This race car is the perfect blend of functionality and menacing intimidation.
Porsche has been in the news a lot this week, but for good reason. Its CEO is now in charge of Volkswagen, the company as a whole is close to entering Formula 1, and the 911 GT3 RS will be revealed on August 17. But there is something new that is just as fantastic to contemplate today, and it's called the 911 GT3 R.
This is Porsche's new customer racing car based on the existing 992 generation and created for the 2023 season. With 557 horsepower on tap, it has more grunt than before, but it also boasts better aerodynamics and "optimized balance."
The car was teased at the beginning of the month, and we thought it looked and sounded spectacular. Porsche did not tell us the engine size back then, because the company wanted to 'wow' us with the news that it has increased by 5% percent from 3,997 to 4,194 cc, as in the 911 RSR. In addition to more engine capacity and more power, the torque and power curves have been refined to make pushing to the limit easier.
"Our task was less about making the new 911 GT3 R even faster - the classification within performance windows set by the BoP [Balance of Performance regulations] quickly cancels out this advantage," says Sebastian Golz, 911 GT3 R project manager. "For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car fast for longer. This requires durability and that's why we focused predominantly on improved drivability. This is reflected in the new 4.2-liter engine's broader usable rev band, more stable and constant aerodynamics and lower loads on the rear tires, which allow their potential to last longer."
Other changes included tilting the engine forward by 5.5 degrees, making more space for the underbody diffuser. Auxiliary components like the alternator air conditioning compressor were also moved forward and further down into a space in front of the engine and gearbox, which improves the weight balance of the car. As for the transmission, this is a sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox derived from that of the current 911 GT3 Cup car, with shift paddles controlling an electronic shift drum actuator "that enables particularly rapid and precise gear changes."
Porsche's updated suspension system promises more precise steering, a reduction in tire wear, and less time spent on setup changes. Aluminum monoblock racing brake calipers from AP are sure to bring you to a stop just as quickly - the front 15.35-inch discs are vented and slotted, with six-piston calipers, while the rear brakes are made up of four-piston calipers and14.56-inch discs. New software for the ABS reduces wear on tires and brakes too.
The structure of the body is just as impressive, boasting an aluminum-steel composite design that draws on the production model. Almost all body panels are made of carbon fiber, including the front and rear lids, doors, side panels, rear wing, and roof. The wheel arches, on the other hand, are made of aramid fibers. Despite its focus on performance, it looks spectacular, particularly with that swan-neck rear wing.
Inside, the seat has moved closer to the center of the car to fit the improved roll cage and to accommodate the newly-mandated FIA side impact protection. This seat is fixed, with the steering wheel and pedals longitudinally adjustable. There's also a 10.3-inch display from the one-make Cup racer with a multi-switch concept adopted from the Le Mans class-winning car. Finally, new LED headlights based on those from Porsche's endurance racers are even better than those of the class-leading predecessor.
Porsche Motorsport is offering the new 911 GT3 R to North American customers at a cost of $567,210, before options.