Porsche has officially taken the wraps off its new GT3 contender, the 911 GT3 R, which is on track to make its race debut at next year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The GT3 car, based on the newly launched 911 GT3 RS production car, was unveiled Friday at the Nürburgring, and features a number of improvements from Porsche’s 997-based model, which was recently discontinued.
The new 911 GT3 R is equipped with a four-liter flat-six powerplant, largely identical to the production engine used in the road-going version, including the use of direct injection for the first time.
It came following a decision to adopt the production-based engine after beginning the car’s development last summer with a different power unit.
According to Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank Steffen Walliser, the changes will help reduce operating costs by up to 50 percent over the 997-based model.
“We made the decision on the engine [change] to bring down run time costs, having the engine for a longer time running as we’re based on a production engine again,” Walliser told Sportscar365.
The 911 GT3 R shares a distinct lineage from the GTE-spec 911 RSR, including the use of carbon fiber bodywork, nearly the same electronics as well as the adoption of of a centrally positioned radiator.
The brake system has also underwent modifications to conform to the GT3-legal ABS system, while Walliser said the suspension on the car is all new.
“It’s a lot about the Balance of Performance, drivability and run time costs,” he added. “The major task is drivability so it’s easier to drive for a sportsman driver.
“If a Patrick Pilet is fast, this is one thing. If a gentleman driver, as we have a lot of Pro-Am series, he has to be fast and confident with the car. If he is fast, then the whole team is fast.
“We [also] looked a lot on using different tire brands on the car, so it’s not just only a Michelin car. We also considered Continental, Pirelli and Hankook and other tire manufacturers and we’re also testing with these tires.”
The car, which will be eligible for the various GT3 championships worldwide, including the TUDOR Championship beginning next year, will retail for 429,000 Euros ($490,000), with the first deliveries expected in November.
Walliser said they are planning to build between 20-30 cars in the first year.