The new GT3 RS has been prematurely shown off to the internet via Australia's DRIVE website (it's since been pulled). Fortunately, others grabbed it before it went down and now it's everywhere as these Porsche factory press release photos seem to indicate (at least they appear to be factory photos). The car will allegedly make its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next month. The new track-special 911 is said to feature a few minor updates, and could now be quicker than any naturally aspirated car has a right to be. Shown here in a glorious shade of green, it's probably one of the better launch colors that Porsche has used in recent memory. Then again, we really liked the 987 Cayman R's "Lime Gold Metallic" launch color, so maybe we're not the best judge of taste.
Based on the unofficial press release seen below, the .2 GT3 RS is merely a minor update to the already excellent package. The 4.0-liter motor is said to have been bumped up 20 horsepower to a mega 513, and still has a 9,000 RPM redline. There is still no manual transmission, PDK only, but that hasn't stopped these from selling like crazy the last few years. Visually, there is the new bumper, mimicking the one found on the 991.2 GT3. There is the addition of the new facelift tail lights and headlights. The wheels are different, and the car has a throwback GT3 RS graphics package, reminiscent of that found on 996 GT3 RS and 997.1 GT3 RS 3.6L. They can't be seen in any of the leaked photos, but the unofficial release states the car to have two GT2 RS-style NACA ducts in the front lid.
Thanks to less interior insulation and an even lighter engine lid, the new GT3 RS should weigh a bit less than the car it replaces. Combined with the slight horsepower bump, this Porsche is now a tenth of a second quicker to 60 miles per hour (now 3.2 seconds), and can top out one additional mile per hour faster (194 miles per hour top speed). If you have what it takes to take on the new RS, put your orders in now, because the list is surely piling up quickly.
Below is the full press release, as leaked to the Rennlist forums by user NS2 Media.
ZUFFENHAUSEN, Germany – Porsche’s Motorsport division has raised performance potential of the 911 GT3 RS in a mid-life facelift for the existing 991-series model, which underpins the German automaker’s extensive GT-based motorsport activities.
Available to order now prior to a public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, the ’18 model receives an added 20 hp from a lightly modified version of Porsche Motorsport’s race-bred 4.0L 6-cyl. engine, increasing its reserves to 513 hp at 8,250 rpm.
This is the highest power figure yet for a naturally aspirated road-going Porsche model and serves to distance the new 911 GT3 RS from the standard 911 GT3, which adopted the same 493 hp evolution of the horizontally opposed engine as the previous 911 GT3 RS when it was updated last year.
Porsche Motorsport isn’t revealing the engineering changes made to the 911 GT3 RS’s engine but confirms the rear-mounted unit continues to rev to a maximum 9,000 rpm and comes mated to a standard 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Despite the increase in power, torque is expected to remain at the same level as before, with 339 lb.-ft. (460 Nm) produced at 6,250 rpm.
The increase in power is claimed to shave 0.1 second off the new model’s 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time, which is put at 3.2 seconds, while adding 1 mph (1.6 km/h) to its potential maximum top speed at 194 mph (312 km/h) in combination with various aerodynamic tweaks.
Among the chassis changes Porsche Motorsport has announced for the 911 GT3 RS ahead of U.S. deliveries later this year is a recalibrated rear-wheel steering system. As with the old model launched in 2015, the suspension of the new model uses solid ball joints on each arm for added steering precision. Wheels and tires measure 20 ins. and 265/35 in profile up front and 21 ins. with 325/30 profile at the rear.
Visually, the new Porsche road racer is differentiated from its predecessor by a series of subtle aerodynamic and styling upgrades. They include new LED indicator lamps set within a re-profiled front bumper featuring new vertical air flow guides within the outer air ducts to more efficiently channel air to the front-mounted radiators and brakes.
Further back, the new 911 GT3 RS receives two new NACA style ducts within the hood and additional air flow guides for the ducts within the rear fenders. At the rear, there are more heavily structured taillamps, a new bumper with larger air extraction ducts and modified supports for the rear wing, which feature newly shaped end plates.
Inside, there are carbon-backed racing seats, lightweight door panels with storage nets and nylon opening loops. Weight optimization measures include a reduction in sound absorption material and a new lightweight engine lid.
As with all of Porsche’s existing GT models, the 911 GT3 RS is sold with an optional Clubsport package. It consists of an aluminum roll cage, fire extinguishers and 6-point seat belts.
We'll have more details as they become official and available.