Lighter And Faster: The New 911 GT3 R

BY Azfar Hashim

Based on the new 911 GT3 RS production sports car, Porsche has designed a customer sport race car for GT3 category racing around the world: the 911 GT3 R.

In developing the 500+ bhp racing 911, special attention was paid to its lightweight design, enhanced aerodynamic efficiency, reduced consumption, improved handling, further optimised safety as well as lowering service and spare parts costs.

Adapted from its production sibling, the 911 GT3 R features the distinctive double-bubble roof, and the wheelbase which has been lengthened by 8.3 centimetres compared to the previous generation. This ensures a more balanced weight distribution and more predictable handling particularly in fast corners, in comparison to the previous GT3 R.

By applying systematic lightweight solutions for the body, add-on parts, and suspension, Porsche Motorsport engineers significantly optimised the centre of gravity of this GT3 R compared to the predecessor. The lightweight body design of the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, featuring intelligent aluminium-steel composite construction, has proven to be the ideal basis for the race car. The roof, front cover and fairing, wheel arches, doors, side and tail sections as well as the rear cover are made of light carbon-fibre composite material (CFRP). All windows — and for the first time even the windscreen — comprise of polycarbonate.

Powering the new 911 GT3 R is a 4.0-litre flat-six unit, which is largely identical to the high-performance production engine of the road-legal 911 GT3 RS. Direct petrol injection which operates at pressures up to 200 bar, as well as variable valve timing technology, ensures a particularly efficient use of fuel. Moreover, the normally-aspirated engine offers significantly better drivability and a broader usable rev range. Power from the rear-mounted engine is transferred to the rear wheels via a Porsche sequential six-speed constant-mesh gearbox. As in 911 GT road cars, the driver changes gears via shift paddles conveniently positioned on the steering wheel.

The brake system of the 911 GT3 R also underwent further modifications and, with increased stiffness and more precise control of the ABS anti-lock brakes, it is even better suited for endurance/long distance racing. At the front axle, six-piston aluminium monobloc racing brake callipers combined with ventilated and grooved steel brake discs with a diameter of 380 millimetres ensure outstanding braking performances. Fitted at the rear axle are four-piston callipers and discs measuring 372 millimetres.

Another development focus was on the safety features of the GT3 R. The capacity of the further-reinforced FT3 safety fuel cell was increased by 12-litres to now hold 120-litres, with the tank now featuring a fuel cut-off safety valve. The doors and the side windows can be removed, and the escape hatch in the roof is now larger. In the event of an accident, the new racing bucket seat offers pilots even better protection.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 R can be ordered immediately for 429,000 Euro, and delivery will commence in December this year.