Porsche will tackle the 2017 racing season with an all-out newly developed GT racer.
The new 911 RSR makes full use of the breadth of the Le Mans 24 Hours GT regulations, and in addition to systematic lightweight design, features the ultra-modern, flat-six engine positioned in front of the rear axle.
The extremely light four-liter powerplant is highlighted by direct fuel injection as well as a rigid valve drive and is characterized by outstanding fuel efficiency. The new 911 RSR will make its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona race in January 2017.
“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution in the history of our top GT model,” says Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.
The new 911 RSR is a completely new development: the suspension, body structure, aerodynamic concept, engine and transmission have all been designed from scratch.
The engine concept has enabled the designers to install a larger rear diffuser. Combined with a top-mounted rear wing adopted from Porsche’s LMP1 prototype racecar, the 919 Hybrid, the level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency has been significantly improved.
“For the 911 RSR, we deliberately focused on a particularly modern and light normally-aspirated engine, as this gave our engineers immense latitude in developing the vehicle,” explains Dr. Walliser.
“Apart from that, in principle, the LM-GTE and GT Le Mans class regulations stipulate the absolute equality of various drive concepts, as the torque characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines are aligned.”
The changeover to the new engine generation is now complete. After the 911 GT3 R and the 911 GT3 Cup, the spearhead of Porsche GT racing cars is now also powered by the same cutting-edge six-cylinder boxer engine family.
Depending on the size of the restrictor, the new normally aspirated unit develops approximately 510 hp (375 kW). Shift paddles on the steering wheel actuate the sequential six-speed gearbox with a magnesium housing, which delivers power to the 12.2 inch-wide rear wheels.
In the past, Porsche also thoroughly pushed the limits with the concept of the 911, for example, in 1996 with the 911 GT1. In 1998, the 911 GT1 achieved the 16th overall victory for Porsche at the Le Mans 24-hour race. In 2016, Porsche furthered its record by earning an 18th overall class victory with the 919 Hybrid at the most famous of all endurance races.
For the first time, a Porsche GT racecar features state-of-the-art assistance systems. The new 911 RSR is equipped with a radar-supported collision warning system, the popularly-called “Collision Avoidance System”. Even in the dark, the faster prototypes are detected early enough that misunderstandings can be avoided. A new safety cage concept and a new, rigidly mounted racing seat enhance driver safety. With the seat fixed to the chassis, the pedals can now be moved and adjusted to fit the driver.
The new 911 RSR’s serviceability has also been significantly improved. Entire elements of the carbon-fiber body can be completely exchanged in a very short time thanks to clever quick-release fasteners. Moreover, changes to the suspension setup can be performed much more quickly and easily.
With the look of the body wrapping, the 911 RSR is striking out in a new direction. For the first time, the GT racer bears the new factory design that has further developed the clear and dynamic design language of Porsche Motorsport. From a bird’s eye view, a hint of the Porsche emblem silhouette can be seen. The basic colors remain white, red and black.
In the 2017 season, the factory is expected to run the new 911 RSR at 19 outings equating to more than 140 hours of racing. With two factory-entries, Porsche will tackle the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) including the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as the North American IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The new racer will celebrate its debut under the toughest conditions at the IMSA season opener in Daytona on January 28-29.
“We’re very well prepared for this,” says Marco Ujhasi, Head of GT Works Sport. “Since its first rollout in Weissach in March this year, we’ve covered more than 21,000 test miles (35,000 kilometers) on racetracks in Europe and North America – that’s more than in the development of any other previous Porsche GT racer.”