If racing improves the breed, Porsche’s roadgoing specimens have a deep well of excellence to draw from: The brand has claimed some 30,000 victories since the 1950s, with two-thirds of those wins coming from 911 models. The latest quiver in Porsche’s arsenal is the just-unveiled 911 GT3 R race car, which made its official debut at last weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, where it finished in seventh place, and will make its first stateside appearance at the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The big-winged racer is the second competition spinoff from the 992 series 911, and relates directly to the roadgoing 911 GT3. The new car was tuned with a keener eye towards enabling drivers to squeeze out as much consistent performance from the platform, rather than focusing on outright speed. “Our task was less about making the new 911 GT3 R even faster—the classification within performance windows set by the BoP quickly cancels out this advantage,” explains Porsche Motorsport Project Manager Sebastian Golz, referring to the Balance of Power rules which enable race organizers to set engine power limits in the interest of leveling the field of competition. “For us, it was primarily about our customers being able to drive the racing car faster for longer,” he says.
That said, the new package is rather robust: engine displacement has been enlarged to 4.2 liters, mirroring the displacement of the 911 RSR. The flat-six produces 565 hp, and is said to deliver a more usable rev band, which should help less seasoned drivers eke more out of the powerband. The naturally aspirated engine has been tilted forward 5.5 degrees, making more room for the underbody diffuser which helps produce downforce to keep the vehicle stuck to the pavement when cornering. Suspension improvements also borrow from the RSR, while wheelbase has been lengthened to enable better balance, less tire wear, and more consistent performance. Like the GT3 road car, a new swan-neck mounted rear wing keeps the crucial airflow below the wing smooth.
Inside, the GT3 R’s seat has been moved closer to the center, accommodating an improved roll cage while meeting new side impact mandates. The spaceship-like cockpit incorporates a 10.3-inch screen from the GT3 Cup series. Porsche even improved the six-point harness with a quicker-releasing mechanism that they anticipate will shave around 1 second of driver swap time.
Serious racers have plenty of choice hardware to drool over with the new Porsche 911 GT3 R, which should be a formidable weapon for competition when it lands into customer and race team hands. Expect to spring $567,210 for the new car, though Le Mans hopefuls will know that number is just the tip of the racing-budget iceberg.
Check out more photos of the 911 GT3 R below: