Classic Cars

More Aero, More Adjustability, More Power, And More Potency • Petrolicious

The latest Porsche to get the Rennsport treatment has officially been unveiled after months of appearing in spy shots testing on the Nürburgring. The camouflage has finally been stripped away to reveal just how wild the RS-specific aerodynamics are in comparison to the base GT3 that launched last year, and as is the case with every RS model, the GT3 RS has been sharpened and augmented over the base model GT3 to make it the most potent street-legal track-focused car in Porsche history.

Aerodynamics and Bodywork

Porsche says the RS’s connection to motorsport is defined by its use of a single radiator centrally-mounted in the front end; where a typical 911 would have its frunk storage space, the GT3 RS houses a massive solitary radiator. This design eliminates the old three-radiator layout, thereby freeing up space around the front axle. What to do with this space? Add active aerodynamic elements. With only moderate bumps in power, aerodynamics have always been the element that truly separate the RS models from their base GT3 counterparts, and the story is no different in the 992 generation.

Between the continuously adjusting active aero around the front axle and the not-so-subtle rear wing (which is a two-piece design, with a fixed base and an active upper element), the new GT3 RS produces a substantial amount of downforce, roughly double the capability of the previous GT3 RS model from the 991.2 generation, and almost triple that of the current base GT3. How much downforce? At roughly 124mph (200km/h), the RS generates nearly 902lbs of it (409kg). Keep pushing to 177mph (285km/h), and you’ll get a whopping 1,896lbs (860kg). In other words, it sticks.

The big wing is not a one-trick pony, though, as this is also the first GT3 model to be fitted with a drag reduction system, which is a button-activated mode that can be used within a specific speed range to improve top-end speed on straightaways (or, we presume, on heroic early morning Autobahn sprints). On the other side of the spectrum, the front and rear active aero elements will also work in tandem under hard deceleration to provide air braking.  

Sideblades behind the front and rear wheel arches help maintain a consistent flow along the sides of the car, while smaller roof-mounted blades do the same up top. The now-typical front fender louvers are aided by new, large inlets on the trailing edge of the front fender in an effort to minimize “dynamic pressure” on the wheel arches—the idea being to keep the downforce consistent over the front axle. The rear diffuser is a slight modification of the base GT3’s.  

The RS uses an extensive amount of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for its panels—specifically the doors, front fenders, frunk, and roof, as well as some interior bits like the bucket seats—which results in a reported curb weight of just under 3197lbs (1450kg). 

Chassis and Suspension

Even the suspension has been redesigned with aerodynamic properties in mind. Case in point are the teardrop shaped linkages in the double-wishbone front end, which Porsche says add over 88lbs (40kg) of additional downforce on the front axle, which boasts a 29mm wider track compared to the non-RS GT3. RS-specific updates also include modified geometry of the multi-link suspension in front and rear, with the goal being to reduce the frontward pitch during braking and the rearward pitch during acceleration. The big picture is to keep the car as flat as possible without sacrificing acceleration and deceleration potential, in order to keep the aero package in its optimal and most consistent window. 

Porsche has fitted aluminum monoblock six-pot (each piston is 2mm larger than the GT3, a bump from 30 to 32mm) fixed-caliper 408mm-diameter brakes diameter on the front end. In the rear, you will find four-pot calipers clamping 380mm discs. For a fee, buyers can option the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake package, which in addition to better materials, also increases diameter front and rear to 410 and 390mm, respectively.

The GT3’s rear-axle steering has also been given more range in the RS model, while the driver has more control over the car’s settings than ever from the cockpit. The RS features three selectable drive modes (Normal, Sport, and, you guessed it, Track), but there is far more adjustability beyond these. For instance, the driver can also play around with the bump and rebound damping of the front and rear suspension independently, a first in any GT3 model to date. Going even further, there is also a rotary knob included for changing the behavior of the differential.

Forged alloy centerlock wheels come standard, measuring 20” tall in front and 21” in the rear. These are wrapped in street-legal semi-slicks (275/35 in front, 335/30 in the rear). Further information on tire compounds and options is forthcoming. 

Engine and Powertrain

The powertrain in the RS is basically another slightly modified version of the venerable four-liter that propels the standard GT3, but with more power. Whereas the GT3’s mill produces 502hp and 346lb-ft of torque from its 4.0L flat-six, the RS’s output is slightly higher at a max of roughly 518hp (525PS). According to Porsche, this boost is mainly the result of employing a new camshaft design. 

No information was provided on the torque front, but the RS should feel punchier as you go through the gears thanks to its seven-speed PDK gearbox (there is no manual option it seems, as expected), which uses a shorter final drive ratio compared to the base GT3. The quoted figures from Porsche include a 0-62mph sprint in 3.2 seconds, and a top speed of nearly 184mph (296km/h) in seventh gear, presumably with the DRS activated.

Pricing and Packages

As is typical with special Porsche models, even the RS can be upgraded. The two available options are the Clubsport and Weissach packages. The Clubsport option can be checked for no additional cost (at least in MSRP terms), and adds a steel rollover bar, a handheld fire extinguisher in the interior, as well as a six-point harness for the driver.

The Weissach package does cost more—the exact amount was not specified in today’s press release—and includes front and rear anti-roll bars, a rollover bar made from CFRP (rather than steel in the Clubsport), and a carbon weave pattern on the frunk, roof, some parts of the rear wing, and the upper shell of the rearview mirrors. The package also includes the rear coupling rods and the shear panel on the rear axle in CFRP rather than alloy, which Porsche says will “contribute to a further enhancement of the driving dynamics.”

Weissach-equipped RSes will also feature more precise paddle shifters, as well as magnesium alloy wheels, which save over 17lbs (8kg) over the base wheels.

The given pricing information is limited at this time, but the RS should be available next spring starting at just over $225,000. 

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