Successful on the race track and perfected for the roads
Direct link with motorsport
The most obvious link between Porsche's racing cars and series-production models is created by the 911 GT3 RS. No other derivative of the current 911 model line offers such a big overlap of thoroughbred racing heritage and unrestricted everyday practicality. And no other GT model comes closer to the 911 GT3 Cup, 911 GT3 R and 911 RSR competition variants in terms of driving precision and dynamics. Certain features are almost a tradition: A host of components and technologies that have delivered a proven performance benefit in tough racing conditions are unveiled to customers for the first time in the 911 GT3 RS before finding their way into subsequent series-production models from Porsche. The new 911 GT3 RS illustrates this feature particularly well.
The new 911 GT3 RS is a driving machine par excellence. Its handling and its braking and steering behaviour outstrip the already superior performance of the 911 GT3 once again, and are closer than ever before to that of the 911 GT3 Cup. Among the features that the road version has to thank for this impressive performance are the uniball joints that connect the chassis arms on the front and rear axle to the body. They have been transferred across almost unchanged from the one-make series racing car, but are fully encapsulated to protect against corrosion. As they are particularly rigid and offer virtually no play, they provide a particularly direct connection with the road. The benefit here is that the driver still receives immediate feedback and the 911 GT3 RS responds to steering commands with unparalleled precision for a series-production vehicle.
The spring-damper tuning of the 911 GT3 RS further illustrates the close relationship with the racing car for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup plus 20 other national and regional Porsche Carrera Cups around the world. The spring rates are significantly higher than in the predecessor model and are now almost equal to the racing car set-up for the Nordschleife. In addition, Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) now offers greater spread, for active and continuous regulation of damper force. In NORMAL mode this offers sufficient ride comfort for driving on both motorways and country roads, while the set-up in SPORT mode is noticeably more rigid than in the 911 GT3 and is almost on a par with racing-style tuning. It has been designed to support maximum lateral acceleration and the best possible traction on a dry race track. The front axle is particularly responsive. The re-tuned rear-axle steering responds just as quickly, helping to maintain balanced handling.
With the optional Weissach package, which reduces unladen weight by 18 kilograms, the similarities between the chassis on the racing and road versions become even more apparent. In this instance, the chassis set-up of the series-production vehicle includes anti-roll bars and coupling rods made from ultra-lightweight carbon-fibre composite materials. Porsche is currently the only manufacturer to offer this technology in a road-approved vehicle. Working in conjunction with the optional magnesium rims and Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB), these chassis components considerably reduce both the unsprung and rotary masses. The effect here is that the 911 GT3 RS is more agile, spontaneous and stable in any acceleration, braking and steering situation.
The aerodynamics of the 911 GT3 RS also borrow clearly from the 911 GT3 Cup. Compared with the predecessor model, the adjustable rear wing alone generates up to 40 per cent more downforce. As with the 911 GT3 R racing car used in customer racing, “louvre vents” in the front wings provide improved ventilation for the side radiators; working in conjunction with the front spoiler lip that has also been widened, they create additional downforce at the front axle. At 200 km/h, the GT3 RS exerts a total of 144 additional kilograms on the road, and this figure increases to 416 kilograms at 300 km/h.
The engine used in the new 911 GT3 RS provides the most unapologetic transfer of technology from the race track to the road: The six-cylinder engine is based on the same GT engine set-up as the 4.0-litre engines used in the 911 GT3 Cup, 911 GT3 R and 911 RSR, which are designed for competition. At 383 kW (520 hp), it is the most powerful naturally aspirated direct-injection engine that Porsche has ever built for use in series production. The one-make series car surpasses the series-production sports car by 26 kW (35 hp). All four powertrains feature the high-rev concept developed and tested for motor racing. The engine in the RS unleashes its maximum performance at 8,250 revs, with a maximum engine speed of 9,000 rpm – this is unique even among thoroughbred sports car engines.
In order to ensure precise gas exchange even at very high speeds, the Porsche engineers developed “rigid valve control”: Instead of being supported on hydraulic balancing elements, the rocker arms are seated on axles. The correct valve clearance is set at the factory using replaceable shims, and no subsequent re-adjustment is required. This reduces the maintenance effort both on the race track and in everyday use. This technology feature of the new 911 GT3 RS is also taken directly from motorsport.