Say hello to the world's finest street-legal track toy.
Last month, Porsche finally broke its silence on the status of the new 911 GT3 RS, announcing that it would be revealed today. We've heard outlandish rumors and seen leaked, low-resolution images of the car since then, but now the car has been revealed, and it's everything we hoped it would be and more. No, really. Porsche has yet again found a way to refine something most would deem perfect.
What was once a street car with track-inspired upgrades has now essentially morphed into a track car that's somehow legal to drive on public roads, and because it's a proper racer with "no compromises" (according to Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger), there isn't a stupid amount of power you'll never fully exploit or features you don't need. Every inch of this car is designed to make you go faster.
As predicted, the car is powered by a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated boxer six derived from that of the regular GT3. Here, power has been increased from 502 horsepower to 518. This slight increase in power was achieved primarily through new camshafts with modified cam profiles.
Why not more power or the GT3 R's new 4.2-liter engine? Andreas Preuninger explains: "The spontaneously responsive, high-revving 4.0-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine with approximately 500 horsepower has proven ideal for use at track days and club sport events. That's why we focused primarily on aerodynamics and chassis questions in the development of the new 911 GT3 RS."
Motorsport served as the influence for the single-throttle intake system and rigid valvetrain, while six individual throttle bodies aid noise and throttle response. Because this car is about outright performance on track, there's no manual option, only a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic. Revised gear ratios are shorter across the board than the normal GT3, and unique underbody cooling ducts ensure it can withstand hours of track abuse.
0-60 mph takes just 3.0 seconds, down from 3.2 in the regular GT3. The top speed is 184 mph, achieved in seventh gear. When it's time to stop, six-piston aluminum monoblock fixed-caliper brakes feature 32-millimeter pistons (up from 30 mm in the GT3), clamping down on rotors that are now 2 mm thicker than before. The front discs have a diameter of 408 mm (16 inches), while those at the back measure 380 mm discs with four-piston calipers.
Optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) use 410 mm discs in front and 390 mm discs at the rear. Whichever you opt for, forged light-alloy center-locking wheels are standard with 275/25 R20 rubber in front and 335/30 R21 rubber at the back.
Porsche has not mentioned anything about the bespoke Pirelli rubber some test cars were using, but this could be part of other development, another package option later down the line, or Manthey Racing's efforts to find a way to, somehow, improve this car. Instead, the GT3 RS rides on Michelin rubber.
Instead of outright power, Porsche says that "it is, above all, the cooling and aerodynamic systems of the 911 GT3 RS that connect it most directly" to motorsport, specifically the hardcore 911 GT3 R. We start at the front, where the luggage compartment has been deleted, another hint of its obsession with track times. This space now plays host to a central radiator, a concept that was first brought to life in the Le Mans-winning 911 RSR and then the GT3 R. Instead of fitting three radiators as in previous versions, a large, angled center radiator in the nose has been fitted, making it possible to use the freed up space on the sides to add more active aerodynamic elements.
All of Porsche's wind tunnel testing has resulted in a car that produces more than 900 pounds of downforce at around 124 mph - twice what the 991.2 could manage and three times more than the regular GT3. At 177 mph, it produces 1,895 lbs or downforce, equivalent to the weight of a Porsche 356 A.
Hot air from that new front radiator exits out of large nostrils on the hood. As it moves up and outward, the fins on the roof direct this air even further outward to help the intake ducts (below the rear window) to suck in the chilliest air possible. What remains is directed toward the gargantuan rear wing, which is higher than the roof for the first time on a Porsche production car. The adjustable front wing works in collaboration with the side blades in the fascia to send air outwards. This "infinitely adjustable" wing - a front flap beneath the splitter - can be rotated by over 80 degrees, all of which can be done in just three-tenths of a second.
Air pressure in the wheel arches is alleviated by louvered vents in the fenders, now they are complemented by inlets behind the front wheels inspired by the Le Mans-winning 911 GT1. These necessitated all-new doors, made from carbon fiber for the first time.
When we spotted test mules of the 911 GT3 RS attacking the Nurburgring, we wondered why Porsche had chosen to keep the side intakes closed during some seriously hot laps. Now, we have our answer. While these used to act as engine intakes, they are now used exclusively to improve aerodynamics.
Moving on back, the rear wheel arches feature vents and side blades to optimize airflow further. Finally, the rear diffuser is a modified version of the regular 992 GT3's.
Another first for the company that was uncovered by CarBuzz last year is a DRS-style wing, which allows you to select the angle of attack for the movable flap on the swan-neck rear wing with just a push of a button. It also acts as an airbrake when braking. But it's more than just an open-or-closed system; you can variably adjust this wing to find just the right balance of slipperiness and drag.
The suspension is fully adjustable from within the car, making track-day set up a process that takes seconds rather than hours. But it's the details that matter most. First, we must talk about the teardrop-shaped profiles of the components that make up the double-wishbone front axle, which increases downforce by their mere design, adding 88 lbs of the stuff to the front axle at top speed. Before now, this design has only been used in high-end motorsport applications.
The front track width has been increased by 1.14 inches, necessitating longer double-wishbone front axle links but giving you more mechanical grip.
The suspension has been refined to reduce pitching under braking. To ensure good balance, the multi-link rear axle has modified spring rates. Driver assistance and rear-axle steering systems also get "an even more dynamic" setup here.
More adjustability can be found in the driving modes. You have Normal, Sport, and Track, but in Track mode, basic settings can be individually adjusted, including the rebound and compression damping of the front and rear axles. Using the control dials on the steering wheels, a driver can tweak these elements individually to find the perfect track setup, including adding more stiffness to one side or the other depending on the track itself.
Another element that can be tuned directly from the steering wheel is the rear differential, allowing you to control a skittish rear end by unlocking more of the differential's influence when coasting. Similarly, if you're struggling with oversteer on a corner exit, you can tighten the diff up.
Just like in the current G80 BMW M3, you no longer have to choose between having the traction control on or off only, as the system is now a fully adjustable one with seven degrees of extremism. With all of this tech, you will want to focus on driving and little else, so Porsche has added the option to instantly pare back the displays to essential information only on the seven-inch side displays.
The doors, front quarter panels, roof, and hood all feature carbon fiber construction. The same carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used for the interior in the full bucket seats, which are trimmed in black leather and Race-Tex microfiber suede. Carbon fiber accents and the obligatory door-pull straps add more theater to the occasion.
The Weissach package returns as a no-cost option, catering to the hardest of hardcore track enthusiasts. The front and rear anti-roll bars, rear coupling rods, and rear axle shear panel are all made of CFRP. The PDK shift paddles come with magnet technology giving a perceptible click when enough pressure is applied.
Forged magnesium wheels are included, saving 17.6 lbs of unsprung weight compared to the standard wheels. Finally, the hood, roof, parts of the rear wing, and the upper portion of the side mirrors are finished in visible carbon fiber.
This car will provide endless hours of astonishment and fun on track, and significant others won't be pleased. To ensure you're never late for dinner, the automaker has offered buyers an exclusive Porsche Design chronograph developed in its own watchmaking workshop in Solothurn, Switzerland. Based on a glass-bead blasted case, it can be specced with either natural or black titanium and boasts a screw-down crown, "Start/Stop" and "Next Lap" laser engravings on the pushers, and the design of the wheels on the rear.
The 2023 911 GT3 RS is expected to arrive at US dealers by spring 2023 and will carry a starting MSRP of $223,800, excluding $1,450 for destination and handling. Bargain.