Porsche 911 GT3 RS

As predicted by Tony Dron in our driving report on the new 911 GT3, Porsche has rapidly announced an RS version of its outstanding new sportscar. As expected, the RS offers more power, lower weight, shorter transmission ratios and chassis tweaks to further enhance the driving experience.

According to Porsche, ‘the new 911 GT3 RS sets the foundation for homologating the racing version of the 911 GT3’. Its power unit is based on the flat-six ‘boxer’ engine already featured in the 911 GT3 and, as with the latter, displaces 3.8 rather than 3.6 litres. The RS engine, however, will be tuned to deliver an extra 15HP, giving 450HP – and hence an impressive 118HP per litre. Although this is an extremely high figure for a normally aspirated engine, Porsche says that the new RS remains well suited to everyday use. Porsche’s tradition of success in that respect suggests no reason to doubt the claim.

As with the standard GT3, the new RS is six-speed manual only but the RS comes with a short-throw gearlever and a shorter final drive, deliberately reducing top speed in favour of better acceleration and quicker lap times. Presumably, racing versions will have the usual choice of final-drive ratios to suit different circuits.

Porsche Active Suspension Management is retained but purpose-built to suit the new GT3 RS. With a wider track front and rear, the body has also been widened accordingly, with additional wheel arch covers spanning the nose. Wheels are 9in fronts with 245/35 ZR 19 rubber, and 12in rears with 325/30 ZR 19. Porsche Active Drivetrain Mounts are standard, constantly adjusting their stiffness and damping effect appropriately.

Aerodynamic downforce is greater than on the GT3 and there’s a new, extra-large carbonfibre rear wing, mounted on aluminium supports. A new weight-saving option is a lithium-ion battery which is 10kg (22lb) lighter than the conventional lead battery. The new 911 GT3 RS comes with a bold livery, a low ride height and the exclusive dual tailpipes of its extra-light titanium sports exhaust system.

The UK price of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS will be from £100,760, to include the Porsche Vehicle Tracking System which is approved to Thatcham Category 5 standard. Full details of the performance and specification can be expected when the new GT3 RS is unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show and before the UK on-sale date of February 2010.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Porsche

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