Porsche has ramped up the already-heady performance of the 911 GT3 RS through the adoption of a new naturally aspirated 4.0-litre version of the company’s venerable horizontally opposed flat six-cylinder engine.
The new Porsche Motorsport-developed unit kicks out 50bhp more than the 3.8-litre six-cylinder powerplant used in the existing 911 GT3 RS, producing a 911 Turbo-equalling 493bhp at a soaring 8250rpm, or some 350rpm higher than before.
Along with the increase in peak power, the highest displacement engine ever offered in a roadgoing version of the 911 also develops an additional 22lb ft of torque, taking the figure to 339lb ft. The maximum twist is now developed 1000rpm earlier in the range at 5750rpm, promising a more flexible delivery.
Porsche claims a 0-62mph time of 3.9sec for the 1360kg 911 GT3 RS 4.0, a scant 0.1sec inside the time quoted for the old model. It also quotes a 0-124mph (200km/h) time of under 12sec, although it points out that the gearing and aerodynamics of the new car, like those of its direct predecessor, can be altered. The old 911 GT3 RS was rated at 13.3sec.
Along with the new engine, the new 911 GT3 RS also adopts a new aerodynamic package that features downforce-enhancing deflector vanes, called flics, on the outer edges of the front bumper. Further developments are claimed to increase the maximum downforce acting on the rear axle to over 190kg. In its standard setting, the rear wing permits a top speed of 193mph.
The chassis includes a revised set-up of Porsche’s Active Suspension Management system, plus additional ball joints. The changes take the car closer to the GT2 RS’s set-up than that of the regular GT3 RS.
In recent testing, the new 911 - the last of the existing 997-series models before the planned appearance of an all-new, 991-designated model at the Frankfurt motor show in September - established a Nurburgring lap time of 7min27sec, although Porsche stresses it is not a final figure. By comparison, the old model claimed a lap time of 7min33sec.
Underlining its competition background, the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 will be sold exclusively in an all-white paint scheme at a price of £128,466. Production of the new car, which replaces the regular GT3 RS in the line-up, will take place a Porsche’s traditional Zuffenhausen manufacturing plant alongside standard versions of the 911. Only 600 examples will be built.