The Trackday Special Porsche 911 GT3 RS Is Back With Red Stripes And A DRS-Equipped Wing The Size Of Australia

911 Gt3 Rs Topshot

The current 911 GT3 is a bit of a hot commodity, and may be the best road car money can buy right now. However, what if your daily commute takes you through Parabolica? Don’t worry, Porsche’s whipped up a new GT3 RS that promises to be faster, madder, and packed with more trackday tech than ever before. Plus, the iconic red accents of the 996 and 997 GT3 RS models return to add a dose of visual lairyness.

Engine-wise, the new GT3 RS isn’t much of a game-changer. We’re only talking about an extra 15 horsepower (11 kW) over the standard GT3’s 503, achieved mostly through the use of new camshafts. However, this updated engine is mated to Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch gearbox which makes for a manufacturer-quoted zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) time of just 3.2 seconds. Top speed is a mere 184 mph (296 km/h) which seems slow at first, right up until you see a Nimitz-class rear wing bolted to the engine cover.

911 GT3 RS rear three-quarter view

That wing isn’t just a fixed unit, it features a Formula 1-style drag reduction system for the upper element. Press a button on the steering wheel and the upper wing element moves to decrease drag for straight-line performance. If the driver doesn’t press the DRS button, the wing combines with other aerodynamic elements to create an earth-crushing amount of downforce. Porsche quotes 902 pounds (409 kg) of downforce at 124 mph (200 km/h), twice as much downforce as the last GT3 RS and three times as much downforce as a current GT3. Nearly flat-out at 285 km/h, the new GT3 RS generates a whopping 1,896 pounds (860 kg) of downforce, the equivalent of parking a euro-spec 2006 Lotus Elise S on the roof. Wicked.

 F1a4572 Highres

In addition to the herculean rear wing, the new GT3 RS features a proper front splitter and a smattering of side blades to direct air where it’s supposed to go. Blades ahead of the front tires force air away from the body, creating an air curtain effect. Blades behind the front tires mount to air-evacuating cut-out arches and send air along the body toward the rear air intakes. Up top, fins on the roof are said to direct air outwards to promote cooler intake air temperatures. While these are all fairly notable changes, the aero tweak that might make the biggest visual difference is the deletion of the standard GT3’s hood nostrils. Air from the radiator now escapes through mailbox-sized vents farther up the frunk lid, making a world of visual difference.

4 Front High V3 1507 Highres

Serious downforce requires serious suspension, and Porsche’s GT Division has approached suspension tuning with all the seriousness of an IRS agent performing an audit. Because the whole front end of the GT3 RS is wider than on the standard car, Porsche’s filled out the bodywork using longer aerodynamically-optimized front suspension arms that add 88 pounds (40 kg) of downforce at top speed. In addition, the front ball joint in each lower front trailing arm has been set lower on the chassis to mitigate suspension pitch. Unsurprisingly, spring rates have been revised to cope with the added downforce, while electronically-adjustable dampers permit fine tweaks to compression and rebound from the cabin in track mode. Four-wheel-steering is also on tap, as is an adjustable limited-slip rear differential, perfect for setting up the new GT3 RS to match your driving style.

911 GT3 RS brakes

Hauling this slab of Swabian magnificence down from straightaway speeds is a choice of two brake packages. The standard brakes feature six-piston fixed aluminum front calipers, four-piston fixed rear calipers, and some truly massive discs. The front discs measure 16 inches (408 mm) in diameter, while the rears clock in at 15 inches (380 mm) in diameter. Porsche says that the front discs are a whopping 1.4 inches (36 mm) thick, although the German marque doesn’t state rear disc thickness. Opt for carbon ceramic brakes, and things get even beefier. We’re talking about 16.1-inch (410 mm) front discs and 15.3-inch (390 mm) rear discs, although trackday consumable costs for carbon ceramics are abominably high.

The current Porsche 911 may be the heaviest iteration yet, but the standard GT3 isn’t exactly fed a diet of KFC Double Downs and deep-fried Mars bars. Still, Porsche’s gone to further lengths in lightening the GT3 RS. While carbon fiber roofs and hoods aren’t anything new in the automotive industry, the GT3 RS takes the carbon fiber diet further with front fenders and doors made from the high-end reinforced plastic. Altogether, the GT3 RS weighs a reasonable 3,197 pounds (1,450 kg) on the DIN system, which does come with a caveat. DIN curb weight only includes 90 percent of total fuel capacity, so North American curb weight is likely to be higher.

992 GT3 RS wind tunnel

If you want the utmost in weight savings from your GT3 RS, you’ll want to tick a few option boxes starting with the Weissach package. It adds the cosmetic flash of some unpainted carbon fiber bits, but it also adds loads of carbon fiber goodies under the skin. The front and rear anti-roll bars, rear coupling arms, and rear axle shear plate are all made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, which Porsche claims “contribute to a further enhancement of the driving dynamics.” Non-American models with the Weissach package will get a carbon fiber half cage, while speccing the Weissach package unlocks optional magnesium wheels that save 17.6 pounds (eight kg) over the standard forged aluminum units. If carbon fiber anti-roll bars weren’t interesting enough, the Weissach package also uses magnets to enhance the paddle shifters. While these magnets don’t speed up shifts, they’re supposed to better define paddle shifter detents, giving the driver extra feedback. It seems like a kind, driver-focused measure that’s more about engagement than absolute lap times.

If you happen to not live in America and don’t want to spring for the Weissach package, Porsche’s offering a Clubsport package at no extra charge. The Clubsport package includes a fire extinguisher, six-point harnesses, and a steel half-cage that should really make the GT3 RS trackday ready. So long as you don’t care massively about in-cabin luggage space, the Clubsport package really is a no-brainer considering its zero-cost status.

In theory, the new 911 GT3 RS will start at $225,250 including a $1,450 freight charge, although getting one is sure to be a rather difficult task. We’re already seeing six-figure markups on standard GT3s, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see strong markups and a strict allocation process for the new GT3 RS. Still, what a machine this track-focused 911 looks to be. The electric dawn may be on the horizon, but automakers aren’t finished partying just yet.

All photos courtesy of Porsche

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7 Responses

  1. Ever since we reached the point in the 2020’s where anyone can basically get any performance that they want out of a vehicle, simply based upon how much money they want to spend, my interest in this sort of machine has waned. As an enthusiast, I am much more interested in the development of new hybrid power trains that can increase driver involvement in lighter, more plebian machines, and bring the fun down to a more responsible price point. More people racing, in cars that a person might daily, are where it’s at. This thing is very nice, in a dick-measuring sort of way. But no one can use its performance, on an actual public road, to get somewhere. The premise of driving nirvana, upon which all this engineering effort has been expended, is so evanescent as to be almost non-existent. You have to take it to a track. And then, there are far better track cars to buy, if what you want to do is have fun at the track. It is a rolling self-contradiction. Despite its sexy clothes.

  2. Being an engineer on these must be both incredibly exhilarating and incredibly frustrating.

    Knowing that you are pushing the limits of road car performance every day, but that you are also tied to the millstone of a decidedly sub-optimal 90 year old Volkswagen design/layout has to bring up some mixed emotions.

      1. I mean, the engine behind the rear axle really is sub-optimal for handling, and the only reason it’s still there is tradition/history, so yes….they are compromising performance to maintain an ancient design, even if it doesn’t really share anything tangible.

        1. Working in a different industry, but on a product that can directly trace it’s roots to the 1920’s, there are some serious challenges with maintaining continuity and bad old designs. But there there is also the “Hey, they did that really well” that also comes along.
          It might be the best layout, but they also have so much time tweaking, tuning, tinkering, and tailoring things around the layout that the know the ins and outs better than most. Also, they are pulling in engineers that are top of their field on this car, not ones like me, who can barely remember college, engineers that were likely at schools in Europe where the distance to the local F1 team is shorter that that car…It’s not a compromise, it is taking a known and maximizing it.

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