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Porker with wings: Porsche’s 184mph GT3 RS is inbound

by Steven Cole Smith
18 August 2022 4 min read
Porker with wings: Porsche’s 184mph GT3 RS is inbound
Photos: Porsche

The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS is clear in its intentions, Porsche says. It is uncompromisingly designed for maximum performance. The 518bhp, road-legal, high-performance sports car takes full advantage of technology and concepts from motorsports. Even beyond the high-revving naturally aspirated engine with racing DNA and intelligent lightweight construction, it is, above all, the cooling and aerodynamic systems of the 911 GT3 RS that connect it most directly with its motorsport brother, the 911 GT3 R.

The basis for a significant performance boost is the concept of a central radiator – an idea that was first used in the Le Mans class-winning 911 RSR and subsequently in the 911 GT3 R. Instead of the three-radiator layout seen in previous cars, the new 911 GT3 RS relies on a large, angled centre radiator in the car’s nose, positioned where the luggage compartment is located on other 911 models.

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This innovation has made it possible to use the space freed up on the sides to integrate active aerodynamic elements. Continuously adjustable wing elements in the front and on the two-part rear wing, in combination with a number of other aerodynamic measures, provide 409kg of downforce at approximately 124 mph – twice that of the 991.2-generation predecessor and three times as much as a current 911 GT3.

At 177 mph, claimed total downforce is 860kg, or the equivalent of an entire Porsche 356 A. A drag reduction system (DRS) is fitted in a production Porsche for the first time. To achieve low drag and higher speeds on straight sections of track, the DRS allows the wings to be flattened out at the push of a button, within a specific operating range. During hard braking at high speeds, the airbrake function positions the wing elements at the front and rear to support deceleration by maximise aerodynamic drag.

The purposeful look of the new 911 GT3 RS is characterised by the large number of functional aerodynamic elements. The most prominent feature of the GT sports car is the swan-neck-supported rear wing, which is significantly larger in all dimensions than the wing of its predecessor.

The rear wing consists of a fixed main wing and a hydraulically adjustable upper blade. For the first time on a Porsche production vehicle, the upper edge of the rear wing is higher than the roof. A front splitter divides the air flowing over and underneath working in parallel with side blades on the front bumper that deflect air outwards. Front wheel arch ventilation is provided via louvred openings in the front wings.

Inlets behind the front wheels inspired by the iconic Le Mans-winning 911 GT1 reduce the dynamic pressure in the wheel arches. Air from the centrally positioned radiator flows out of large nostrils on the front lid – further back, fins on the roof direct the air outwards, ensuring cooler intake temperatures in the rear. In the new 911 GT3 RS, the openings in the rear side panel are used exclusively to improve aerodynamics and not to draw in combustion air. The rear wheel arch also features an intake and a side blade for optimised airflow. The rear diffuser is a modified version of that fitted to the 911 GT3.

Even the suspension is modified for improved aerodynamics. Because the wheel arches of the new 911 GT3 RS are subject to powerful airflow, the components of the double-wishbone front axle are designed with teardrop-shaped profiles. These aerodynamically efficient links increase downforce on the front axle by around 40kg at top speed and are otherwise only used in high-end motorsport applications.

The 911 GT3 RS offers three driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Track. In Track mode, the basic settings can be individually adjusted. Among other settings, the rebound and compression damping of the front and rear axles can be adjusted separately and in several stages. The rear differential can also be adjusted via rotary controls on the steering wheel. This is done quickly and intuitively, Porsche says, with an operating and display concept also borrowed from endurance racing. Four individual rotary controls and a button for the Drag Reduction System (DRS) are located on the steering wheel.

The 4.0-litre high-revving and naturally aspirated engine has been further optimised compared with the 911 GT3. The increase in power to 518 horses (from 502 in the 911 GT3) is achieved primarily via new camshafts with modified cam profiles. The intake system and the rigid valvetrain are derived from motorsports. Like the 911 GT3, this engine also has six individual throttle bodies; one per cylinder. The seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) has a shorter overall gear ratio than the 911 GT3 and is aided by air intakes on the underbody to ensure that the transmission can withstand even extreme loads during frequent use on track.

The 911 GT3 RS goes from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds flat (911 GT3: 3.2 seconds) and reaches a top speed of 184 mph in seventh gear. Six-piston aluminium monobloc fixed-caliper brakes and brake discs with a diameter of 408mm are used on the front axle. The optional Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) use 410mm discs on the front axle and 390mm discs on the rear axle. The new 911 GT3 RS also comes standard with forged light-alloy centre-locking wheels. Tyres measure 275/35 R20 at the front and 335/30 R21 at the rear.

Thanks to an array of lightweight construction measures such as the extensive use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), the 911 GT3 RS weighs in at 1450kg – a mere 20kg more than its predecessor, despite more complex front suspension and other unavoidably weight-adding features.

The Weissach package, which is available as an option, includes a considerable number of changes to the standard vehicle. The bonnet, roof, parts of the rear wing, and the upper portion of the side mirrors housing feature visible carbon fibre. The front and rear anti-roll bars, the rear coupling rods and the shear panel on the rear axle are made of CFRP.

Another highlight of the Weissach package is the pair of shift paddles with motorsport-derived magnet technology. This makes gear changes feel especially precise thanks to a pressure point and a clearly perceptible click. Forged magnesium wheels are included in the Weissach package and save 8kg of unsprung weight compared to the standard wheels.

UK pricing begins at £178,500, with order books open now. If the 911 GT3 is anything to go by, the even spicier RS will be a hot-ticket item for Porsche diehards.

This article originally appeared on Hagerty US.

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