Changes for the sake of performance.
Some may call it a revolutionary step in the right direction; others will call it blasphemy. The new Porsche 911 RSR that will be used for the 2017 racing season is unlike any 911 before it and paves the way for a brighter, more successful future on the track.
Almost everything on the new Porsche 911 RSR is new and developed from scratch from the engine to the body and its aerodynamics. But the biggest change comes in where the engine is placed. Throughout the entire history of the Porsche 911, the engine has always been positioned at the rear, giving it driving characteristics (good and bad) that few others had. Now, with the 2017 Porsche 911 RSR, the newly-developed 4.0-liter flat-six is positioned in front of the rear axle.
Yes, you read that right.
“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution by now in the history of our top GT model,” said 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 particularly large rear diffuser. Combined with a top-mounted rear wing adopted from the LMP1 race car, the 919 Hybrid, the level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency were 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 regulations stipulate the absolute equality of various drive concepts, as the torque characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines are aligned.”
The new 4.0-liter, naturally-aspirated flat-six engine is designed to produce around 510 horsepower depending on the size of the restrictor that’s required. All the latest tech and goodies from direct fuel injection to dry sump lubrication and an electronic throttle are employed to keep both performance and efficiency ahead of the curve.
Power is transferred to the fat 13.0J x 18 rear center-locking one-piece forged wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox with a magnesium housing and steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. Wide 12.5J x 18 one-piece, center-locking front wheels are also used with both the front and rear wearing Michelin slicks for proper traction.
Another innovation on the new 2017 Porsche 911 RSR is the carbon fiber body. Entire parts can be quickly removed and installed in a shorter time thanks to special quick-release fasteners to keep pit times to a minimum. The same philosophy has been carried over to the suspension where parts can be swapped out with greater efficiency. As part of the new engine layout, engineers were able to design a deeper rear diffuser in combination with a rear wing developed from the LMP1 919 Hybrid.
While it won’t grab headlines like the engine’s move forward, the new 911 RSR boasts new electronics that could possibly save drivers from injury. New state-of-the-art driver assistance systems such as the radar-supported “Collision Avoid System” are used. This allows the GT-class racer to detect faster LMP prototypes even in the dark and avoid collisions and accidents. Safety was of the utmost priority for Porsche, who added in a new roll cage concept and fixed the seat to the chassis.
The new Porsche 911 RSR also has a special visual design from the factory. The white, red, and black racer creates the impression of a Porsche emblem when viewed from a bird’s eye.
The Porsche 911 RSR and its new engine layout will compete in 19 outings for over 140 hours of racing for the 2017 season with two factory entries. The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the American IMSA Weathertech Championship will see the 911 RSR compete. The car will make its global debut on the track at the IMSA season opener at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28th to 29th.
“We’re very well prepared for this,” said Marco Ujhasi, Head of GT Works Sport. “Since its first rollout in Weissach in March this year we’ve covered 35,000 test kilometers on racetracks in Europe and North America – that’s more than in the development of any other Porsche GT racer.”
Porsche 911 RSR Gallery