RUMOR: Porsche 911 GT3 RS Getting 550-HP 4.2-Liter Engine

Rumor / 5 Comments

Extra displacement and more power rumors fly ahead of the August 17 reveal.

Porsche's big-wing 911 GT3 RS has been in development for what seems like an age and has all but completely dropped the camo in its latest development testing. Porsche confirmed last week that the new car would be imminently unveiled on August 17 and teased a few bits of information but established nothing concrete.

But then the Porsche GT3 R race car rocked the internet last week with more displacement, advanced tech, and sinister styling. The big news was that the GT3 R was adopting a 4.2-liter naturally aspirated flat-six with 557 horsepower. Now, a source close to Porsche has disclosed to CarBuzz that this is the engine that will be powering the new 992-generation GT3 RS.

The engine would allegedly be detuned for roadgoing use, producing somewhere in the region of 550 hp.


Now in the interest of fair and honest reporting, there are two ways to look at these claims.

On the one hand, Porsche has previously done exactly this. The 991.2-gen GT3 RS used a 4.0-liter engine derived from the same unit in the 911 RSR race car, so what's to stop the company from doing the same here? Porsche's GT division has long used motorsport as a means of developing its road-going tech, and every GT-badged Porsche is track ready, especially the RS variants.

Porsche's own press release for the 911 GT3 R even spoke about the new engine being supremely reliable:

"For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car fast for longer," said Sebastian Golz, the 911 GT3 R project manager. "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."

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But the argument to the contrary is equally as strong.

In Porsche's own press release last week, Porsche GT boss Andreas Preuninger said, "The spontaneously responsive, high-revving four-liter, six-cylinder boxer engine with approximately 500 PS (metric 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."

To us, that sounds pretty conclusive that, in the bossman's own words, Porsche is sticking with that engine and not pushing for power. We were already expecting an increase in power to about 525-530 hp - given that the standard GT3 produces 502 hp from its 4.0-liter engine and the 991.2 GT3 RS had 513 hp - but a 40-50 hp bump seems excessive and a little beyond the "approximately 500 PS" region Preuninger suggested.

In the history of the GT3, it has never had an engine displacement larger than 4.0 liters, ranging between 3.6 and 4.0 in various iterations. In the 996 generation, the GT3 RS was even claimed to have the same amount of power as the regular GT3.

Of course, it's not unreasonable for Porsche to bump the displacement and power output of the GT3 RS, especially as it may need more power to compensate for the drag produced by the crazy active aero wing on the new car and the sticky Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo RS tires - an all-new compound developed just for this car. A modest 5% bump in displacement and 7% bump in power compared to the outgoing GT3 RS isn't much and could give Porsche the means to distinguish the RS from the regular GT3 model in a big way.

We don't have long to wait to find out if these claims are true, however, as the reveal is now just a fortnight away at the time of writing.

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