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Porsche Unveils Most Track Focussed 911 GT3 RS Ever

The 992-generation Porsche 911 debuted near the end of 2018. This generation of the 911 got its first GT treatment last year with the GT3. After many spy shots at various racetracks, especially the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Porsche has finally taken the covers off the production-spec 911 GT3 RS.

The all-new 911 GT3 RS incorporates a lot of Porsche’s motorsport technologies that make it a fantastic track weapon without relying on insane levels of engine performance. So, it still uses a naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine that revs all the way to 9,000rpm. As usual, the GT3 RS gets a slight bump in performance over the GT3 and produces 518hp. It gets the same 7-speed PDK but the gear ratios are even shorter than in the GT3. The all-new 911 GT3 RS should be able to reach 100kph from standstill in 3 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 296kph.

Now let’s talk about everything that makes it the most extreme 911 GT3 RS ever – the aerodynamics. In the words of the Director of Porsche’s GT Product Line, Andreas Preuninger, you could break down the aero package into different layers. 

Front-end design and aero

The all-new 911 GT3 RS takes more elements from the 911 RSR and the 911 GT3 R racecars by opting for a large central radiator in the nose instead of the three-radiator setup. It opens up room in the front bumper design for more active aero elements such as flaps in the corner vents to guide air towards the central underbody and generate front downforce. The large aperture on the bonnet allows for easier heat dissipation from the new radiator with special flaps to channel the warm air around the sides. The air going over the top of the 911 GT3 RS needs to stay cool to feed the engine at the back.

The front wheel arches have the usual louvres to help release turbulent air. There are rakes both in front and behind the front wheels to channel split the air into two flows – one goes in to cool the brakes, and the other guides the air around the sides and away from the wheels. There is no aggressive front splitter, but it does have aero elements and air intakes under the body.

Side-profile aero work

There are two key aero elements along the side of the 992-gen 911 GT3 RS. There are tall sideblades behind the front wheels that guide the air along the side of the car instead of vectoring/swirling over it. 

Porsche has integrated another cool design detail into these sideblades – the bridge connecting them to the bodywork also houses the side-mounted turn indicators.

The doors, now made from carbon fibre, have been sculpted to face inwards at the front to make room for air to exit the front wheel housing.

A small but important modification would be the roof-mounted fins towards the rear of the profile. Their job is simple but crucial — keep the rising dirty air away from the cool air heading towards the engine.

The wheel arches highlight the added width of the bodywork and house the fatter tyres. It has side skirts too, but they don’t seem visually extreme in comparison.

Rear-end aero and the DRS wing

The rear bumper is narrower than the overall width of the car. You can see the aero blades behind the rear wheels to keep the air from bouncing off and not interfere with the turbulent air escaping the rear wheel wells from the cutaway design. There are smaller vents integrated into the bumper as well. It has the same central exit twin-tip exhaust as the GT3 and a slightly more aggressive rear diffuser.

Now to address the elephant in the room – that rear wing. Porsche has made me eat humble pie with the rear wing on the all-new 911 GT3 RS. When it was first spied on a camouflaged test mule at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, I was betting that it was just the track-only GT3 R. But that beast has made its way to a road-legal 911, and it is gorgeous. 

It is a two-part design with active elements. The structural design is similar to the GT3 with the swan-neck mounting but it sits higher. In fact, the top edge sits higher than the roof. The endplates are pretty big too. Its bottom part is fixed while the top half of the wing is the active aero and hydraulically adjusts its angle of attack. This top edge can close up entirely to function as an air brake or be opened for the drag reduction system. Yes, this Porsche 911 GT3 RS has an F1-style DRS. The all-new steering wheel houses a DRS button for your left thumb. It is the best possible replacement in the world for the voice-command button.

What’s the final result?

Visually, this rear wing seems like it wants to give the McLaren Senna a challenge. In terms of downforce, the 992-gen 911 GT3 RS isn’t miles behind the British supercar. Porsche has stated that this extreme aero setup generates 860kg of downforce at 285kph and 409kg of downforce at 200kph. That’s twice as much as the downforce on the previous 991.2-gen 911 GT3 RS. There are so many other aerodynamic details that we can’t get into but let’s just say that even the wishbone suspension and the control arms have been shaped for better aero efficiency.

Fine-tune your suspension…from the steering wheel?

Every track day enthusiast knows of the struggles of getting under your car on precariously placed stands to adjust the suspension setup and tweak its compression and rebound with your favourite spanner. Porsche understands the pain and the learning curve involved in setting up your track toy to match your driving style. So, they decided to make the whole process a lot easier.

The new-gen 911 GT3 RS gets a new feature that lets drivers adjust the compression and rebound of the front and rear suspension from the steering wheel itself. Using the new rotary dials, you can enter the setup menu by pressing on the PASM dial and set up the car to match your driving style for every track you go to, without having to get it off the ground. 

The default settings on the track-focussed suspension are Porsche’s recommended setup that serves as a solid base for a variety of driving scenarios. Speaking of the factory setup, the 911 GT3 RS has a stiffer suspension to cope with the increased downforce and to try and keep the car as level as possible in every circumstance. That includes stopping the front end from dipping under braking or lifting during acceleration.

You can also fine-tune the rear differential from the cockpit of the new GT3 RS by pushing the PTV+ (Porsche Torque Vectoring) button. Other steering mounted controls include the drive mode dial and a mode to adjust the stability control and multi-stage traction control settings.

Can you daily drive this thing?

If you’re mad enough, yes. Porsche has been very clear to call the new 911 GT3 RS a track car. It is extreme with its aero package and the suspension setup, while the central radiator has eaten the frunk space. The cabin looks pretty neat with the semi-digital instrument cluster featuring displays on either side of the analogue tachometer, and there is an infotainment system as well. Under it, there are physical controls for the lift system, exhaust note, hazard lights and switching off the traction and stability controls. 

The central console is clean and minimalistic with the manual-style PDK selector, tactile dials and toggles for the climate controls and the central AC vents. You can fit it with comforts like cruise control as well while the usual steering mounted controls are hotkeys for things like a lap timer and the DRS. 

It also looks good with all the Alcantara and carbon fibre trim pieces. Opt for the Weissach package, and you can have carbon fibre door handles instead of cloth pull-tags and a Porsche-first carbon fibre roll cage as well. 

The rear-wheel steering is more about stability through corners but it probably makes this widebody 911 easier to manoeuvre around town as well.

If you’re looking for a daily-use car from the Porsche GT lineup, the GT3 might still be the best choice. You can even get rid of the rear wing to be more subtle by going for the GT3 Touring. Plus, you can even have it with a manual gearbox if you’re more about engagement at all speeds over absolute performance.

No official Nürburgring lap time yet

It is customary for Porsche to announce the fastest official lap time for its latest GT product at the time of its launch. However, the weather conditions have stopped the Zuffenhausen team from setting an optimal lap record for the new production-spec 911 GT3 RS at the Nordschleife. The German marquee has promised that it will set an official lap with the 911 GT3 RS by the end of the year, and most expect it to be quicker than the stock 991.2-gen 911 GT2 RS

While the GT3 RS lacks the grunt to catch the AMG GT Black Series, it still packs a decent power-to-weight ratio. In its lightest customer specification, it has a wet weight of just 1,450kg, thanks to the extensive use of CFRP for the wings, the front lid, the roof and more. Meanwhile, the magnesium alloy wheels included in the Weissach package help shave off another eight kilos from the regular lightweight alloys. 

Porsche has not mentioned any specific tyre partner for the 911 GT3 RS just yet, but the debut spec is running on sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 compounds. That’s some sticky stuff and with tyre sizes measuring 275/35 R20 at the front and 335/30 R21, it should have enough grip to make full use of the incredible aero package to set some blistering lap times.

Is it worth it?

This is arguably the most hardcore, track-focussed 911 GT3 RS ever. As such, it carries a hefty price tag as well, starting at just under €230,000. That’s a lot pricer than a stock 911 GT3, and more expensive still than a highly-specced model. But then again, being the fastest on the track doesn’t come cheap. 

What do you think of the new-gen 911 GT3 RS? Are you a fan of its radical aero package? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to the Auto Loons blog for more cool updates from the car world. You can also follow us on Instagram for more automotive content.

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