-six engine," said Hatz, and left it at that.

Instead, the new flat-four will first appear in the Boxster early next year and should also feature in the Cayman.

Cayman

New £64,451, 380bhp flagship Cayman GT4 will be joined at the other end of the range by a new four-cylinder entry-level model. The new engine, which is two-thirds of the new flat six, should displace around 2.0 litres but will be turbocharged to provide “proper Porsche performance”.

Boxster

This will also receive the new four-cylinder engine. Moreover, there will be a new variant that’s likely to be the most sporting model in the current range. Tipped as a replacement for the popular Spyder of 2011, the car - possibly bearing the Club Sport name but not GT4 - is expected to have a little more power and a lot less weight.

It will be developed by the mainstream Porsche operation, not the Motorsport department that is responsible for the Cayman GT4.

Expect the new car to be only marginally more powerful than the current 325bhp Boxster GTS, and for the bulk of its additional dynamic prowess to be derived from a weight loss programme and a yet more sporting chassis set-up.

918 replacement and a new super car

Now that the 918 has sold out, its place as the Porsche flagship will be taken by the new mid-engined supercar, due to break cover by the end of the decade.  It is believed to be powered by a version of the all-new V8 engine that Porsche is known to be developing for the Cayenne and Panamera. Hatz said the new car would be with us before the end of the decade "at the latest".

Having proved that it can sell 918 units of a car for which conventional wisdom suggested there should be only about 500 buyers, Porsche is sure to replace it, but only after a suitable gap. Typically, Ferrari spaces its hypercars at 10-year intervals.

Read more about the Geneva motor show

Get the latest car news, reviews and galleries from Autocar direct to your inbox every week. Enter your email address below:

Our Verdict

Porsche 911 GT3
Like its predecessors, the new 911 GT3 has been developed to provide a platform for Porsche’s lucrative clubsport division

Latest 911 GT3 is big and brutal; despite this Porsche has made it faster, more responsive and more user-friendly than ever

Join the debate

Comments
17

13 February 2015
I note the GT3 RS rendering is wearing a 26 plate. Is Autocar suggesting it might not appear until 2026?

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

13 February 2015
The rendering is of the 2026 Porsche 911 GT9RS. The car is completely new, and shares no parts with the outgoing model. The most revolutionary element of the design are the door mirrors, which have been painted in a garish red paint colour. This version of the car will be the most extreme version of the car to date, and be able to lap the Nurburgring faster than the previous versions by 2-3 seconds.

13 February 2015
Where's the news on Porsche's most important products, the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera?

13 February 2015
Halfabee wrote:
Where's the news on Porsche's most important products, the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera?
autocar wrote:
There are turbocharged models in both the Macan and Cayenne ranges that do not bear ‘Turbo’ badging, so expect the same approach for the new 911.
There is a small amount on those models, but remember although those are the big sellers Porsche's heart will always lie with their true-blooded sports cars. As this aticle confirms...

13 February 2015
If it's News we want,how about there Supercar?

Peter Cavellini.

13 February 2015
Just when we were getting disappointed with arguably the most accomplished sports car brand for turbocharging the iconic 911, they win us round again by promising a host of new breath-taking models. Are we about to witness Porsche's finest hour? A new hypercar, supercar, 911 GT3 RS, Cayman GT4 and perhaps 911 GT2 RS would suggest so ...

13 February 2015
Still think VAG should have gone for a sub-Boxster size car together with the VW Bluesport and Audi equivalent.

13 February 2015
Very very very sad news... RIP 911, Boxster and Cayman.

23 February 2015
A manual gearbox! Tears of joy at the mere suggestion. I going to open a bottle of nice wine (note not the most efficient way of nourishing the body,but just like a manual gearbox, that argument laughably misses the point in so many ways).

23 February 2015
A manual gearbox! Tears of joy at the mere suggestion. I going to open a bottle of nice wine (note not the most efficient way of nourishing the body,but just like a manual gearbox, that argument laughably misses the point in so many ways).

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Lavishly-equipped, rugged-looking Peugeot 508 estate is a pleasant drive, but there are many more recommendable alternatives
  • 308 GT 1.6-litre petrol is priced from £24,095
    First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Peugeot's given the 308 the engine from the 208 GTi 30th and some chassis upgrades; we find out if the changes bring a bit of old-school Peugeot hot-hatch magic to this likeable family hatch.
  • Car review
    26 March 2015
    Does Suzuki's new city runabout have what it takes to succeed?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    Collins Performance has given the Fiesta ST 270bhp and 265lb ft, but has our favourite fast Ford been ruined in the process?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    The Seat Leon X-Perience is the closest thing to an SUV that you can buy with a Seat badge for now, blending estate practicality with off-road ability