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Porsche Reveals Mid-Engined 911 RSR

Porsche reveals mid-engined 911 RSR for GTE/GTLM competition…

Photo: Porsche

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has formally unveiled its next-generation 911 RSR, which will compete in both the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year as factory entries.

The presentation was made Wednesday at the LA Auto Show, marking the first GTE-spec Porsche to debut on U.S. soil in recent memory.

While bearing the same name as its predecessor, the all-new GTE-spec contender features a radical mid-engined design, powered by a four-liter flat-six engine mounted in front of the rear axle.

The boxer engine is estimated to produce 510 horsepower, depending on the size of the air restrictor.

“While retaining the typical 911 design, this is the biggest evolution in the history of our top GT model,” said Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser.

“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.

“Apart from that, in principle, the 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 2017-spec 911 RSR also features an all-new transmission, suspension, body structure and aerodynamics, with the revised engine placement allowing for a larger rear diffuser.

It also has a top-mounted rear wing, a concept taken from the German manufacturer’s World Championship-winning LMP1 car.

The car is equipped with a radar collision warning system, similar to a system run on the Corvette C7.Rs, while serviceability has also been improved, with quick-release bodywork components.

Two cars will be entered in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, under the Porsche North America banner, and for the entire WeatherTech Championship, with Porsche Team Manthey returning to WEC competition, also with an expected two-car effort.

No word has been given on customer cars, although it would be expected for 2018.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. disappointed

    November 16, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    no turbos….. #facepalm

    • slump

      November 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm

      All those people arguing that it had turbo’s in the video of the car testing look rather dumb now.

      • Alex

        November 16, 2016 at 5:11 pm

        Exactly! “It had that turbo-y howl”.

        • GR88

          November 16, 2016 at 6:42 pm

          It certainly has a very different sounding engine,even if the base specs are familiar.

          BTW,’mid-engined’seems a stretch. It’s obviously more optimised for better weight distribution. Much like front-engined supercars now have the engine pushed way back.

          • Larry

            November 18, 2016 at 8:35 am

            Let’s see………….the engine is now in front of the rear axle so I guess “mid-engined” is not such a stretch.

            And a lot of the different sound is partially due to the longer exhaust tubes.

  2. guest

    November 16, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    They forgot to attach the rear bumper!

    • Morningview66

      November 16, 2016 at 2:31 pm

      Looks like that’s Porsches soloution to the bigger diffusers the rules now allowed.

      This is one of the reasons they moved the engine to accommodate the diffuser.

  3. Juandefoldgit

    November 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    I heard John Hindy last week speculate that this car would be normally aspirated and he feared it would lack in pace

    • soo

      November 16, 2016 at 2:03 pm

      Me thinks some of the Jurno’s have this information ahead of time but can’t say it out right that they know. So they say things like “I think it will be this” or “it might be this”.

    • Bakkster

      November 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Shouldn’t lack in pace, unless the WEC has terrible BoP again next season. In IMSA, 7/11 races were won by naturally aspirated cars, and turbo cars only made the IMSA podium 13 times across 11 races despite being half the grid.

      It’s not a turbo vs N/A issue, it’s an issue with the FIA’s BoP for the WEC.

      • JamieR

        November 16, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        Well said.

        I do laugh at the fact the BoP failures cause people to explain the car cannot win without a turbo:

        Firstly, someone better tell the Corvettes this season in IMSA. And the Astons in the WEC. Both have g=had solid seasons.

        Secondly, BoP exists to “balance” the cars, not meaning that non-turbo cars have a huge advantage. If so teams like Chevy and Aston might as well not bother.

        It isn’t a GT car if you’re using engines you don’t have in road cars. Vettes and Astons are known for their large, noisy engines. Better than the oberblown washing machine in the Fords anyway.

        • WBrowning

          November 16, 2016 at 10:04 pm

          Yes, most of us Ford guys were really hoping for the sweet scream of the Voodoo V8, with it’s Flat Plane Crank out of the GT350 powering the GT. Instead we got the EcoBoost V6 out of the F150 pickup truck, that sounds like sitting on a whoopee cushion!

    • Om3ga73

      November 16, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      “Apart from that, in principle, the 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.”

      If BoP is done right, then it shouldn’t be an issue. It sounds like they are prepared to fight that.

  4. pierre

    November 16, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Will it be at any of the Daytona test sessions?

    • Larry

      November 18, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Wasn’t there this week but the December tests are mandatory so I will get to see it from corners.

  5. P

    November 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    WOW, that Porsche is a looker, Ford is in trouble.

    Good Luck at Daytona.

  6. juneracer

    November 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    has to be at the December test as that’s a mandatory test for all homologated cars, its mandatory manufactures attend with at least one car. its not a ‘team’ requirement. as well as the Feb Sebring test. we’ll see where it shakes out…certainly they will be looking for BoP handouts, we’ll just see how well they play the game…

  7. Michael

    November 16, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I’m really going to miss the 2014-2016 991 RSR. The exhaust note that car had is so much better than what this car sounded like in testing at Sebring. Plus the rear of that car didn’t look like someone ripped off the rear bumper, which is the case with this car in my opinion.

    • Steven

      November 17, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      I agree with you. That 14-16 RSR sounded great!

      • Larry

        November 18, 2016 at 8:39 am

        Porsche already makes a midengine sports car.

        If they want to run midengine, they should have to run that. 🙂

        I say that kiddingly but I do think they should have to stick more closely to the street car. I say this as a huge Porsche fan and owner of 3 Porsches so it’s not sour grapes.

  8. John

    November 16, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    And with this, the arms race intensifies, and the war will truly begin.

    The GT begins the battle with the RSR this coming season, the C8 will join later. BMW has probably taken note, and whatever they come up with for 2018 will also likely bear only a outward resemblance to whatever model they wish to use as the focus for marketing.

    Does Aston have the money to keep up? Maybe they can use a version of the Newey Vaporcar, once they learn how to cheat the dimensions of space and time.

    Should be interesting, for however long as it lasts.

    • StueyB83

      November 16, 2016 at 6:21 pm

      Well, everyone says GTE is supposed to be the top dog of GT, and this escalation in the arms race just proves that is so.

      Mind you, it’s not as cut throat as the GT1 rule interpretation of the mid 90’s!

      • GR88

        November 16, 2016 at 6:37 pm

        Aston Martin will use a new model in 2018. Not sure if that’s the new DB11 or the yet to be seen Vantage replacement.

        • StueyB83

          November 17, 2016 at 7:14 am

          It will likely be the latter. The gt3 car needs an update and they can go the way of developing common parts, like the eventually did with the current cars

  9. NaBUru38

    November 16, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    I hate arbitrary BoPping. Why dont they use a predefined dystem, like the old success ballast in touring cars?

  10. Jae

    November 21, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    So there is a GT2 coming back… hmm Porsche moves engine forward this year and maybe go turbo after the GT2 release. Willing to bet they would run both GT3 and GT2 based engines.. Just a thought here.

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