Porsche is really going all-out with this one.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS will finally be unveiled on August 17, and thanks to new patent documentation uncovered by CarBuzz, there may be more to look forward to than we first anticipated. We already know that the track-focused supercar will have active aerodynamics thanks to an adaptive rear wing, but we've been confused by some of the spy shots we've come across, as Porsche has sometimes shown what appears to be a production-ready rear bumper and has at other times shown a globulous and unsightly bumper that is clearly not intended for production.
The patent we have just uncovered could be the key to understanding this; Porsche may be hiding a new aerodynamic innovation. Please note that our crude depiction is unlikely to be what you'll see when the real deal is uncovered.
The patent documentation was filed with Germany's intellectual property office and refers to an "air guiding device for a motor vehicle." According to the drawings and description, this device would be affixed to the outside of the rear bumper of the car at each corner, for the purpose of reducing flow losses, particularly at medium to high speeds. That flap behind the rear wheel, seen on the spy shots attached, could be a moveable upgrade that may practically disappear when not needed.
Air guide devices at the rear of a supercar are nothing particularly new, but they have been, thus far, mostly fixed partitions. Porsche notes that, just like with the large wings you get on a trunk lid, for example, body parts designed to improve airflow over the body can also cause drag when the vehicle is not operating at optimum speed.
While these appendages can help the car look aggressive and sporty, they do little to improve the car when you're not operating it at track speeds. Thus, Porsche wants these bumper air guides to fit flush with the body when not in use and extend from it when required, likely in Track mode or when the car reaches a certain speed. This invention would help save fuel (and look neater) at lower speeds and still direct air toward the low-pressure area between the rear wing and the diffuser, improving performance.
Perhaps this is why the GT3 RS prototypes we've seen so far have been wearing different bumpers, but even if it is not, we feel confident that Zuffenhausen's finest will one day use this tech on a production car, perhaps the GT2 RS. We hope to know more on August 17, when the GT3 RS makes its big debut.