Currently reading: New Porsche 911 GT3 RS packs 493bhp
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
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4 mins read
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.

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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.

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Comments
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DVB99 9 March 2015

Less is more

Looks good, although As with most 911's - the standard Carrera seems the best value.
90% of the performance for 60% of the price.

Definately a case of less is more!

madmac 6 March 2015

GT3RS for me,I knew it would

GT3RS for me,I knew it would be good but when you consider all the tech and CF wings,etc it is a bargain compared to a Ferrari or McLaren,and will be a much better and more reliable Daily Driver and run rings round them.It wil also hold its value,something you cannot say [even now] about an F-Type R.
For a touring machine to go to the Riviera the Bentley looks good,pleasantly surprised at that.
The Aston THING ,on the other hand ,is AWFUL!What are they thinking?
Cyborg 3 March 2015

GT3 RS

A nice extra dollop of torque, but very marginal horsepower increase and kerb weight reductions compared to the standard GT3 and in a much uglier body...the worst looking GT3 RS so far. I'm a little disappointed. And not just with Porsche, all these latest generation sports cars from the major brands are uglier than their predecessors, just look at the latest Ferrari 488 GTB - Awful!

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